Recent Fire Damage Posts

Six Things Riverside Homeowners Should Do After a Home Fire

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

A home in the forefront surrounded by trees and brush, with trees on fire in the background Wildfires can ruin homes and cause injuries or death to people and animals. Learn what to do after a home fire.

Wildfires can ruin homes and cause injuries or death to people and animals.

A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires can:

  • Often be caused by humans or lightning.
  • Cause flooding or disrupt transportation, gas, power, and communications.
  • Happen anywhere, anytime. Risk increases with in periods of little rain and high winds.
  • Cost the Federal Government billions of dollars each year.
  • IF YOU ARE UNDER A WILDFIRE WARNING, GET TO SAFETY RIGHT AWAY

  • Leave if told to do so.
  • If trapped, call 9-1-1.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Use N95 masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe.
  • Here are the six things you should do after a home fire: 

    1. Call your insurance agent immediately. You will be getting calls at all hours of the day from public adjusters and contractors who will try to offer you a deal on putting your house back together. These calls can create a lot of stress and confusion. I suggest you speak to no one but your agent to discuss your options at this point in the process.

    2. Ask about restoration companies that can help with cleaning up soot, boarding up windows, and other construction. Immediately after a fire, especially if it is a minor one, you’ll need to clean up any soot or water damage. It is important to hire a reputable service to deal with these issues. Ask your agent or insurance adjuster to recommend a few different companies. They deal with these situations more often than you do and likely know of some businesses that fit your needs. Many of these restoration companies have connections to good contractors, engineers, and architects, as well.  SERVPRO of West Riverside City is here to help.

    3. Separate damaged property from undamaged property. The insurance company will need a detailed inventory list from you after they inspect the loss. Separating your damaged property from your undamaged property will make it easier for you to make a list of your damaged items. This list needs to include the date you purchased each item, the brand name, the price you paid, and the serial number, model, or description of each item. If the item was a gift, be sure to indicate that as well.

    It’s a good idea to submit your receipts with this inventory list. If the receipts were destroyed in the fire, or you didn’t keep any receipts, request copies of prior bank statements. This can make obtaining duplicate receipts easier. Keep in mind that photos of any damaged items are always helpful if receipts are not available.

    4. Save undamaged property from further destruction. Any items that are not damaged should be put in a safe place, even if it means putting them in storage. Insurance adjusters are typically fair when it comes to adding additional costs for storage.

    5. Cooperate fully with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported to an insurance company, it is given top priority. Usually the adjusters come out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours. To help settle your claim in a timely manner and to your satisfaction, be sure you are available and on time for all meetings, that you return calls promptly, that any requested paperwork is completed as quickly as possible, and that you contact the company or your agent immediately with any questions.

    6. Find somewhere to stay if you can’t live in your home. Most homeowner’s policies include “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents” coverage, which will pay for the food, clothing, and shelter that you and your family may need for a specified period of time. Keep in mind that your policy will pay for “like kind and quality” living arrangements. You may want to save the Ritz for a special occasion and instead stay in a more reasonably priced hotel.

    What to do before disaster strikes

    • Review your homeowner’s policy to be sure you have replacement cost coverage, loss of use coverage, and adequate dwelling coverage. The last thing you want to hear after a fire is that you were underinsured.

    • Save all your receipts and put them in a metal fireproof box or in a storage facility off the premises, such as a safety deposit box. Better yet, scan the receipts and save them to a computer file. Taking a video of your entire home and the possessions within it is the next best thing to receipts. This will show the insurance company what sort of lifestyle you had prior to the claim.

    • Be sure to have smoke detectors in every room of your home to ensure that everyone gets out of the house or apartment safely in the event of a fire. Have exit ladders and fire extinguishers handy, and know how to use them.

    • Discuss escape strategies and plans with your family prior to a fire, and consider a fire drill to help ensure everyone’s safety.

    NFPA Announces "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan Your Escape!" as the theme for Fire Prevention Week

    10/9/2019 (Permalink)

    A father and son sit at the kitchen table going over a plan with the words, "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan Your Escape!" The most important aspect of fire prevention lies in awareness. Youngsters should be educated in smoke and fire safety.

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” as the theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12, 2019. 

    This year’s campaign recognizes the everyday people who motivate their households to develop and practice a home fire escape plan; these seemingly basic behaviors can have life-saving impact.

    “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” focuses on what a home escape plan entails and the value of practicing it. These messages are more important than ever, particularly because today’s homes burn faster than ever.  Synthetic fibers used in modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction, are contributing factors to the increased burn rate.

    A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.

    Home Fire Escape Planning and Practice Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety. A home fire escape plan needs to be developed and practiced before a fire strikes.

    Home fire escape planning should include the following:

    • Drawing a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows

    • Going to each room and pointing to the two ways out

    • Making sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities wake up and get out

    • Teaching children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them

    • Establishing a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting

    • Having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms

    • Home fire escape practice should include the following:

    • Pushing the smoke alarm button to start the drill

    • Practicing what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out fast.

    • Practicing using different ways out and closing doors behind you as you leave

    • Never going back for people, pets, or things

    • Going to your outdoor meeting place

    • Calling 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone

    Smoke Alarms

    • Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.

    • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.

    • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

    • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.

    If a wildfire is threatening your home:

    • Create a plan for evacuation that includes alternate routes out of the danger area.

    • Have prepacked kits with essentials such as medicine, family records, credit cards, a change of clothing, and food and water.

    • Create a family communication plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication.

    • Prepare a plan for the care of pets and other animals.

    • Sign up for wildfire alerts.

    • Take steps to protect family, friends, or neighbors who have disabilities.

    • Stay aware of local fire conditions. When told to evacuate, go promptly. If you feel unsafe, do not wait for an evacuation order—leave immediately.

    A special note must be made about the elderly. The U.S. Fire Administration has found that seniors, while making up only 14 percent of the population as a whole, account for 38 percent of all fire-related fatalities. If you have an aged person living in your residence, see to it that he or she has eyeglasses, hearing aids and other necessary devices within arm’s reach while sleeping. Move all bulky furniture that could interfere with an escape from the building. And never leave heated blankets or other electronic equipment on for so long that it could catch fire.

    About Fire Prevention Week

    NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation declaring a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Visit www.firepreventionweek.org for more safety information.

    For more information about Fire Prevention Week and “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!,”along with a wealth of resources to help promote the campaign locally, visit fpw.org.

    National Preparedness Month -Week 2: Make a Plan- Life Saving Safety Skills, Sept 8-14

    9/11/2019 (Permalink)

    Owners practicing an evacuation with a white medium size dog sitting in the back of an SUV with back hatch open Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost/injured.

    National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year. The 2019 theme is "Prepared, Not Scared." 

     Today, we have the ability to predict with more accuracy than ever dangerous tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, and floods. We know the areas that are prone to earthquakes and areas that are susceptible to wildfires, and we can tell hours in advance whether a tsunami will hit our shores.

     However, in spite of all the capabilities for advance warnings, we are still not quite up to speed at preparing for these disasters. Many really believe that it can’t happen to us.

     Some simple, quick preparations could make the difference between life and death for your family. Here are several steps you can take to be ready for a disaster from our friends at Ready.gov.

    What You Should Know About Life Saving Skills

    • Know basic preparedness skills to protect your family and home.
    • Eliminate common electrical and fire hazards around your house and property.
    • Install smoke, carbon monoxide, and natural gas alarms and test them monthly.
    • Teach children what to do when they hear smoke, carbon monoxide, and natural gas alarms.
    • Place natural gas detectors on every level of your home and test them monthly.
    • Know how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home.
    • Talk to your landlord or building manager about evacuation routes and fire safety.
    • Develop and practice a family communication plan and discuss it with your family.
    • Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.
    • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
    • Know two ways out of your home in the event of a fire and practice evacuation plans.
    • Set some money aside from your income in case of an emergency.

    Safety Skills

    Learn First Aid & CPR 

    Take a first aid and CPR class. Local American Red Cross chapters can provide information about this type of training. Official certification by the American Red Cross provides, under the “good Samaritan” law, protection for those giving first aid.

    Get more information about the supplies in a first aid kit.

    Learn to Use a Fire Extinguisher

    Make sure you have one or more up-to-date fire extinguisher and be sure everyone knows where they are kept and how to use them. You should have, at a minimum, an ABC type.

    The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate. Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area. Get more information about preparedness for a fire emergency.

    Know how to shut-off Utilities

    Natural Gas

    Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.

    Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, it is important to contact your local gas company for any guidance on preparations and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.

    When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedures.

    • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve, if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.
    • Caution: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.

    Water

    Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve. 

    • Before an emergency happens, locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house and label this valve with a tag for easy identification. Make sure all household members know where it is located.
    • Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open or it may only partially close. If so, replace it.
    • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.

    The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve. (This is not the street valve in the cement box at the curb – the street valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool.)

    Electricity

    Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

    • Locate you electrical circuit box. For your safety, always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.

    Evacuation

    Plan to Evacuate

    A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for an immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.

    Before an Evacuation

    • Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation, and shelter plans for each specific disaster.
    • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
      • Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
      • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
      • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
      • Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
    • Develop a family/household communication and re-unification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and re-unite if you are separated.
    • Assemble supplies that are ready for evacuation, both a “go-bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling by longer distances if you have a personal vehicle. 
    • If you have a car:
      • Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
      • Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.
    • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.

    During an Evacuation

    • A list of open shelters can be found during an active disaster in your local area by downloading the FEMA app
    • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
    • Take your emergency supply kit.
    • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
    • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
    • If time allows:
      • Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
      • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
      • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
      • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
      • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
      • Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
    • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
    • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.

    After an Evacuation

    If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.

    • Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities, and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.
    • Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.
    • Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power-outages continue.
    • Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.
    • Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.
    • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. 
    • Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
    • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City encourages our neighbors to take steps to plan for a disaster, "Be Prepared not Scared" should a natural disaster take place in our Riverside City.  Add our contact information to your emergency list.  We can help ease the stress should you face a loss due to a disaster.  We can make it "Like it never even happened." 

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City

    Contact number: 951-351-8033

    Website: https://www.SERVPROwestriversidecity.com/

    Google: https://SERVPRO-west-riverside.business.site

    Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/SERVPRO-of-west-riverside-city-riverside-4

    Why Your Riverside Business Should Have an ERP

    8/12/2019 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO can expertly help you devise an effective Emergency Readiness Plan for your business in the West Riverside area.

    Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It’s advice that can easily apply to a business. Water damage, fire damage, storm damage and other disasters can ravage corporations. A staggering 50 percent of these companies are too crippled to reopen. So how are the other 50 percent able to rebound? They have a readiness plan.

    An ERP (Emergency Readiness Plan) is a method of planning for emergencies long before they occur. It’s a carefully devised, well-rehearsed strategy that guides you and your employees to take decisive action during a catastrophe. Here are some things to consider while putting your ERP into place:

    PONDER THE WORST CASE SCENARIOS

    Encourage your employees to formulate as many disaster scenarios as they can. One of the worst fires occurred in November 2018 with the Woolsey Fire and Camp Fire.  Studying such tragedies can help you more effectively plot possible situations.

    DETERMINE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS

    It is necessary to create an ERP that protects anyone in the building. The Department of Homeland Security refers to this as “Protective Actions for Life Safety,” including:

    • Fire Drills -- Rehearsals for action during a fire.
    • Sheltering -- Sheltering staff during a natural disaster.
    • Sheltering in Place -- Sheltering staff during a man-made emergency.
    • Lockdown -- Eluding an active shooter.

    LEARN HOW TO STABILIZE THE INCIDENT

    Stabilizing an incident means preventing further damage on the scene. This can be accomplished by training your employees in various rescue procedures including:

    • First Aid and CPR
    • Proper Use of Fire Extinguishers

    TRAIN AN EVACUATION TEAM

    Without guidance during an evacuation, people may blindly panic. Consider adding an evacuation team to your ERP:

    • Assign employees to guide evacuees out of the building.
    • Appoint helpers to assist persons with disabilities.
    • If an exit is blocked by a hazard such as a collapsed ceiling, make sure the evacuation team is trained to redirect employees to an alternate exit.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City, is a fast, reliable, proactive provider of emergency cleaning and restoration services for fire and water damage. SERVPRO can expertly help you devise an effective Emergency Readiness Plan for your business in the West Riverside area.

    The SERVPRO Ready Plan information will give you the security of emergency preparedness. The information can be downloaded into the Ready Plan app to instantly share with SERVPRO, so that the damage can be intercepted. We’ll make it “like it never happened.”

    Here is some good information from our friends at Ready.Gov

    Prepare NOW

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plans and find several ways to leave the area. Drive the evacuation routes and find shelter locations. Have a plan for pets and livestock.
  • Gather emergency supplies, including N95 respirator masks that filter out particles in the air you breathe. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including and updated asthma action plan and medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist.
  • Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs.
  • Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.
  • Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Review insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.
  • Pay attention to air quality alerts.
  • Survive DURING

  • Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so.
  • If trapped, then call 911 and give your location, but be aware that emergency response could be delayed or impossible. Turn on lights to help rescuers find you.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use an N95 masks to keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe.
  • If you are not ordered to evacuate but smoky conditions exist, stay inside in a safe location or go to a community building where smoke levels are lower.
  • Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities to find out when it is safe to return, and whether water is safe to drink.
  • Avoid hot ash, charred trees, smoldering debris, and live embers. The ground may contain heat pockets that can burn you or spark another fire. Consider the danger to pets and livestock.
  • Send text messages or use social media to reach out to family and friends. Phone systems are often busy following a disaster. Make calls only in emergencies.
  • Wear a NIOSH certified-respirator dust mask and wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
  • Document property damage with photographs. Conduct an inventory and contact your insurance company for assistance.
  • Wildfires dramatically change landscape and ground conditions, which can lead to increased risk of flooding due to heavy rains, flash flooding and mudflows. Flood risk remains significantly higher until vegetation is restored—up to 5 years after a wildfire. Consider purchasing flood insurance to protect the life you've built and to assure financial protection from future flooding.
  • Lighting Fireworks in Riverside is Illegal this 4th of July Holiday

    7/1/2019 (Permalink)

    From our friends at CPSC: Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. 

    Residents are urged to attend free July 4 fireworks shows at Mount Rubidoux or La Sierra Park. 

    It’s that time of year again! Outdoor barbecues, cook-outs, summer beach vacations, and of course, fireworks! Whether you’re celebrating in your red, white and blue this weekend, or just enjoying a little backyard BBQ, knowing the laws of fireworks in your area is really important.  

    ALL fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in Riverside County. All fireworks are illegal because they cause serious injuries and very often, cause fires. Riverside County has very diverse terrain. The vegetation is very dry where fireworks can easily start a brush fire. Individuals who cause fires by using illegal fireworks will be held responsible for all suppression costs. These costs can run into the millions of dollars. Read more at the State Fire Marshal website.

    Residents are urged to attend free July 4 fireworks shows at Mount Rubidoux or La Sierra Park. Leaders warn ahead of July 4th, you can be fined $1,000.

    4th of July Fireworks Displays in Riverside and Neighboring Counties

    Many cities and communities in or near Riverside County provide spectacular fireworks displays for their residents.  The operators of these displays are licensed and have permits issued by the State Fire Marshal. 

    Since all fireworks are illegal in Riverside County - Let the experts entertain your family at one of these events throughout the South-land:

    RIVERSIDEFireworks at Mt. Rubidoux and La Sierra Park: Riverside

    RIVERSIDEJuly 4th Fireworks, Family Fest: Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery, Riverside

    From our Friends at  the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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

    Follow these safety tips when using fireworks in an area that allows fireworks: 

    • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
    • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
    • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
    • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
    • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
    • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
    • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
    • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
    • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
    • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
    • Make sure fireworks are legal

    The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display put on by professionals. Those caught with illegal fireworks will be subject to fines, citation and/or arrest; including confiscation of all illegal fireworks. We urge you to leave the fireworks to the professionals!

    Help Is Here

    The team at SERVPRO of West Riverside City has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup.

    Remember, you know who to call when disaster strikes!  SERVPRO of West Riverside City 951-351-8033

    Summer is Here, Enjoy Summer Safely in Riverside!

    6/26/2019 (Permalink)

    Please review a few tips that can help ensure you have a safe enjoyable summer.

    Although we have already enjoyed several warm days here in Riverside, the official first day of summer is June 21th, 2019.   Please review a few tips that can help ensure you have a safe enjoyable summer.

    Your Home

    As we pack away winter coats there are some things you can do to prepare your home for the season: 

    •       Clean your refrigerator coils
    •       Change your air-conditioning filters
    •       Ensure your condensation line is clear of clogs and operating normally
    •       Inspect your driveway for any potential repairs needed
    •       Let out heat from the attic –high temperatures are a regular cause of mold
    •       Open windows to reduce moisture in your home
    •       Install screen doors; ensure the screens are in good condition
    •       Install reflective/tinted windows-this will protect your furnishing and reduce cooling costs!
    •       Add plants to your home-plants reduce toxins in the home and even offer health benefits!
    •       Secure your hose a safe distance from home, slow leaks has caused floods
    •      Inspect pool for any damage that may have occurred throughout the winter season

    Water Activities

    With temperatures rising in Riverside, this means a lot of us are all gearing up to take part in water activities and swimming! 

    We thought we would share some top water safety tips for you to remember before you jump in the water!

    1. Swim with a buddy. If possible, this is always the safest route no matter where you might be swimming.
    2. Parents, always watch your kids while they are in the pool. Disasters can happen so fast!
    3. Have a life jacket and first aid kit on hand. Getting in the habit of taking these things with you to swimming activities can be helpful.

    For more great water safety tips, visit the American Red Cross website.

    Grilling, Fire Pits, and Fire Works

    There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, summertime is the season for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered.  Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

    Bar B Q Fire Safety

    • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
    • Keep a 3 foot area clear on all sides of the grill...kids and pets, too!
    • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
    • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
    • Never leave your grill unattended.
    • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
    • When disposing of any coals, please make sure you use a metal container and a lid, without anything piled on top of the lid!

    Don't you just love a fire pit?

    • Make sure your fire pit has a cover. It may be needed to extinguish the fire quickly and easily in the event of an emergency.
    • Look around the fire pit before lighting it.  Make sure there is nothing easily flammable near it...piles of dried leaves, firewood, tiki torches and/or their fluid.
    • Watch out for what you are adding to your fire pit.  Leaves, paper, magazines or cardboard can separate and send large fire filled pieces into the air, causing a fire elsewhere!
    • Not a bad idea to have a fire extinguisher and/or a hose with the water turned on, handy.

    Fire Works

    It’s firework season! According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 18,500 fires are started every year by fireworks. This includes 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. “These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage,” says the NFPA.

    Do you think sparklers are the safe way to go? Nope: they account for about a fourth of emergency room fireworks injuries.

    Stay safe this summer by paying close attention to children at fireworks events, and avoiding the use of consumer fireworks.

    • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eye-wear.
    • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
    • Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
    • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful summer from SERVPRO of West Riverside City and please be safe!

    If fire does damage your home or business this summer, give us a call at 951-351-8033. SERVPRO of West Riverside City will make it "Like it never even happened."

    The Dangers of Hoarding and How you Can Help

    5/27/2019 (Permalink)

    Chances are you’ve seen the television show Hoarders. If you haven’t, the basic premise is that a psychologist, a professional organizer, and cleaners go into an individual’s home and help clean up their hoard. When help arrives, the person in question is met with a deadline of some sort, whether it’s eviction, child protective services coming, adult protective services coming, or animal welfare coming and removing their children/themselves/their pets from the home. This show is fascinating to us because we can’t imagine anyone ever living like that. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that at least 2-6 percent of the population is affected by a hoarding disorder. The average age for hoarding is around 50, though it’s suggested that hoarding can appear as early as 11 to 15 years of age.

    Hoarding can cause a mess of a problems. Not only does it cause strain on relationships and mental health, it can cause an unhealthy living environment as well. Mold and mildew can become present under piles of things, especially with an unknown water leak. Piles of stuff could topple and seriously injure or even kill the individual(s) living in the home. However, one of the biggest safety concerns relating to hoarding is fire.

    The possibility of a fire in a home when hoarding is involved. Cooking becomes unsafe because of items piled high on counter tops or on the floor. If the individual in the home uses a heater, the heater could easily fall over and start a fire, or a pest could chew on electrical wiring.

    Hoarding also hinders first responders. If exits or doors are blocked, then they can’t get in the home to help the person in need. They won’t be able to move through the home in a swift manner and can even be trapped or injured by falling objects.

    When it comes to cleaning out the home, approach the situation with compassion and understanding. While some items in the home maybe trash to you, they could be valued possessions to a hoarder. Hoarding is related oftentimes to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. It can even be genetic.

    If family or friends come in to help clear a hoarder’s home, it’s usually met with great distress because often times they don’t get to choose what or what not to keep. If not dealt with in the proper way, within a few months a home could be packed to the brim again.

    So, what do you do if your loved one is a hoarder? How do you approach the situation? Here are four tips to get you started on helping your loved one.

  • Seek Professional Help – Try and find a therapist that specializes in hoarding, OCD or anxiety. They will help the individual understand how hoarding is affecting their life and how to develop healthy habits and abilities to combat it. However, make sure they are ready to make these changes. Don’t force them into seeking help if they aren’t ready.
  • Talk About Safety – Stress safety. They maybe more open to change if you express your concern for their well being and safety in a hoarded home.
  • Celebrate the Small Victories – Help the individual by setting small goals. Even if they take five hours to sort through and throw away a box, celebrate it! It’ll help them feel proud of what they’ve accomplished.
  • Hoards Can Have Bio-hazards – Hoarding situations oftentimes have bio-hazards such as animal and human waste, or animal remains. You can call SERVPRO of West Riverside City to help handle anything bio-hazardous.
  • Our team works compassionately with the home owner and his or her loved ones to clean and sanitize the scene, while health and/or mental health professionals tend to the affected person.

    It is our motto to always be there to help, day or night, we’ll be there. Just contact us and our professional staff can assist you with any questions.  Just give us a call: 951.351.8033.

    Part II NIOSH Warns of Hazards during Cleanup Work Following Forest Fires

    3/27/2019 (Permalink)

    Woolsey fire destroyed many homes and businesses.

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warns workers and volunteers of the potential dangers involved with cleanup operations following the devastation caused by forest fires.

    Because the level of experience varies among these workers, cleanup crews must work together and look out for one another to ensure safety.

    NIOSH urgently requests your assistance in disseminating the following warnings to all those involved in cleanup work following forest fires. The potential work-related hazards listed here are described below in greater detail: Confined Spaces, Power Line Hazards, Agricultural Hazards, Stress and Fatigue. Additional key resources on health and safety hazards related to fire fighting can be found on the NIOSH web site under the “spotlights” section titled “Fighting Wildfires” (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/firefighting/).

    PREVENTION MEASURES

    First Aid

    First aid, even for minor cuts and burns, is extremely important. Immediately clean out all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water. Most cuts, except minor scratches, sustained during cleanup activities will warrant treatment to prevent tetanus. If you are injured, contact a physician to determine the necessary type of treatment.

    Protective Equipment

    For most clean-up work activities, you will need the following personal protective equipment: hard hats, safety goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank). For information on what equipment you need for protection, contact your local OSHA office or NIOSH.

    Excessive noise from equipment such as chain saws, backhoes, tractors, pavement breakers, blowers, and from heavy equipment (e.g., earth moving equipment, helicopters) may cause ringing in the ears and subsequent hearing damage. If working with any noise that you must shout over to be heard, you should wear earplugs or other hearing protection devices.

    Working in Confined Spaces

    If you are required to work in a boiler, furnace, pipeline, pit, pumping station, septic tank, sewage digester, storage tank, utility vault, well, silo, or similar enclosed structures, you should be aware of the hazards of working in confined spaces. A confined space has one or more of the following characteristics:

    • limited openings for entry or exit;
    • unfavorable natural ventilation; or
    • is not designed for continuous worker occupancy.

    Toxic gases, a lack of oxygen, or explosive conditions may exist in the confined area, resulting in a potentially deadly atmosphere. Because many toxic gases and vapors cannot be seen or smelled, never trust your senses to determine if safe entry is possible. Never enter a confined space unless you have been properly trained, even to rescue a fellow worker! If you need to enter a confined space and do not have the proper training and equipment, contact your local fire department for assistance.

    Working On or Near Power Lines [Recommendations for Utility Workers ONLY]

    Several workers have died of electrocution following natural disasters. Workers and employers must take extreme caution while attempting to restore power or clear areas near downed power lines. In one instance, a worker lost his life while removing trees from a de-energized power line that had been knocked down by a storm. While inspecting the completed work, the man stepped on the line and was electrocuted by "feedback" energy from a portable backup generator at a nearby gas station. Feedback energy occurs when a de-energized line becomes energized by a secondary power source.

    Another worker died cleaning branches from a power line, following a storm. He was electrocuted after falling from a tree onto a line thought to be de-energized. Although the workers had opened a fused switch on a transformer, the line remained energized through another transformer.

    If you are working on or near power lines, the following steps may save your life:

    • Treat all power lines as energized until you have followed the required procedures for personally de-energizing and testing them with an appropriate testing device. Do not rely on "fuzzing" to determine if a power line has been de-energized. 
    • Verifying that a line is not energized may not ensure your safety. You must also ground lines on both the load and supply sides of the work area. Grounding is necessary to protect you from the hazards of feedback electrical energy from a secondary power source, such as a portable generator. 
    • When restoring power in underground vaults, added precautions are necessary to avoid explosion hazards. As vaults containing electrical connections are drained or pumped out, and energized, potentially explosive gases may form. If you are required to work in a utility vault, refer to the Confined Spaces section of this Fact Sheet.

    RESPIRATORY HAZARDS

    If you are involved in cleanup efforts you may be exposed to ash, soot and fire decomposition products that may cause irritation and other respiratory effects. Spoiled and/or wet vegetation and other organic/agricultural materials often grow large amounts of bacteria and mold during warm weather. Breathing these organisms and the organic dust produced may cause lung disease. Use proper engineering controls to exhaust and replenish adequate fresh air if working indoors. A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-type vacuum is recommended when cleaning surfaces contaminated with dust. The use of a typical household vacuum should be avoided since it will re-suspend the collected dust into the air. When exposure to dusts cannot be controlled or avoided, exposure can be reduced by routine use of a well-fitted NIOSH-certified air-purifying respirator (such as an N-95 or more protective respirator).

    STRESS, LONG HOURS, AND FATIGUE MAY INCREASE THE RISKS FOR INJURY AND ILLNESS

    Continued long hours of work, combined with emotional and physical exhaustion and losses from damaged homes and temporary job layoffs, can create a highly stressful situation for cleanup workers. Workers exposed to these stressful conditions have an increased risk of injury and emotional crisis, and are more vulnerable to stress-induced illnesses and disease. Emotional support from family members, neighbors, and local mental health professionals can help to prevent more serious stress-related problems in the difficult months ahead. People working in all phases of cleanup work can reduce their risks of injury and illness in several ways: 

    • Set priorities for cleanup tasks and pace the work over several days (or weeks). Avoid physical exhaustion. 
    • Resume a normal sleep schedule as quickly as possible. Get plenty of rest and take frequent rest breaks BEFORE exhaustion builds up. 
    • Take advantage of disaster relief programs and services in your community. 
    • Be alert to emotional exhaustion or strain. When family members and neighbors are unavailable for emotional support, consult professionals at community health and mental health centers.

    For more information about these or other occupational safety and health topics contact NIOSH at:

    1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674)

    Fax: 513: 533-8573

    E-mail: pubstaft@cdc.gov

    www.cdc.gov/niosh

    Part 1-Warnings from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

    3/25/2019 (Permalink)

    Woolsey fire devastation

    NIOSH warns workers and volunteers of the potential dangers involved with cleanup operations following the devastation caused by forest fires.  

    Because the level of experience varies among these workers, cleanup crews must work together and look out for one another to ensure safety.

    NIOSH urgently requests your assistance in disseminating the following warnings to all those involved in cleanup work following forest fires.

    The potential work-related hazards listed here are described below in greater detail: Fire, Electrical Hazards, Carbon Monoxide, Musculoskeletal Hazards, Thermal Stresses, Heavy Equipment, Structural Instability, Hazardous Materials, Confined Spaces, Power Line Hazards, Agricultural Hazards, Stress and Fatigue. Additional key resources on health and safety hazards related to fire fighting can be found on the NIOSH web site under the “spotlights” section titled “Fighting Wildfires” (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/firefighting/).

    General Considerations

    Before cleanup operations are initiated, local and State government emergency policies and guidelines should be checked to determine if any restrictions exist (e.g., water use, discharge of waste water, disposal of debris).

    POTENTIAL DANGERS INVOLVED IN CLEANUP OPERATIONS

    Fire

    Heat sources may remain as a result of smoldering wood or other debris that could reignite if contact is made with a combustible material or if oxygen becomes available. Workers and employers must therefore take extra precautions. At least two fire extinguishers, each with a UL rating of at least 10A, should be provided at every cleanup activity.

    Electrical Hazards

    NIOSH has investigated several work-related electrocution deaths following natural disasters. To prevent future electrocutions, NIOSH urges those involved in cleanup activities to take the following steps:

    •  If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician. Never enter flooded areas or touch electrical equipment if the ground is wet, unless you are certain that the power is off. NEVER handle a downed power line. No not use electrical equipment that has been exposed to heat from the fire until checked by an electrician.
    • When using gasoline and diesel generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the building service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent inadvertent energization of power lines from backfeed electrical energy from the generators, and help to protect utility line workers from possible electrocution.
    • If clearing or other work must be performed near a downed power line, contact the utility company to discuss de-energizing and grounding or shielding of power lines; maintain a safe distance from the power lines until they have been deenergized. Extreme caution is necessary when moving ladders and other equipment near overhead power lines to avoid inadvertent contact. If you are working on or near power lines, refer to the additional recommendations provided in that section below. Be aware of possible fire damage to poles and other structures carrying overhead power lines.

    Unstable Work Surfaces

    Cleanup activities may involve walking on unstable surfaces such as construction debris, trees and other vegetation. Piles of debris and other unstable work surfaces create a risk for traumatic injury from slips, falls, puncture wounds from nails and sharp objects, and collapsing materials. Extreme caution is necessary when working on these surfaces. Protective equipment, such as hard hats, safety glasses, leather gloves, and steel toe boots should be considered to minimize the risk of injury.

    Carbon Monoxide

    Cleanup activities may involve the use of gasoline- or diesel-powered pumps, generators, and pressure washers. Because these devices release carbon monoxide, a deadly, colorless, odorless gas, operate all gasoline-powered devices outdoors and never bring them indoors. It is virtually impossible to assess adequate ventilation. NIOSH has investigated several carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in the past caused by the use of gasoline-powered engines indoors or in confined spaces. Be aware that high levels of carbon monoxide may occur in confined spaces from the fires. 

    Musculoskeletal Hazards

    Cleanup workers are at risk for developing serious musculoskeletal injuries to the hands, back, knees, and shoulders. Special attention is needed to avoid back injuries associated with manual lifting and handling of debris and building materials. To help prevent injury, use teams of two or more to move bulky objects, avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds (per person), and use proper automated-assist lifting devices.

    Thermal Stresses

    Heat: Cleanup workers are at serious risk for developing heat stress. Excessive exposure to hot environments can cause a variety of heat-related problems, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and fainting. To reduce the potential for heat stress, drink a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes and wear light-colored, loose- fitting clothing. Additionally, incorporate work-rest cycles into work routines, work during the cooler hours of the day, when possible, or distribute the workload evenly throughout the day. When air conditioning is unavailable, open windows and use fans.

    Cold: If standing water is present from fire fighting be aware that working in water which is cooler than 75 degrees F (24 degrees C) will remove body heat more rapidly than it can be replaced, resulting in hypothermia. To reduce the risk of hypothermia, wear high rubber boots, ensure that clothing and boots have adequate insulation, avoid working alone, take frequent breaks out of the water, and change into dry clothing when possible.

    Heavy Equipment

    Only those properly trained should operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, and tractors. If you are operating this type of equipment, make sure you turn it off and block it against motion when not in use. Operators should be aware of the activities around them to protect other workers on foot from being struck by moving equipment. Heavy equipment operators should not exceed the load capacity of cranes and other lifting equipment and ensure that workers do not walk under areas where cranes and other heavy equipment are being used to lift objects.

    Structural Instability

    Fires can rearrange and damage natural walkways, as well as sidewalks, parking lots, roads, and buildings. Never assume that fire-damaged structures or ground are stable. Buildings that have been burned may have suffered structural damage and could be dangerous. Don t work in or around any building damaged by fire until it has been examined and certified as safe for work by a registered professional engineer or architect. Assume all stairs, floors, and roofs are unsafe until they are inspected. Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises as this may signal a possible collapse.

    Hazardous Materials

    Fires to commercial and residential buildings and water used to fight the fire can dislodge tanks, drums, pipes, and equipment, which may contain hazardous materials such as pesticides or propane. Containers may be damaged by fire and heat. Do not attempt to move unidentified dislodged containers without first contacting the local fire department or hazardous materials team. If working in potentially contaminated areas, avoid skin contact or inhalation of vapors by wearing appropriate protective clothing and respirators. Contact NIOSH for more information on the proper safety equipment. Frequently and thoroughly wash skin areas that may have been exposed to pesticides and other hazardous chemicals.

    Look for Part II in our next Blog.

    SERVPRO Cleaning Fire Damage in West Riverside City

    3/11/2019 (Permalink)

    This was the result of a Riverside home fire, SERVPRO provided quality service and care for this customers property.

    SERVPRO Categorizes Fire and Smoke Damage

    After a fire, most of the damage to Riverside homes comes from smoke and odor residues that rest on and even penetrate some surfaces like building material and furniture. To fully clean and remove them requires not just experience, but also the right tools.

    SERVPRO places fire damage to Riverside homes into three categories: Minor, Medium, and Major. We make this determination for odors and smoke residues depending on how far out they extend from the fire point of origin and how strong the odor or how thick the residue is in each room.

    With Minor damage, odors are mild and usually removed with the same cleaning agents we use smoke residues on ceilings, floors, walls, and furniture. The residues themselves are normally light-to-moderate in this category and are limited to only a few rooms. Our technicians can remove all of these with sponges or cloths and hand-spraying a cleaning agent when needed.

    Medium damage happens with hotter fires. They produce stronger odors, thicker residues, and spread them throughout more of the home. In this category, a cleaning agent is needed to break up the residues to remove them. Simply cleaning the building material and property does not eliminate all odors in this category, so SERVPRO technicians use an additional deodorizing agent to destroy the odor-causing particles.

    To get rid of them, SERVPRO technicians use pressure sprayers and injectors to distribute deodorizing agents. The pressure sprayers are excellent for covering large surfaces such as kitchen walls or living room carpets with either a deodorizer or a cleaning agent. We use the injectors to apply a small amount of deodorizer directly into a small stain in carpets or upholstered furniture.

    Major damage occurs close to the fire’s point of origin. Odors are exceptionally strong, and standard deodorizers do not remove all of them. If the fire burned hot enough to cause structural damage, then the smoke residues are exceptionally thick here and spread through the entire home. The level of residue makes removal of building material like drywall cheaper than attempting to clean it. The same may apply to furniture and other personal property due to the extent of the damage or the cost of cleaning.

    For heavily covered property, we use an immersion tank to soak and remove the residue in a cleaning agent. We do this only for items not further damaged by soaking. To remove the odors when the usual agents do not work, our technicians bring in an ozone machine. This device generates a gas that oxidizes the odor particles. This gas alters them and removes the odor completely. The drawback to using an ozone machine is we need to evacuate the home of people, pets, and any items made from natural rubber until we finish the procedure.

    SERVPRO has the certification and experience to address all levels of fire damage.  But what about smoke?  Did you know that there are two different types of smoke? Wet and dry.

    There are two different types of smoke- wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Riverside City will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred

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

    Wet smoke - Plastic and Rubber

    • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

    Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood

    • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

    Protein Fire Residue - Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

    • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

    Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

    Have questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

    Restoring your home after a fire is not a quick process, but SERVPRO of West Riverside City is here with you at each step. If you need our services, call us at (951) 351-8033 today.

    There are many companies that you can choose from when it comes to fire restoration in your home. Our crew works to provide the best quality service encompassing the work that we do in your home and our commitment to providing the best in customer consideration. If you experience a fire in your home, trust the team at SERVPRO of West Riverside City to help you get things back to pre-damage condition.

    Locally Owned Company with National Resources

    Contact SERVPRO of West Riverside City for full-service solutions to emergency situations that may occur on your property, or schedule your home’s initial inspection, today.

    Call anytime at (951) 351-8033, were available 24/7 for your emergency needs.

    Part II NIOSH Warns of Hazards during Cleanup Work Following Forest Fires

    3/7/2019 (Permalink)

    Woolsey fire destroyed many homes and businesses.

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warns workers and volunteers of the potential dangers involved with cleanup operations following the devastation caused by forest fires.

    Because the level of experience varies among these workers, cleanup crews must work together and look out for one another to ensure safety.

    NIOSH urgently requests your assistance in disseminating the following warnings to all those involved in cleanup work following forest fires. The potential work-related hazards listed here are described below in greater detail: Confined Spaces, Power Line Hazards, Agricultural Hazards, Stress and Fatigue. Additional key resources on health and safety hazards related to fire fighting can be found on the NIOSH web site under the “spotlights” section titled “Fighting Wildfires” (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/firefighting/).

    PREVENTION MEASURES

    First Aid

    First aid, even for minor cuts and burns, is extremely important. Immediately clean out all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water. Most cuts, except minor scratches, sustained during cleanup activities will warrant treatment to prevent tetanus. If you are injured, contact a physician to determine the necessary type of treatment.

    Protective Equipment

    For most clean-up work activities, you will need the following personal protective equipment: hard hats, safety goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank). For information on what equipment you need for protection, contact your local OSHA office or NIOSH.

    Excessive noise from equipment such as chain saws, backhoes, tractors, pavement breakers, blowers, and from heavy equipment (e.g., earth moving equipment, helicopters) may cause ringing in the ears and subsequent hearing damage. If working with any noise that you must shout over to be heard, you should wear earplugs or other hearing protection devices.

    Working in Confined Spaces

    If you are required to work in a boiler, furnace, pipeline, pit, pumping station, septic tank, sewage digester, storage tank, utility vault, well, silo, or similar enclosed structures, you should be aware of the hazards of working in confined spaces. A confined space has one or more of the following characteristics:

    • limited openings for entry or exit;
    • unfavorable natural ventilation; or
    • is not designed for continuous worker occupancy.

    Toxic gases, a lack of oxygen, or explosive conditions may exist in the confined area, resulting in a potentially deadly atmosphere. Because many toxic gases and vapors cannot be seen or smelled, never trust your senses to determine if safe entry is possible. Never enter a confined space unless you have been properly trained, even to rescue a fellow worker! If you need to enter a confined space and do not have the proper training and equipment, contact your local fire department for assistance.

    Working On or Near Power Lines [Recommendations for Utility Workers ONLY]

    Several workers have died of electrocution following natural disasters. Workers and employers must take extreme caution while attempting to restore power or clear areas near downed power lines. In one instance, a worker lost his life while removing trees from a de-energized power line that had been knocked down by a storm. While inspecting the completed work, the man stepped on the line and was electrocuted by "feedback" energy from a portable backup generator at a nearby gas station. Feedback energy occurs when a de-energized line becomes energized by a secondary power source.

    Another worker died cleaning branches from a power line, following a storm. He was electrocuted after falling from a tree onto a line thought to be de-energized. Although the workers had opened a fused switch on a transformer, the line remained energized through another transformer.

    If you are working on or near power lines, the following steps may save your life:

    • Treat all power lines as energized until you have followed the required procedures for personally de-energizing and testing them with an appropriate testing device. Do not rely on "fuzzing" to determine if a power line has been de-energized. 
    • Verifying that a line is not energized may not ensure your safety. You must also ground lines on both the load and supply sides of the work area. Grounding is necessary to protect you from the hazards of feedback electrical energy from a secondary power source, such as a portable generator. 
    • When restoring power in underground vaults, added precautions are necessary to avoid explosion hazards. As vaults containing electrical connections are drained or pumped out, and energized, potentially explosive gases may form. If you are required to work in a utility vault, refer to the Confined Spaces section of this Fact Sheet.

    RESPIRATORY HAZARDS

    If you are involved in cleanup efforts you may be exposed to ash, soot and fire decomposition products that may cause irritation and other respiratory effects. Spoiled and/or wet vegetation and other organic/agricultural materials often grow large amounts of bacteria and mold during warm weather. Breathing these organisms and the organic dust produced may cause lung disease. Use proper engineering controls to exhaust and replenish adequate fresh air if working indoors. A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-type vacuum is recommended when cleaning surfaces contaminated with dust. The use of a typical household vacuum should be avoided since it will re-suspend the collected dust into the air. When exposure to dusts cannot be controlled or avoided, exposure can be reduced by routine use of a well-fitted NIOSH-certified air-purifying respirator (such as an N-95 or more protective respirator).

    STRESS, LONG HOURS, AND FATIGUE MAY INCREASE THE RISKS FOR INJURY AND ILLNESS

    Continued long hours of work, combined with emotional and physical exhaustion and losses from damaged homes and temporary job layoffs, can create a highly stressful situation for cleanup workers. Workers exposed to these stressful conditions have an increased risk of injury and emotional crisis, and are more vulnerable to stress-induced illnesses and disease. Emotional support from family members, neighbors, and local mental health professionals can help to prevent more serious stress-related problems in the difficult months ahead. People working in all phases of cleanup work can reduce their risks of injury and illness in several ways: 

    • Set priorities for cleanup tasks and pace the work over several days (or weeks). Avoid physical exhaustion. 
    • Resume a normal sleep schedule as quickly as possible. Get plenty of rest and take frequent rest breaks BEFORE exhaustion builds up. 
    • Take advantage of disaster relief programs and services in your community. 
    • Be alert to emotional exhaustion or strain. When family members and neighbors are unavailable for emotional support, consult professionals at community health and mental health centers.

    For more information about these or other occupational safety and health topics contact NIOSH at:

    1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674)

    Fax: 513: 533-8573

    E-mail: pubstaft@cdc.gov

    www.cdc.gov/niosh

    Handling Smoke Damage after a Fire in Your Riverside Home

    2/18/2019 (Permalink)

    Smoke and Soot damage from a house fire in Riverside City

    The smoke that lingers after a fire has been put out can be more damaging than you might think.

    The problem that many homeowners have is that they don’t think a fire or smoke damage could ever happen to them. The reality is that home fires are incredibly common, ranging from the very minor to the more major. Despite the fact that a minor fire may not cause a lot of fire damage, it can still cause smoke damage that is difficult to clean and dangerous to be living around.

    Smoke Damage that is a direct result of fire damage should ideally be cleaned by experts. Experts know how to get rid of smoke damage that might be present in the home after it has been ravished by flames. You should always look to hire a licensed and highly experienced professional who has extensive experience dealing with fire damage. The professionals will often start by evaluating the overall extent of the damage that is present in the home, and then they will go over prices and costs of damage remediation for you to get the issue cleaned up by their company.

    There are a lot of reasons why handling smoke damage after a fire should be done by experts and as quickly as possible. The smoke that you find after a fire often contains ash, soot and sometimes even carbons and tar that might have come off of the flames. Also, carbon monoxide is incredibly common after fire damage has been exhibited. Carbon monoxide is one of the most dangerous things because it is odorless and cannot be seen or tasted. Therefore, you may not even know that you are surrounded by carbon monoxide until it has been properly tested. An expert damage restoration company will normally test for carbon monoxide levels in a home that has dealt with a fire.

    Smoke damage can also be aesthetically damaging. Furniture, walls, ceilings and practically anything in your home can become black or gray from the smoke that has come off from a fire. Many things will need to be professionally cleaned, while other things might have to be fully removed from the home in order to get rid of the problem. Your remediation company will be the one who tells you what can and cannot be saved after you have dealt with massive smoke damage in your own home.

    Fires are very common, and even the most minor fire can cause a lot of smoke damage. In fact, some homeowners who have simple fireplaces that are not well-vented could deal with smoke damage without a fire ever being an issue for the home itself. Handling the damage on your own should be avoided simply because of all of the expertise that needs to go into cleaning the mess. Also, you need to have a professional test the home or room for carbon monoxide to ensure that it is going to be safe for you or for them to go in there to clean. For more information please visit SERVPRO of West Riverside City

    Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Every fire damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When various materials burn, the soot they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  • Emergency Contact
  • Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  • Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  • Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  • Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  • Cleaning and Repair
  • Restoration
  • Feel free to call us, we are here to help!

    Call Us Today – (951) 351-8033

    Heating your Home Safely in Riverside City

    1/7/2019 (Permalink)

    There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening.

    BE WARM AND SAFE THIS WINTER!

    • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
    • Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
    • Never use your oven to heat your home.
    • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
    • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
    • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
    • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
    • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
    • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

    Heating Equipment Smarts

    Install wood burning stoves following manufacturer's instructions or have a professional do the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

    Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater, do do not light the appliance. Leave the immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

    FACT

    Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.

    NATIONAL FIRE

    PROTECTION ASSOCIATION

    The leading information and knowledge resource

    on fire, electrical and related hazards

    nfpa.org/education ONFPA 2017

    Call SERVPRO

    After the fire trucks are gone, your Riverside home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of West riverside City has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet. 

    Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. We always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.

    Why Call SERVPRO?

    We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster 

    When fire and water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, day or night, to your Riverside home or business. A faster response helps to prevent secondary damage and to reduce cost.

    We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

    As water and fire damage specialists, we have the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Our Restore vs. Replace Mentality

    We clean and restore your property using specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. Our “restore first” mentality reduces interruption and gets you back to your life.

    Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Every fire damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When various materials burn, the soot they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  • Emergency Contact
  • Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  • Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  • Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  • Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  • Cleaning and Repair
  • Restoration
  • Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

    Call Us Today – 951-351-8033

    Fire Safety and Candles in your Riverside Home

    12/6/2018 (Permalink)

    There’s a special beauty and tranquility to candles, but a lighted candle is also an open flame, and a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored.

    In fact, accidental candle fires account for approximately four percent of all U.S. residential fires.

    A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that 85 percent of candle fires could be avoided if consumers followed three basic safety rules:

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • The National Candle Association urges consumers to always follow the basic rules of fire safety when burning candles.

    HOW TO BURN A CANDLE SAFELY

    BEFORE LIGHTING

  • Before burning, always trim the wick to ¼ inch. You can use a wick trimmer, nail clippers, or scissors. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
  • When lighting a candle, use long matches or a long-reach lighter. Keep your hair and loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use. In general, it is recommended that candles do not burn for longer than four hours and cool for at least two hours before relighting.
  • WHILE BURNING

  • Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container).
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
  • Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
  • Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Never use a candle as a night light.
  • Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure. Never use a candle during a power outage to look for things in a closet, or when fueling equipment – such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.
  • WHEN EXTINGUISHING

  • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
  • Never use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container.
  • Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
  • Don’t touch or move the candle until it has completely cooled.
  • Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.
  • Download a complete list of candle safety rules.

    WHAT MAKES A SAFE & QUALITY CANDLE?

    NCA invites you to view the webinar, What Makes a Safe & Quality Candle? This webinar is designed to to educate and inform the retail community on candle basics, safety standards, and testing of candle products. This is a must for compliance personnel and candle buyers.

    In this webinar, you will learn:

  • An Overview of Candle Basics: Wax and wick types, the difference between dyes and pigments, why fragrance does more than just smell nice, and how changing just one of these elements affects the entire candle.
  • The ASTM Safety Standards in Plain English: What it means when a flame is too high, what “secondary ignition” and “end of useful life” mean, and the requirements for glass and plastic containers, candle accessories, warning labels and more.
  • What to Ask For and Expect from Your Test Lab: What determines if a candle passes or fails the ASTM standards, the common causes of test failures, and what to do if you think you need additional testing.
  • Plus: Tips for Success and Q&A
  • CANDLE FIRE STATISTICS

    An estimated 8,700 residential fires are caused each year by the careless or inappropriate use of candles, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.)

    The National Candle Association urges consumers to always keep a burning candle within sight, keep candles away from anything combustible, and to keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

    Roughly one-third of home candle fires start in bedrooms, says the NFPA. Avoid using candles in bedrooms or any place where people are likely to fall asleep.

    Three of every five candle fires started when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations, was too close to the candle.

    In 16% of the fires, the candles were unattended or abandoned, according to the NFPA.

     *SOURCE: HOME CANDLE FIRES, FIRE ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH DIVISION, NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION, DECEMBER 2015. BASED ON 2009-2013 ANNUAL AVERAGES

    Riverside Residents, Learn How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

    11/26/2018 (Permalink)

    Remember the acronym P.A.S.S.

    Learning How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Can Help You For a Future Emergency

    It’s important to understand that with the proper training and education, fire extinguishers can save lives and property. Many adults might not know how or when to use fire extinguishers.

    A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Association suggests remembering the word PASS: Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. Refer to the back of this brochure to learn more about the different classes of extinguishers and the type of fire each are designed to extinguish.

    Class A: For use with ordinary materials like cloth, wood and paper.  Often found in homes and businesses.

    Class B: For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints.  Often found in homes and businesses.

    Class C: For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in.  Often found in homes and businesses.

    Class D: For use with flammable metals Often found in factories

    Class K: For use with vegetable oils, animal oils and fats in cooking appliances. Often found in commercial kitchens (restaurants, cafeterias, catering businesses)

    Contact SERVPRO of West Riverside City if you experience fire loss.  Putting out a fire can be worse than the fire itself.  The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.  SERVPRO of West Riverside City will provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke, and soot removal to contents.  Our services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

    Halloween Fires-Ensure that Halloween is a safe holiday for everyone in Riverside

    10/24/2018 (Permalink)

    Halloween fires occurred most frequently in the late afternoon and early evening hours, peaking between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

    Candle flames and flammable costumes can be a dangerous combination

    • COSTUMES: Flame-resistant fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, are best. They should be brightly colored or trimmed with reflective tape to make them visible to motorists at dusk and in the dark.
    • MASKS: Check that eye holes are large enough to allow full visibility and nose holes allow for adequate breathing.
    • CANDLES: Keep candle-lit jack-o-lanterns and other decorations where children cannot brush against the flame. Try LED lights instead.
    • TREATS: Put reflective tape on treat bags. No toys with small parts for children under 3.

    October is Fire Protection Month here in West Riverside and across the US

    10/22/2018 (Permalink)

    Pet Fire Safety

    Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable. 

    • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
    • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.
    • In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

    Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

    The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets.

    The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

    • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
    • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
    • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
    • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

    Help Firefighters Help Your Pets

    • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
    • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

    Fire Safety for Kids in West Riverside City

    10/17/2018 (Permalink)

    Teach children the importance of remaining at a safe distance from a stove

    Tips from our friends at American Red Cross

    A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible precautions in the home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.            

    Prevent Your Child from Starting Fires

    The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year as the result of children playing with fire.

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.
  • Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.
  • Help Your Child Survive a Fire

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button. Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
  • Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside..
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.
  • Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.
  • Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows. 
  • How to Prevent Outdoor Cooking Fires!

    10/10/2018 (Permalink)

    Place your grill at least 3 feet from siding, deck railings, eaves and overhanging branches.

    Grill fires cause an estimated $37 million in property loss each year.

  • Almost half of home grill fires happen between 5 and 8 p.m.
  • Fifty-seven percent of home grill fires occur during the months of May, June, July and August.
  • Patios, terraces, screened-in porches and courtyards are leading home locations for grill fires.
  • Seventy-nine percent of all home grill fires involve gas grills.
  • “Mechanical failure, malfunction” is the leading factor in the start of grill fires. Leaks or breaks of containers or pipes are often to blame.
  • Source: Grill Fires on Residential Properties 

    Grilling fire safety tips:

  • Only use grills outdoors, away from siding and deck railings.
  • Clean grills often and remove grease or fat build-up.
  • Make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting.
  • Have a 3-foot safe-zone around grills and campfires. Keep kids and pets away from the area.
  • Dispose of coals after they have cooled in a metal can.
  • Never leave grills, fire pits and patio torches unattended.
  • Oct 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week

    10/8/2018 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of West Riverside city increasing awareness of the life-saving and financial benefits of home fire sprinklers in our community.

    More than 50 percent of cooking fires are caused by grease according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)...

    “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.”

    Prevent Kitchen Fires

    Did you know? Cooking is the main cause of home fires and fire injuries. You can prevent cooking fires. Take these steps to keep your family safe!

    Smoke alarms

    Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

    • Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.
    • Put smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Put alarms on every level of the home.
    • Make sure your smoke alarms work. Your family is not safe if they can’t hear the smoke alarms.
    • Test smoke alarms every month and replace 9-volt smoke alarm batteries at least once every year.
    • Smoke alarms do not last forever. Get new smoke alarms every 10 years.
    • When you hear a smoke alarm, you may have less than 2 minutes to get everyone outside and safe.

    Fire Escape plan

    If there is a fire in your home, you could have less than 2 minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds.

  • Make a fire escape plan. Draw a map of each level of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the map with everyone who lives with you.
  • Plan two ways out of every room. Choose an outside meeting place in front of your home.
  • Make a fire escape plan around your abilities. If you need to use a wheelchair or a cane, make sure you can get to it easily and get out quickly. If you wear hearing aids or eyeglasses, put them next to your bed while you are sleeping.
  • Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
  • Practice your fire escape plan by having a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the home.
  • If there is a fire in your home, get out and stay out. Never go back inside for people, pets or things.
  • Home Fire Sprinklers

    Installing sprinklers and smoke alarms in your home increases your chance of surviving a fire by more than 82 percent.

  • Safer fire service: The risk to firefighters is much less. Sprinklers reduce the heat, flame and smoke from a fire.
  • Fast response: Home fire sprinklers are more sensitive to heat than those found in businesses or industrial buildings. This means the fire will be detected much sooner.
  • Can blend with your home decor: You can buy home fire sprinklers in different colors. Some can be installed flush with the ceiling, so you will hardly notice they are there.
  • Reliable: Home fire sprinklers only spray when the temperature in the room rises quickly. The sprinkler above the fire is the only one that sprays.
  • Investment protection: Sprinklers can prevent devastating home damage by putting out flames quickly. Sprinklers can limit the damage caused by smoke and fire. They are less damaging than water damage caused by firefighting hose lines.
  • Easy installation: Installing a home sprinkler system in a home under construction or being remodeled requires a little extra piping and labor and greatly increases the safety of residents.
  • Low water requirement: Home fire sprinklers can be connected to the home water supply. They require less water than business and industrial systems.
  • Low cost: A sprinkler costs about $1.35 per square foot. This cost is about the same as upgraded cabinets or carpet.
  • Lower insurance: Installing a sprinkler system has the potential to lower insurance rates by 5-15 percent by meeting code requirements.
  • October is Fire Protection Month here in West Riverside and across the US

    10/3/2018 (Permalink)

    Tips for Making a Claim After a Fire

    When a fire damages your home in Riverside, CA, you may not be in the right frame of mind for making good decisions. The decisions you make regarding your fire insurance claim, however, can affect how much of the fire restoration is covered by your insurer. Here are three tips to help you think through the process rationally and hopefully get the settlement you need to restore your home. 

    1. Call Insurance Company

    One of the first calls you make after a fire has ravaged your home is to the insurance company. Timely reporting is essential to getting your claim processed and approved. As soon as the company receives your call, an assessor can be sent to review the damage and substantiate your claim. 

    2. Call Professional Restorers

    After a fire, your home is likely permeated with the odor of smoke and soot damage. Firefighters probably had to use a lot of water to put out the fire, resulting in water damage as well. Certified fire restoration specialists offer both smoke cleaning and water damage remediation to fix the problems in your home. They often offer board-up services to secure the house during the restoration process, and they can give you an estimate on what the repairs are going to cost, which can back up your claim with the insurance company.

    3. Don't Touch Anything

    Once you have made the necessary calls and the waiting begins, you may be tempted to start cleaning up the damage yourself. Fight the urge to do so. The insurance agent that comes to assess the damage needs to see it as it is, and without the knowledge and skills of the specialists, you may cause more damage. While you wait, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damage as long as it is safe to do so.

    You may feel powerless when your home suffers fire damage. By calling the appropriate professionals and waiting on their guidance, however, you can speed up the fire restoration process.

    October is Fire Protection Month here in West Riverside and across the US

    10/2/2018 (Permalink)

    As Fire Prevention Week approaches, the West Riverside City Fire Department encourages residents to “Look. Listen. Learn.” What does that mean?

  • Look for places fire could start.
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Learn 2 ways out of every room.
  • Every year, the majority of fire deaths in North America happen at home. Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

    Home Fire Escape Planning:

     • Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety. A home fire escape plan needs to be developed and practiced before a fire strikes.

    • A home escape plan should include the following:

    1. Two exits from every room in the home – usually a door and a window
    2. Properly installed and working smoke alarms
    3. A meeting place outside, in front of the home, where everyone will meet after they exit
    4. A call to 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone Smoke Alarms

    • Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.

    • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.

    • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

    • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

    • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond. Cooking

    • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

    • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.

    • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.

    • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop. Heating

    • Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months.

    • Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires.

    • All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from heating equipment.

    • Have a 3-foot (1-meter) “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

    • Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing laboratory.

    • Have a qualified professional install heating equipment.

    • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional

    For more information on recovering from fire damage, contact SERVPRO of West Riverside City- 951-351-8033, were here to help our neighbors

    How To Safely Put Out a Grease Fire

    9/27/2018 (Permalink)

    More than 50 percent of cooking fires are caused by grease according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

    Your home’s kitchen is where heat, electricity, water, and grease come together. It’s no wonder, kitchen fires are the number one cause of home fires.  And the most common type of kitchen fire is a grease fire.  A grease fire is extremely dangerous as it can get out of control quickly and spread from the stove throughout the kitchen and other rooms of the house. 

    There are two common types of grease fires in the kitchen.  One is in the cooking pan itself and the other is under the burner in the drip pan. Often, drip pan fires result from previous cooking sessions. When something is spilled into the drip pan it cannot be cleaned until the burner and the stove has cooled.  It’s not uncommon for people to forget to go back and clean the drip pan, setting themselves up for trouble the next time they cook.    

    Here are some tips for preventing kitchen grease fires:

    1. Before cooking anything, make sure the burner is cool and wipe up any spills in the drip pan and around the burner before turning on the heat.
    2. The most common reason for a grease fire is leaving a hot pan unattended. Keep your eye on all pans while cooking.
    3. Pay attention to heat ratings for cooking oil. Some oils can be heated more than others before catching fire.  If you are cooking and the oil starts to smoke, it is too hot.  The flash point of a grease fire is 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease will smoke furiously before it ignites, so if you notice smoke, turn down the heat immediately.
    4. Keep cookbooks, towels, paper towels and anything combustible away from the stove. A grease fire can quickly turn into a bigger fire if it catches onto other combustibles. 
    5. Avoid heating grease before putting food into it. Food can fall quickly into the grease and make it splash out, causing grease burns to you or hitting the heat source and catching fire.
    6. When deep frying, use a pan or cooking container designed for deep frying that will allow equal space of the grease and food contents above what you are frying. For example, if you are cooking chicken and the grease and chicken are three inches deep, the pan sides should be at least six inches deep. 
    7. Have a class ABC fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Experts recommend having at least three fire extinguishers in your home; in the kitchen, garage and main living area.
    8. If a pan does catch fire, the best thing to do is smoother it, by using an oven mitt and placing a lid on top of the pan or by using a fire extinguisher. NEVER throw water on the fire or try to run it to the sink or outside. 

    And if a kitchen grease fire does get out of control, resulting in damage or odor to your home, our experts at SERVPRO of West Riverside are here to help.  We can clean your home "Like it never even happened."   

    Fire Damage Restoration Tips in Riverside, CA

    7/30/2018 (Permalink)

    Contact us if you have any questions regarding a fire or smoke damage.

    Fire Restoration Help

    What To Do After A Fire

    • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
    • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
    • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
    • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
    • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
    • Change HVAC filter.
    • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

    What NOT to Do After A Fire

    • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
    • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
    • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
    • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
    • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

    Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call 951-351-8033

    Fire Restoration, Riverside CA and surrounding areas

    7/16/2018 (Permalink)

    Fire Restoration

    Often times after a fire people assume everything is a loss. When hiring professionals like SERVPRO of West Riverside City the process of restoration can save a lot of the presumed loss.  

    Professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days’ pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

    The fire, smoke and soot are the expected result of the fire and most people do not think of the damage the water used to extinguish the fire can cause. It is equally important to extract the water and dry the structure properly. If not dried properly even more damage can result in the future.

    Quick action to hire professionals such as SERVPRO of West Riverside City helps keep costs down as prevention of further damage is key. Without quick action metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to not only be distracting, but in some cases harmful.  Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
    This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional like SERVPRO of West Riverside City that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.

    Each disaster needs its own special attention to detail and that is why SERVPRO of West Riverside City has a team that will come and assess the damage and create a scope of work needed to take you through the entire process of remediation through reconstruction to make it “Like it never even happened”.  You may visit http://www.SERVPROwestriversidecity.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration to learn more.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City professionals stand ready to help you 24/7  365 days a year 951-351-8033

    Fire Restoration, Riverside CA and surrounding areas

    5/9/2018 (Permalink)

    After photo from fire started in Laundry Room

    Fire Damage Restoration

    At SERVPRO of West Riverside City we strive to please our customers. Our goal is to always have your property look “like it never even happened”. You may feel stressed and confused after such a disaster, and you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City has the specialized fire and water damage equipment and expertise to help you through this tough time. Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water and fire damage. We’re dedicated to responding immediately when you need help. A fast response helps lessen the damage, limits secondary damage, and reduces cost. Check out our before and after page to see photos of fire losses we have recently worked on. Click here to see a few examples.

    Kitchen Fire - SERVPRO does Fire Restoration

    4/25/2018 (Permalink)

    Call us if you have any questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

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

    Smoke and soot facts:

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

    Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
    Call Us Today – 951-351-8033

    Smoke Damage Cleanup

    4/11/2018 (Permalink)

    Call us for a Smoke Damage Professional Consultation today. 951-351-8033

    A fire can wreak havoc on any residential or commercial building in Riverside, CA. Once everything has settled down, you need to begin addressing the remaining smoke damage. This will require you to hire professional smoke cleaning services. This cleanup team will have a lot to take care of, and you want to allow them to handle remediation rather than attempting to fix items on your own.

    1. Remedy Smoke and Fire Damage

    Soot damage can travel fast. Areas of the building that did not actually catch fire may still need to be remedied for smoke and soot. This is particularly true for textiles and upholstery. You do not want to simply toss these items in a washing machine. Improperly washing items with soot may only deteriorate them further. Instead, give these items to professionals so that they can be washed and dry-cleaned adequately.

    2. Clean Up Fire Retardant

    Smoke damage restoration professionals will also need to clean up any fire retardant used to put out the fire. Whether this is material that came from a fire extinguisher or from the firefighters, it could be dangerous to handle on your own. Some extinguishers use ammonium phosphate, and you do not want to use chlorine to clean up that chemical. Experts know what precautions to take to stay safe.

    3. Throw Away Badly Damaged Items

    Although professionals will know how to salvage some items, it will be best to throw others away. Occasionally, this disposal is in the best interest of your health and safety. For example, food should always be disposed of following a fire. It could become contaminated from smoke and soot, making it dangerous to consume.

    Rectifying smoke damage is a multi-pronged approach. The expert team you hire will need to carry out some basic actions to ensure your company gets back up and running in no time.
    Visit http://www.SERVPROwestriversidecity.com for more information on commercial fire damage.

    Fire Don't Have to Burn

    3/21/2018 (Permalink)

    Fires in the home or workplace may occur from something as simple as an overloaded socket.

    Fires can happen anywhere at anytime in the workplace or the home. Home fires are most commonly caused from cooking, candles, careless smoking, space heaters or dirty chimneys. Fires may also erupt from an overloaded outlet or extension cord. 

    When it comes to fires in the workplace, the issue, as in the home, is often general negligence. Negligence often refers to leaving food in the microwave too long, leaving hot drinks where they may be spilled on electrical wires, and as in the home, overloading sockets or extension cords.

    Most of these fires can be avoided by keeping a vigilant eye on things and regularly checking and maintaining appliances, extension cords and sockets, as well as keeping both home and work environments clean and free of clutter. As well, it helps to prepare for potential fires by keeping fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in high risk areas throughout the house and workplace. Where appropriate, especially in the work environment, think about having fire sprinkler systems installed. As well, make sure family, friends and employees are aware of safety precautions involved to prevent potential fires. 

    If your home or business does suffer a fire damage, water damage, mold damage or bio-hazard event, SERVPRO of West Riverside City is ready 24/7 to be 'Faster to any size disaster'. Our team is IICRC trained and certified to make it 'Like it never even happened'. And we will treat your property, family and employees with the utmost of compassion, respect and consideration.

    Call SERVPRO of West Riverside City 951-351-8033

    Smoke Damage in your Riverside, CA home

    2/16/2018 (Permalink)

    Cleaning a visibly "clean" wall to find heavy amounts of invisible soot on the walls. Have your home professionally cleaned after a smoke damage.

    You’re relieved that the fire damage was minimal but shocked to find that the smoke damage is extensive.

    It is easy to forget about the destructive power of smoke but we are quickly reminded of it by the horrible odor that is filling your home. The smoky pollutant irritates your eyes and airways, while the sticky residue on scorched walls and the layer of ashes begin to corrode your personal possessions. 

    The urgency to clear out the smoke sets in as you realize that although the flames did not reach far, the smoke did massive damage. Smoke and ashes travel through doors and vents, reaching your entire home, penetrating your carpet, drapes, and furniture with the odor of smoke.

    Even the paint on the wall is not safe! Microscopic molecules of smoke embed deep into the pores and crevices of almost anything. 

    As you can see, a simple opening of windows, a wipe down with a household cleaner, and the passage of time will not be enough to fix this sort of smoke damage.

    So call SERVPRO to come and put your life back together quickly and professionally. 951-351-8033

    Dryer Fire Damage

    1/30/2018 (Permalink)

    Dryer fires are one of the lead causes of fires in home

    You may not think of your clothes dryer as a fire hazard, but these appliances account for tens of thousands of house fires each year. The problem most frequently occurs when lint and dust are allowed to build up. Over time, this can cause the dryer vent to become clogged with highly flammable materials, which easily combust when exposed to high temperatures. Your best option for dryer safety is to clean the lint trap each time before you use the dryer, and to inspect and clean the dryer vent area to remove lint buildup and other potential blockages. Regular cleaning can ultimately make all the difference in avoiding a house fire.

    Quick statistics: 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

    What to do Immediately after a Home Fire

    1/30/2018 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO is here to help!
    1. Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
    2. Know who to call.
      1. Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
      2. Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts!) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
      3. You may request SERVPRO at this time for contents cleaning, restoration etc. Contact SERVPRO.
      4. Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross. 
    3. Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
    4. If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. SERVPRO is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
    5. Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.

    For more information on contents and structural drying, extinguisher residue and soot removal call SERVPRO at 951-351-8033.

    How to Prevent Fires Starting from Dryers

    1/15/2018 (Permalink)

    Please clean your dryer vents and ducting regularly for safety.

    In 2010 an estimated 16,800 home fires, involving clothes dryer occurred.

    • An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
    • Clothes dryer fire incidence in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent.
    • Failure to clean (34 percent) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
    • Dust, fiber, and lint (28 percent) and clothing not on a person (27 percent) were, by far, the leading items first ignited in clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
    • Fifty-four percent of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings were confined to the object of origin.

    For more information click HERE

    Fire Damage From Candle

    1/15/2018 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage caused by a Candle

    Smoke damage to walls can come in many forms, from the black sooty deposits that linger after a fire to cigarette smoke. The method used to clean this type of fire damage depends on the type of wall and the nature of the damage. After a house fire, it is always advisable to consult a professional restoration company. They have the tools, experience, and gear to do the job properly.

    This home in Riverside was affected by a fire that started with a candle on a table. Read more about fire candle prevention tips here.

    All traces of smoke and soot on the walls and furniture after this fire damage was properly cleaned and taken care of by SERVPRO. 

    If your walls have sustained smoke and fire damage, you can count on SERVPRO to restore them to preloss conditions quickly and efficiently, "Like it never even happened." 

    Wildfire Preparedness

    1/2/2018 (Permalink)

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO today

    What

    A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. As building development expands into these areas, homes and businesses may be situated in or near areas susceptible to wildfires. This is called the wildland urban interface.

    Wildfires can cause death or injury to people and animals, damage or destroy structures, and disrupt community services including transportation, gas, power, communications, and other services.  The impact may cover large areas with extensive burning, embers traveling more than a mile away from the wildfire itself, and smoke causing health issues for people far away from the fire. Wildfires damage watersheds leave areas prone to flooding and mudslides for many years.

    When

    Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire. Your community may have a designated wildfire season when the risk is particularly high. 

    Before

    Make a Wildfire plan

    • Know your wildfire risk.

    • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to evacuate.
    • Make a wildfire emergency plan including an evacuation plan and a communication plan.
    • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
    • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
    • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio, for weather updates, emergency instructions or evacuation orders.

    After

    Returning Home

    • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.

    • For several hours after the fire, maintain a "fire watch." Check and re-check for smoke, sparks or hidden embers throughout the house, including the roof and the attic.

    • Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning. Evacuate immediately if you smell smoke.

    Cleaning Your Home

    • Wear a NIOSH certified-respirator (dust mask) and wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.

    • Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.

    • Do NOT use water that you think may be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, or to make ice or baby formula.

    • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.

    Here are some more information about wildfires form ready.gov.

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
    Call Us Today – (951) 351-8033

    Candle Fire Safety

    12/29/2017 (Permalink)

    If you experience a fire or smoke damage in your Riverside home, call SERVPRO for fire cleanup.

    The darker winter season is upon us and a lot of us enjoy candles to light up our homes. But did you know that are several thousand home fires every year that is started by candles?
    Here are some facts about candles that might make you take extra precautions when it comes to candles in your home. 

    From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage. 

    Facts and figures

    During the five-year period of 2009-2013: 

    • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
    • Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
    • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
    • On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day. 
    • More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
    • Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.

    If you experience a fire or a smoke damage in your Riverside home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO West Riverside City at 951-351-8033.

    Read more here about fire prevention tips.

    Smoke Types

    10/5/2016 (Permalink)

    Contents inside cabinets affected by candle fire that created "Wet Smoke" damage in Riverside CA.

    Let's talk smoke...

     

    So just like everything else, smoke has a few secrets and tricks to it that most people are not aware of, but here at SERVPRO of West Riverside City, it’s our job to know them to properly conduct smoke damage restoration when we get the call.

    A client gives us a call after coming home and finding that a small candle that was left lit while they were gone burned down to its end but not before burning its decorative plastic wrapper, a table cloth and a leather phone case. As well as melting other nearby objects like hand lotion bottles. These items produced a type of smoke categorized as “Wet Smoke”. This is because when most plastics and synthetic man made materials burn, they produce a dark, sticky ash that almost behaves like grease. Unfortunately, when our clients got back home, that’s the ash that awaited them and it covered all their belongings. Thankfully, the worst did not happen and their home was not lost or damaged from the fire other than needing an extensive cleaning and painting some of the walls and ceilings.

    So why is identifying the smoke type important information for us? Because now we know the kind of cleaning method we will need to utilize when attempting to restore the house to its former glory. “Wet Ash” must be cleaned off the walls with a wet method such as a cloth damped in a special solution to most effectively remove the ash. When something like paper or wood burns, it produces a “Dry Smoke” that can be cleaned with a dry method such as using a special dry sponge that will collect the ash in its pores. Attempting to clean these different ash types with reversed cleaning methods will result in further damage or permanent staining of the surface.

     

    Smoke Types

    Wet Smoke - Plastics and Synthetic Materials. Low heat, pugnant odor, sticky residues.

    Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood. Fast burning, high temperatures.

    Protein Smoke - Food. Virtually invisible residues, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pugnent odor. 

     

    Fire & Smoke Damage Tips

    Do:

    • Limit movement in the home or work area to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
    • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
    • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffics areas.
    • If electrical is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odors.
    • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect with these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

    Don’t:

    • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first consulting a professional.
    • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a professional.
    • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized professional.
    • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

    The Behavior of Smoke

    10/27/2015 (Permalink)

    A fire loss can result in complex damages because of the unique behavior of smoke. Our professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Here are some facts you may not know about smoke.