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7 CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY TIPS TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

orange yellow flames engulf a Christmas tree Avoid a dangerous situation with your Christmas tree by following 7 key steps!

For a wonderful while, it’s the most beautiful decoration in your home it may be tall, short, slender or plump, the Christmas tree stands at the center of holiday celebrations. It also stands as a seasonal addition to the house that needs to be treated with special care.

As you make plans to bring home this year’s fir or spruce, are you checking your Christmas tree fire safety list?

We offer this guide for keeping your Christmas tree safe based on our years of experience as Riverside's most trusted fire cleanup company. We want you to celebrate the season with the security that comes from knowing your home is safe for the holidays.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, Christmas tree fires cause property damage totaling more than $14 million annually. That figure can’t account for the heartbreak of a house fire over the holidays. These seven simple tips can keep your home and family safe while you all enjoy the Christmas tree’s bright lights and warm glow.

1. CHECK FOR FRESHNESS

Look for a tree with soft, green needles, and confirm its freshness by closing your hand over a bough and gently pulling down. If needles fall off at your touch, the tree is already beginning to dry out, and that can pose a fire hazard.

2. GIVE IT A STABLE STAND

Safely show off your Christmas tree in a sturdy, weighted stand with screw-in stabilizers that help anchor its weight. A large stand also holds plenty of water for keeping a thirsty tree fresh inside your home.

3. STAND IT AWAY FROM HEAT

Make sure the tree is standing at least 3 feet away from any heat source including space heaters, radiators and the family fireplace. High temperatures, flames and embers are serious fire hazards around a Christmas tree.

4. WATCH THE KIDS

A beautiful tree can tempt little hands with pretty ornaments and inspire rowdy playtime around its base. Talk to the kids about home fire safety. Explain that running around close to the tree can topple it and start a fire.

5. WATCH PETS TOO

The family dog and cat can create Christmas tree fire hazards too. Discourage dangerous chewing and tangling accidents by hanging tree light strands and decorations above your pets’ playful reach.

6. TURN EVERYTHING OFF

Always unplug tree lights before you leave the house or go to bed for the night. Turn off nearby space heaters, extinguish candles, and make sure embers are out in the fireplace.

7. GIVE IT AN HONORABLE GOODBYE

When a Christmas tree stops taking up water and starts dropping needles, it becomes more of a fire hazard with each passing day. Give the tree an honorable goodbye at one of the recycling centers across Riverside.

HOW TO KEEP A CHRISTMAS TREE FROM DRYING OUT

This part of Christmas tree fire safety deserves special attention because it keeps your tree fresher through the holidays, and that reduces the risk of a house fire. Good tree maintenance starts before you set it up in its stand.

  • Saw 2 inches off the bottom of the tree stump, but don’t peel back lower bark or drill holes in the trunk. • If you can’t put the tree in its stand right away, prop it up in a large water bucket, and check it daily. • Monitor the tree’s water level every couple of hours on the first day. Afterwards, top it off every 24 hours.

CAN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CAUSE A FIRE?

We’re often asked about decorations this time of year, so we finish up our Christmas fire safety guide with important pointers about lights on the tree.

  • Always purchase Christmas tree lights that carry the Underwriters Laboratory UL Seal. • Inspect strands for frayed wires and broken sockets, and toss anything that looks damaged. • Don’t overload the tree with older incandescent lights or run too many strands from one extension cord. • Don’t connect incandescent and LED strands together, and keep them on separate extension cords.

WE’RE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU

This year, gather the family around for a quick review of Christmas tree safety strategies. Make sure everybody understands how important it is to follow the guidelines.

All of us here at SERVPRO of West Riverside City send our warmest wishes to you and your family. It’s our honor to serve and be a part of this wonderful community, and we really value your support. Our teams are always here for you, with the best fire damage cleanup and fire restoration services available.

Do You Rent? Why You Should Have Renters Insurance

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

3 level orange apartment complex with a green SERVPRO truck in front of a garage with black trash bags behind truck. One fire caused smoke and soot damage within other rental units. Do you have renters insurance?

There is a misconception regarding damage caused by a fire in an apartment or home you rent.  

Renting a single family home, apartment or condo may be the way that you personally choose your housing.  There are many perks when it comes to renting.  The biggest perk is that you are not typically responsible for the major incidents that may occur within those four walls like an electrical fire, busted water pipe, roof leak, or even when that 15 year old furnace decides it has served its purpose.  While those are great perks, you still have the responsibility of your own personal property that may become damaged due to a number of issues that may arise while living in a home you personally do not own.  Many renters mistakenly assume that their landlord's homeowner's policy will cover them if disaster strikes.  I wasn’t knowledgeable in this regard, until I ended up on the restoration side of the disaster.  Some may assume if the homeowner  neglected issues like water pipes, electrical and even the roof, that their insurance would cover my personal property.  How could I be responsible for something I had nothing to do with? Many also don't realize that the property's homeowner insurance only covers the actual property, not anything you own within the unit or home.  

It is so important that renters look into and purchase renters insurance.  I realized this when I was working an apartment complex fire.  The flames were contained to the one apartment, but that wasn't the biggest issue.  It was the smoke and soot that affected other units.  The smoke and soot got into apartments on other floors.  Here's the thing, one smoke particle is half the size of bacteria, 1/8 the size of a red blood cell neither one of those are visible to the naked eye.  Smoke and soot will find little pathways to follow holes around plumbing, and also find its way to your second floor or cooler parts of the home.  So essentially we had to pretest other apartment within that building.  Many renters didn't understand why they were going to have to pay for the smoke and soot cleanup within their apartments when it was a single condo that was the source of the smoke and soot.  

Unfortunately, that was the case for quite a few renters within that complex.  The cleaning of smoke and soot can be very tedious and time consuming even for professionals like SERVPRO of West Riverside City.  Our technicians are trained and certified to identify and remediate smoke and soot properly.    

There are four types of soot: 

  • Dry smoke residue: Powdery, dry small and non-smearing particles resulting from fires that burn quickly at a high heat
  • Wet Smoke residue: Smearing, sticky and strong-smelling particles caused by fires that smolder at low temperatures, resulting in smoke webs that may be challenging to remove.
  • Fuel oil soot: Dispersed by puff backs from furnaces
  • Protein Residue: Very strong-smelling, but practically invisible residue that can ruin the color of varnish or paint. 

Renters insurance is typically covered for a small monthly premium, the average renter’s policy has a $20,000 - $25,000 worth of coverage for your contents.  There are even rider policies (Which is coverage for things that may be worth more than the per-item limit on your renter’s insurance policy).  The value of your personal contents can add up quickly.  The most important aspect of renters insurance is deciding whether to purchase replacement value or actual cost value coverage.  While renters insurance is important for smoke and soot, it also covers many other things.

  • Fire, lighting
  • Windstorm, hail
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicle
  • Damage from smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, sleet
  • Damage from steam- heating/water-heating appliances/systems
  • Leakage or overflow from water or steam
  • Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning
  • Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances.

Bottom line renters insurance is essential and relatively inexpensive so call you friendly insurance agent and have them go over coverage options. It will protect your property should loss occur within the home or apartment you rent.  It is very inexpensive and well worth it!  

Have you experienced a loss due to fire or water damage?  Call SERVPRO of West Riverside City:

951-351=8033

We are always here to help!

How Can a Staging Area Help During Storm Damage Cleanup?

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians streamline the restoration of Coram properties through the use of multiple applications.

Flood damage in a Riverside home can happen in many ways, and multiple areas of the structure can receive the effects. One common denominator during the restoration services is how SERVPRO techs handle the cleanup. They use a logical course of action that gets applied to fit the individual circumstances of the property that make each mitigation unique. The staging area for cleanup is one of those actions and usually has the following key elements:  

  • Situated near a water source in the home such as a bathroom or laundry room in case the need for mixing specialized products arises
  • The floor gets covered with a heavy-duty drop cloth for cleanliness  
  • All of the tools needed for the restoration services get placed in an organized fashion so they can be found easily by the techs

Can Flood Damage Occur From a Backed Up Storm Drain?  

When flood damage happens in a Riverside home that affects the drainage of a storm drain in a garage, the resulting mess can be ugly. When these large outtake pipes back up due to getting overwhelmed, there is very little individuals can do. These pipes do not just drop water in the home; they bring debris and usually a smelly, black sludge that coats everything it touches. It is not uncommon for the water to have receded by the time SERVPRO techs arrive on the scene, mostly the sludge is still present. This type of cleanup requires multiple application, including:   

  • Manual tools such as shovels to pick up the solids  
  • Portable pumps to assist in removing any remaining water  
  • Power scrubbers to remove stuck-on residues

Safety During Mitigation is Key  

Until the water gets tested by the techs upon arrival, there is no way to know if any harmful elements are in the water in the home. If it receded quickly, those elements could be in porous materials such as sheetrock or through seepage, and be resident within the subfloor. SERVPRO techs generally advise homeowners to keep both residents of the property and pets out of the work area, mainly until the water gets tested. After testing to determine any hazards present, the techs treat the water with their professional biocides and antimicrobial agents. During the cleanup, they wear protective clothing and set up air scrubbers and often negative air chambers to keep airborne droplets either captured or flowing out and clean air from outside the home flowing in. In some cases, the techs may set up containment around the worksite to inhibit any cross-contamination.

The flooring of all types is the article in the home that needs the most assistance after this type of damage from water.  Concrete is semi-porous. While it does absorb some moisture, the use of the drying equipment SERVPRO utilizes forces the embedded moisture to rise. Then the surface can get disinfected to sanitary levels for reuse. The techs have access to a vast selection and cleaning solutions. Several types developed explicitly for use on concrete to leave no efflorescence, the white powdery residue that occurs when salts and minerals in the concrete come to the surface.  

The final step in the restoration of this type is odor control. While the use of the cleaning solutions goes a long way towards limiting the odor from the water. Other actions include:   

  • Removal of articles and building materials too damaged for restoration  
  • Use of odor control equipment such as hydroxyl generators and thermal fogging  
  • Scoping the property post-drying to ensure all areas show no residual moisture

Once the restoration services complete, the crew chief takes the homeowner through the property and goes over the actions taken, the items disposed of with permission, and any repairs that need to occur in the home. Once this walk-through completes, the property owner gets a written report that includes photographs of items with a detailed description of all restoration for the homeowner to use to file any insurance claims. Assisting individuals in expediting their reimbursement for the damage is another way that SERVPRO tries to make the bad situation in the home a little less stressful.

SERVPRO of West Riverside City at (951) 351-8033 cleans up and restores homes from any size flood damage. The certified technicians arrive quickly and work to make the water damage a thing of the past, "Like it never even happened."

Receiving an Emergency Alert to Evacuate Your Home, What Do You Take?

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

A couple with their white medium size dog in the back of the car to practice evacuating Grab the dog and put them into the car. If you plan to take your pets right before you leave, they might hide or struggle, slowing down your escape.

It's the end of October as I write this blog.  My week started with an emergency alert on my device Monday late afternoon.  It read, "Per San Bernardino County Sheriff Dept. - Fire in the Chino Hills State Park.  Evacuation Warning in effect...

Potential threat to life and/or property…".  Needless to say, my heart sank, and a bit of a rush and panic came over me. I gathered my thoughts and since I already had a to-go-bag packed, I felt a little bit at ease.  My son and I had previously created an emergency evacuation plan of what to take, who to contact, and where to go.  We used Ready.gov's printable card and had those already in our wallet containing important information.  We reviewed our plan and confirmed what each of us were responsible for collecting.  We kept everything ready to go by the front door, both cars ready to pull forward with full tank of gas!  We went to bed feeling confident we were ready…until we received Emergency Evacuation Alert level 2.  This one, received at 1am in the morning read, " Due to wildfire burning near LA, Orange, and San Bernardino County borders, an EVACUATION WARNING has been issued in the area south of Diamond Bar.  Those in the area should Get Set for a potential evacuation by gathering loved ones supplies.  Monitor local news, our social media channels and LA County.gov."  I jumped up in a panic, made sure my son was aware of the alert and reviewed updates of the fire. 

How did we know what to plan for or what to take?  Ready.gov was the best tool.  Below are the steps we took, and the plan we created based on our families needs. 

Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?
  5. Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
  6. Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update my emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
    • Get masks (for everyone over 2 years old), disinfectants, and check my sheltering plan.

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

Associated Content

This was also great article that I followed to some degree:

What to Take When Evacuating

From these experiences, I’ve learned:

If you don’t have a mental list already thought out, in an emergency you may forget what’s important and grab stuff that’s not useful or is easily replaced.

The more you mentally rehearse the actions you’d take in a crisis, the more likely you’ll follow your plan in an actual emergency.

My emergency list begins with:

  1. Grab the dog and put them into the car. (If you plan to take your pets right before you leave, they might hide or struggle, slowing down your escape. If you’re not leaving soon, keep them in the bathroom nearest the door.)
  2. My purse. (It’s big and can hold a lot of stuff.)
  3. My laptop. (Fits in my purse.)
  4. My to-go bag containing clothes and toiletries. (I always keep one packed and ready.)

I have included more on my list, these were the first five items.

Every time there’s a fire in California, practice running through a scenario where you have to grab what’s on your list and race out the door. 

You can also make a physical list — on paper or a digital one on your phone or tablet for easy access and mobility. Make a copy for each member of the family, designating which items they are in charge of.

PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY BEFORE THERE’S A CRISIS

In California, we’re supposed to have earthquake supplies on hand in case our state experiences “the big one.”  I also started keeping an emergency stash in the trunk of my car. If you open my trunk, you’ll find:

Copies of important paperwork.

Pet food, dog leash, other pet supplies,

A pair of tennis shoes and sweats, as well as a change of clothing and shoes for work.

Basic toiletries.

First Aid Kit.

Flashlight.

Radio.

Snacks and water.

Blanket, towel, and small pillow.

A roll of toilet paper.

Extra laptop charger. (An extra phone charger stays in my purse.)

It’s important to keep visual documentation of your home and valuables for insurance purposes. Video your whole house and also open drawers and closets. Keep this record updated. Make sure you store a copy on a cloud service and multiple memory cards/external drives.

WHEN IN EVACUATION LEVEL TWO, DON’T DELAY PREPARING

At the second level of an evacuation request, there’s a good probability of the need to evacuate. Level three is an evacuation request — be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Level four is immediate evacuation.

Load the car or cars and position them in the driveway headed out. Make sure the gas tank is full. If you never have to leave, then all you’ll have to do is unload the car and unpack. Yes, it’s a tedious job. But better than having to grab and go.

Stay informed through media about the progress of the fire and where to find safe evacuation routes. Watch for emergency personnel who may come by your home or be at certain checkpoints to give instructions regarding the evacuation.

Consider leaving at evacuation level two to avoid congested roads.

THINK OF PACKING IN TWO BATCHES

The first batch will cover the time you’ll stay at a shelter/hotel/with friends and relatives. The second batch is to pack as if you won’t have a home to return to.

BATCH ONE

Addresses staying in shelters. See her article for details.  You can adapt the information to staying in hotels or with friends/family.)

BATCH TWO — PACKING AS IF YOU WON’T RETURN

Take important stuff you can’t live without, treasure, or will need.

Computers. (If you have a desktop, store information on a cloud or download what you need on flash drives.)

Valuables.

Jewelry.

Special photos.

Sentimental items.

Clothes for longer term, such as for work or winter coats.

Bring additional paperwork:

Legal documents — birth certificates, passport, social security cards, will, vehicle registration and ownership papers, marriage/divorce papers.

Financial records — bank account information, credit and debit cards, government benefits, retirement and investment account statements, tax returns, year-to-date receipts if you itemize expenses on your tax returns.

I encourage all households to sit together and create a plan.  Check out Ready.gov and the referenced article.  These are great tools to help you prepare your loved ones and ensure you have necessities and valuables in the event of an emergency.

Be safe California residents!!

SERVPRO of West Riverside City uses State of the Art Equipment for Water Damages

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician using green equipment for water flooding SERVPRO of West Riverside City understands that to continue to be the leader in restoration we need to use cutting edge technology.

SERVPRO of West Riverside City understands that to continue to be the leader in restoration we need to use cutting edge technology. That's why we've made it a point to add new equipment to our inventory regularly. We want to provide excellent work to our customers and to do that we need the right equipment. 

Here are a few pieces of equipment we use regularly for resolving water damage

Detection Equipment

Scoping damage involves our trained team members locating the areas affected by water and determining the extent to which the structure and contents have absorbed moisture. Our trained team member’s use:

  • Moisture Sensors – These are us to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters – These are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate moisture readings that enable our SERVPRO® of Sumner County team member to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermo-hygrometers – These measure both temperature and relative humidity. In capturing these two readings our trained team members calculate specific humidity, dew point and vapor pressure.

Extraction Equipment

The most effective method of removing moisture from a structure is extraction. This is why it is crucial to respond quickly to a water damage and to provide emergency mitigation services. When the water is extracted quickly, the environment can usually be dried much faster.

  • Extractors – These are used in cleaning carpets and upholstery and in removing water from floors following a water damage. Extractors can either be truck-mounted or portable, allowing for greater access inside structures.

Air Moving Equipment

Air movers are used in water damage restoration to enhance evaporation at the surface level, thereby reducing drying time. As airflow at the surface level increases, the moisture in the air increases. This moisture is then eliminated via the use of dehumidification equipment.

Dehumidification Equipment

By extracting water vapor from the air, dehumidifiers lower the relative humidity, which in turn increases the rate of evaporation. In a water damaged, structure, dehumidifiers pull in the moist, humid air and then discharge dry, warm air. The dry air acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture from wet materials. SERVPRO® of Sumner County uses two types of dehumidifiers:

  • Refrigerant Dehumidifiers – These work similarly to an air conditioner.
  • Desiccant Dehumidifiers – The use chemicals, called desiccants, which readily absorb moisture from the air.

Need immediate help? Please call SERVPRO of West Riverside City 951-351-8033. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can handle your emergency.

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Inland Empire Death Scene Clean-Up: A Tough Subject

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

The hand of an elderly person holding hand of a younger person Families are impacted with the death of a loved one and sometimes don’t know where to turn when that death happens in a home.

I debated writing this blog for quite some time. But this week we received a call from a Property Management company, and it hit me that even though it’s not the easiest topic to discuss, it is worth the discussion. Families are impacted with the death of a loved one and sometimes don’t know where to turn when that death happens in a home.

The clean-up that is needed after an unattended death is not easy to write about and is definitely not something a sales or marketing person wants to talk about. I have never personally experienced a suicide of  anyone close to me and I can't imagine the anguish a family goes through as they process that death is debilitating. The clean-up afterward can obviously prove too traumatic for a family to perform. The same can be said when an elderly loved one dies alone. Body decomposition, though natural, is very hazardous to anyone in and or around the area.

Cleaning up can be emotionally challenging, not to mention dangerous if blood and/or other bodily fluids are involved. Our team at SERVPRO of West Riverside City will treat the family and their loved one’s property with the greatest empathy. Our goal after a death is to remove the burden of cleaning up by those family members left behind.

Many times, our own team is impacted with strong feelings or reactions to the death, despite having no acquaintance with the victim. Our team has the training and experience to stay focused on the unique nature of their cleaning task. They are cleaning and restoring the site of the traumatic event. They are preforming an invaluable service to the customer. Our hope, is that our clean-up process will help the customer recover in a small way from the aftermath of the loss of life.

Many people don’t realize that insurance policies often offer coverage for crime scene and trauma cleaning, so it’s crucial to check with the insurance policy adjuster to determine if coverage is offered.

All these are reasons why I feel it’s important to write this blog. Helping a family in their time of need by responding 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help them restore their lives is of the utmost importance to us.

While we hope that you never have to experience a death that needs Biohazard Clean-up, we do want to let you know that there are experts out there who will help if ever the need arises.

Need help? (951) 351-8033

Why Reach out to SERVPRO?

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of West Riverside City is trained to safely clean and remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are here to help transform any unsafe environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.

Please refer to our Biohazard Emergency Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding, or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean. SERVPRO has developed the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, a specialized cleaning program that goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning, providing a proactive viral pathogen cleaning service. Learn more about the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program to safeguard your customers and employees.

The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations. These include the following:

  • Suicide/death accidents
  • Homicide cleanups
  • Blood cleanup
  • Accident cleanup
  • Hoarding scenes
  • Animal waste/remains
  • Chemical spills
  • Tear gas cleanup
  • Meth lab cleanup

Fall or Winter Weather Can Have an Effect During the Holidays- Take Caution!

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

what background, black lettering listing driving tips If you and your family plan to hit the road this year, check out Travel Tips from AAA to avoid motor vehicle mishaps. Be safe!

Beware of Fall and Winter Storms!

Fall and winter storms are right around the corner. The effect of these storms can be good or bad. As much as we love the sound of thunder, the jolt of lightning going through the sky and the smell of rain, there are bad things that can come along with it. Power outages are often a risk associated with storms. It’s good to know what to do in case you lose power, because you never know how long it could be out. It could be out for a matter of seconds, or for several hours. Here are some tips on what how to be prepared, and what to do during a power outage.

  • Keep flashlights available around your house. Avoid using candles when possible.
  • Keep the opening of freezers and refrigerators to a minimum. When kept closed, refrigerators can stay cool up to 4hours, and freezers can stay frozen up to 48 hours. If need be, you can put ice in a cooler to keep your food cold.
  • Watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are running a generator, it should be used outside and at least 20 feet away from a window or door. Never use a gas stovetop, oven, camp stove, or charcoal grill to heat your home.
  • If it’s cold in your home, add more layers of clothes and blankets. Don’t use the oven or a grill as a heating source. If it becomes too cold, try to make arrangements to go to another location where heat is available.
  • Turn off and disconnect any appliances and electronics. The power may surge or spike when it is restored, and that may cause damage to the items.
  • If a storm occurs, the safety of you and your family is of the utmost importance.

    What if your traveling across the country?

    Whether you're going down the road this holiday season, or across the country, traveling in fall or winter weather can be a tricky task. AAA provided some simple solutions to avoiding a motor vehicle mishap.

    • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
        • avoid skids and take time to slow down for a stoplight on icy roads.
    • Properly position feet on pedals
        • keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
    • Don't stop if you can avoid it
        • if you can, slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes. Always stop at stop signs or signal lights when required.
    • Uphill Driving
        • applying extra acceleration on snow-covered roads can cause your wheels to spin. Try to obtain extra speed before reaching the hill and let inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the top, reduce speed and proceed downhill slowly.
    • Safe Following Distances
      • normal driving conditions suggest a 3-4 second car spacing. When driving in snow or icy conditions increase that to 8-10 seconds. Doing so allows you time to stop and avoid collisions should you need to.

    Please be safe, weather can be unpredictable these days and prepared families can enjoy a safe holiday season. 

    What to expect when your call SERVPRO of West Riverside City?

    We Answer the phone ready to help!

    Call Today - (951) 351-8033

    We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of West Riverside City has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

    What to Expect

    When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

    Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?
  • About SERVPRO of SERVPRO of West Riverside City

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

    Meet Our Crew

    Don't hesitate to contact us, we are here to help! 

    Holiday Cooking Fire Safety Tips for Riverside Residents

    11/9/2020 (Permalink)

    animated stove with red and orange flames inside, animated man wearing blue shirt tan pants turning off oven If an oven fire occurs, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

    November is known for making a turkey feast, where family you haven’t seen in a while, gather and eat.

    Although it’s a joyous and happy time, Thanksgiving is one of the worst days of the year for home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (USFA), the number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving day is three times as high than any other day of the year.

    Stovetops and Ovens

    Sometimes cooks can be distracted by their guests, cooking fires can easily be prevented by following a few simple precautions:

  • Remove food and grease buildup from burners, stovetop, and oven. Always start cooking with a clean stove and oven.
  • Always stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking, don’t get distracted by trying to entertain your guests.
  • Stay inside while cooking a turkey, set a timer, and check on it often.
  • Keep a flame-resistant oven mitt, potholder, or lid nearby to smother any flames.
  • Keep children away from the stove. It is recommended to use the back burners.
  • If an oven fire occurs, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Turkey Fryers

    Never use a turkey fryer on a covered patio, garage, or indoors because it’s a fire hazard risk. Fryers can easily tip over, spilling scalding, hot oil onto anyone nearby, leading to fires, burns, or other serious injuries. Never overfill the oil in a fryer, many turkey fires happen while the oil is being heated. Here are some safety tips for using a turkey fryer:

  • Always read and follow the manufacturers guidelines.
  • Completely thaw the turkey.
  • Neve leave the fryer unattended.
  • The oil will remain dangerously hot for hours, so keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Only use the oil that is recommended. Different types of oil have different ignition temperatures.
  • Allow two feet of space between the liquid propane tank and the fryer burner.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts, wear safety goggles to protect eyes from oil splatter.
  • If oil starts smoking, immediately turn off the gas supply.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Never use water to extinguish a fire.
  • Each year, from 2016 to 2018, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated average of

    189,300 cooking fires in residential buildings.

    These fires caused an estimated:

    170 Deaths

    3,300 Injuries

    $443 million in property loss

    Cooking was, by far, the leading cause of all residential building fires and injuries.

    Remember these safety tips so you and your family can have a safe and wonderful time together.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City is always ready for any emergency. 

    Keep our number handy:

    951-351-8033

    Steps to prevent Candle Fires in your Riverside Home

    11/4/2020 (Permalink)

    two white flameless candles, red flameless candles and 1 and 1 dark flameless candle stick Think about using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles.

    There is something calming about candles especially during the holiday season.  They look pretty and enhance the ambiance in a room, they give off a fragrant smell that can be so luring, but they can also be the cause to a house fire.   

    December has been noted as the peak month of candle fires.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of every 5 candle fires started when they were placed near something that can burn, such as furniture, bedding, or decorations. 

    From  2014-2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 7,610  home structure fires that were started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 81 deaths, 677  injuries and $278 million in direct property damage. NFPA Home Candle Fires Report

    Review the tips below from NFPA to prevent house fires this holiday season:

    DO pay attention to proximity. It’s important to make sure that you’re not burning a candle on or near anything that could catch fire. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, or any other flammable objects. Place burning candles at least 3 inches apart from one another so they don’t melt one another or burn improperly.

    DON’T leave burning candles unattended. Try to restrict people and candles to one room in the house so the location of family members can always be accounted for and you can keep an eye on open flames. Extinguish all candles before going to bed or leaving a room.

    DO place candles on a fire-resistant surface. Place a handle in its holder on a stable, nonflammable surface, such as a metal cookie sheet, frying pan or ceramic plate.

    DON’T light a candle if you smell gas. If you smell gas inside or outside your home, immediately put out all open flames, shut off your gas supply, leave the area, get to a safe place, and call 911.

    DO use pillar or container candles. Broader-based candles are a suitable option for power outages, as these are less likely to be accidentally knocked over. When possible, candles should be enclosed within glass hurricane holders or globes.

    DON’T use candles as a search guide or night light. Avoid walking around with a candle. Dark rooms can increase the chance of tripping or brushing against a flammable item. Use a flashlight instead.

    DO keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Place candles up high to avoid the risk of pets, children, or adults accidentally bumping candles over in the dark.

    DO Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame

    DON'T let the candle burn all the way to the bottom; put it out before it gets too close to the container or holder

    DON'T light a candle if oxygen is used in the home.  Oxygen canisters should be kept at least five to 10 feet away from any open flame, which can be anything from a fire in a fireplace to a gas or a candle.

    DO use a flashlight or battery-operated lighting instead of a candle during a power outage.

    Candles and Kids

    Think about using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles.

    • Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
    • Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children’s reach, in a locked cabinet.

    Although candles can add to the décor in the room, however, they can also add danger.  Remember candles are an open flame which means they can easily ignite.  Create an environment that is safe for you during this holiday season, use alternatives to prevent any candle fires in homes like using flameless candles. 

    Here are some additional tips to prevent fires during the holiday season from Ready.Gov:

    • Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
    • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
    • Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.
    • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
    • Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources and room exits.
    • Water your live Christmas tree daily to keep it from becoming dry.

    As always, remember SERVPRO of West Riverside City is here to help! 

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    Water Damage Inspection at City Landmark Home of Rosie Bonds

    11/2/2020 (Permalink)

    picture collage of technician inspecting under sink, older women and women with a mask, black and white photo of young woman Photo of technician inspecting underneath sink, Marketer Letty with Rosie Bonds, High school photo of Rosie Bonds, Front yard landmark.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside had the pleasure of meeting Rosie Bonds former Olympic hurdler. 

    We received a call from her agent My Tran of Farmers Insurance in Riverside of water damage asking if we could help Rosie out by inspecting the damage.

    We sat down and chatted with Rosie about her family home in Riverside and the "hurdles" she's endured during her life.  Rosie was raised in Riverside, California.  Rosie's father worked on the homes built in the neighborhood of her family home in 1956, and purchased it in 1957.  She referred to it as, "a middle class house back in 1956, but it's small now… and although it is old, it's made very well."  With 4 children and 2 adults in a 3 bedroom home they managed as a family.  She compared homes back then to nowadays, "where rooms are large and homes are larger than life".  Everything in the house from furniture to flooring is original, her mother didn't want any changes made and also emphasized they could never sell the house. I was sitting on a sofa that had been with the family since the 1940s and very well taken care of.  She has plans to update some things, but everything costs money. 

    Outside, you see an ordinary humble home with a chain link fence and a green lawn.  The house was declared a city landmark in 2009.  You can read the inscription on the stone in the front yard, reading, "Bobby Bonds Residence 1957- Elizabeth and Robert Bonds Sr. moved here in 1957 with their 4 children.  Rosie, was a 1964 Olympic Hurdler.  Robert Jr. and David were also top athletes.  After starring in multiple sports at Riverside's Poly High School, Bobby Bonds signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1964.  As a pro baseball player, he was legendary for power and speed.  He was the first to hit at least 30 home runs and steal at least 30 bases in one season, a feat he repeated 5 times.  He was also the first baseball player in the 20th century to hit a grand slam in his first pro game.  A three time All-Star, with 332 home runs, 1024 RBIs and 461 stolen bases, he played in the 1971 National League Championship Series, was 1973 All-Star MVP and won 3 Gold Gloves.  His baseball legend son, Barry, was born in Riverside, while the family lived here in 1964.  Cultural Heritage Board Landmark No. 122 City of Riverside."  Rosie is proud of their family home and says, "We've had some beautiful days here, beautiful days." 

    Rosie who was once an Olympic hurdler, set several national records in the hurdles; won the national outdoor hurdle championship (1963, 1964), and competed internationally, represented the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics (1964).  After retiring from athletics, she started a career in nursing.  She became a licensed vocational nurse working in the Bay area and traveled back and forth to Riverside to care for her mom.  In 2002 she was disabled in a car accident that left her without a job and without a home; she remained homeless living out of shelters and her car for several months.  Her injuries from the car accident left her destitute.  Rosie has a great outlook on life, she has overcome many struggles.   In speaking with her she still has so much to offer.  She runs Bobby Bonds day for kids in the area (although due to COVID it was canceled this year), she delivers food to those in need and she speaks openly about life's hurdles.  Truly a pleasure speaking with Rosie Bonds!