Recent Fire Damage Posts

How To Reduce Fire In Your Home

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

There will never be a good time to experience a house fire, but never experiencing one at all is certainly preferred. Practicing prevention can go a long way in reducing the likelihood that you will experience a house fire. It only takes 30 seconds for a fire to spread through the home and cause serious damages, but by preventing them altogether, you can keep your household significantly safer.

Reducing your overall risk profile is so important to your safety when it comes to house fires. By making sure your home is equipped with safety features, your family is prepared and you are practicing good habits, you can mitigate a fire’s likelihood and impact.

How You Can Reduce Your Household Fire Risk

Check your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are always the first step in improving your household fire safety, as they will be the thing that notifies you if a fire has started. Be sure to do a monthly test to make sure they are operational, and keep track of when they were installed so you know when to replace the unit altogether.

Create a fire escape plan. Making sure that your family members feel comfortable escaping your home quickly in case of a fire is so important. Fire escapes should be done in under two minutes to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation. By drafting a solid plan and practicing it often, you can be certain that everyone will know exactly what to do.

Limit your fire risks. Practicing good fire safety habits on a daily basis can really add up, as you are reducing the chances that a fire can even start. Simple things, like not running cords under rugs, always attending to open flames and avoiding using frayed wires, will go a long way in ensuring your home will not be impacted by a fire to begin with.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Fire extinguishers are so important for having nearby while using any open flame. Though it is important to only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is small and contained, having one nearby can be the difference between a small flare-up and a large-scale house fire that causes significant damage.

Board Up Those Windows

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Windows boarded up A commercial property windows are being boarded up after a fire.

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.

Fire Prevention For The Apartment

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

A fire in a small space, such as your apartment, can spread quickly and become a deadly fire within just a few minutes. Just a few precautions taken beforehand can protect you, your apartment, and your belongings. Today, we’d like to share some fire prevention tips with you:

  • Inspection First. Take a good look around your home to make sure all potential hazards have been identified and eliminated:
    • Use surge protectors in place of overloaded circuits or extension cords
    • Appliance cords that are frayed or cracked are replaced immediately
    • No cords are being extended under rugs or between rooms
    • Space heaters are not being used near flammable materials, such as furniture and drapery. Make sure your space heaters are always turned off when the room is empty or everyone is going to bed
    • No matches or lighters are within reach of children
    • Candles and incense are never left unattended - make sure these items are used far away from curtains and other flammable materials
    • Items such as gasoline cans or propane tanks are not stored inside your apartment 
  • Kitchen Safety:   
    • Never leave food cooking on your stove unattended
    • Keep towels and potholders away from cooking areas
    • Don’t wear loosely fitted sleeves while cooking
  • Laundry Room Safety
    • Have your dryer installed and serviced by professionals
    • Always use a lint filter in your dryer, and clean it before or after every load 
    • Remove lint that collects around the drum of your dryer regularly
    • Make sure the right plug and outlet are being used and that your machine is connected properly
    • Never leave the dryer running when you go out of the apartment or when you go to bed
  • Smoke Alarms

Make sure there are smoke alarms in your apartment, and that they function correctly. There should be one installed outside of every sleeping area, and they should be tested once a month, with batteries changed at least once a year.

Did You Know After A Fire…

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

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.

Different Types of Smoke

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 will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

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. 

Steps to Take After a House Fire

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire is traumatic event that can certainly leave you with a mix of emotions. You’ll be nervous, worried, scared, upset, wondering what to do next, and just how to do it.  First things first…take a deep breath, try to relax, and know that everything will be more than fine. Ultimately you need to make sure that your family is safe and sound. Once you can confirm that, then you can tackle the recovery process of your home and belongings.

We’ve compiled a list of five things that you should do and be aware of after a fire.  This way, you can approach the rebuilding of your home in a cool, calm, and collected manner!

(1) Review with the authorities and the professionals as to when it is safe to enter the home after the fire.  The fire department will make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and then will go through their precautionary measures in order to deem the area ‘safe’.

(2) Know who to contact. First, contact any family members to let them know of the occurrence and the fact that you are safe. Review, and then contact your insurance company. A clean-up team, such as SERVPRO should also be one of the first calls made.  We can efficiently and professionally get you back into your home – it will be "Like it never even happened."

(3) Get the fire report. Typically coming to you from the fire department, this correspondence will review the facts of the fire – the home structure, the area of the fire, as well as the time and date. In some cities and towns, you may need to call the fire department directly in order to get a copy of this report.

(4) Make sure to secure your property.  If you are not securing the property, you could potentially be making a bad situation into a terrible one – your home could be robbed of its remaining property, or, in some cases, another individual could be injured on the property (becoming your responsibility). You can ask the authorities and emergency services on the best methods in securing what is yours.

(5) Begin the clean-up process. Interior and exterior clean-up will most certainly be required, and more often than not there is damage that you cannot locate with the naked eye.  That said, you should definitely hire a professional service like SERVPRO to do a thorough cleaning of all areas and of all soot, smoke, and odor.

Preparing Your Home for Fire Season!

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

  • Create a defensible space around your home:  A defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation, debris, and other types of combustible fuels have been treated, cleared, or reduced to slow the spread of fire to and from the building. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends creating at least 30 feet of defensible space between your home and surrounding vegetation to reduce the potential for damage.
  • Apply fire-retardant chemicals:  Fire-retardant sprays can be applied to at-risk areas of your home and yard.  Fire retardants are chemicals that are applied to materials to prevent the start or slow the growth of the fire. They decrease the ability of materials to ignite. These chemicals work by creating a barrier between the fire and the structure.  The chemical creates a reaction that can help slow the fire.
  • Limit roof combustibility:  A "complex" roof (with lots of ridges and valleys) can be particularly susceptible to fire damage because wind can cause embers to catch on the ridges and valleys.  In addition to applying fire-retardant chemicals, consider upgrading the materials used on your roof, regularly cleaning off debris like pine needles and leaves, and inspecting and replacing broken shingles. 
  • Clean your gutters:  Routine removal of debris from trees and vegetation should be cleared out of gutters.  Debris can cause structural damage to your gutters and even to your house, which may provide space for embers to blow in. Debris also can catch fire, particularly during the dry season.
  • Protect your windows:  A heat differential driven by an outside fire can cause the exposed glass to crack and even shatter inward. A window will break after one to three minutes of exposure to intense heat or flames. The California Building Code recommends that buildings constructed in wildfire-prone areas use dual-pane

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO, we understand that fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts.  SERVPRO  professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to its pre-fire condition.  Our technicians are experts in knowing the processes and protocols required to remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.  We strive to leave your home or business "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster.

Why is this important?  Our professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you need help with a fire or water damage event. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.  All insurance companies specify that the policyholder (you) have a duty to mitigate any further damage or vandalism to your property.  To do this, you need a professional fire and water cleanup and restoration expert like SERVPRO.

We specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. Our technicians have extensive training and equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition. 

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

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

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

We understand how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable.  Listed below is the fire damage restoration process which will guide you during this difficult time:

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO. Our staff will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch our crews with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Enjoy BBQs and Independence Day with Safe Office and Home Parties!

4/18/2021 (Permalink)

With the holiday weekend finally here, we want to make sure everyone stays safe while still having fun! Fireworks cause an average of almost 20,000 reported fires per year; and in 2013, sparklers caused 41% of fireworks injuries. When firing up those grills remember that July is the peak month for grill fires. Here are some tips to ensure your 4th of July Barbecue is disaster-free!

-Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors
-Keep your grill clean by removing any grease buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
-When using a charcoal grill, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them
-Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby in order to extinguish fireworks that don’t go off.

Stay safe and have fun this holiday weekend!

Home Fire Safety Tips

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

The rate of home fire accidents has been rising for so many years. There have been many incidents related to Fire Safety Tips that have claimed the lives of so many people. It just goes to show that a lot of families didn’t pay attention to taking preventive measures. And that’s really very worrying. Although it sounds so simple it is really important for every family.

Everyone knows that fires are usually caused by an accident. However, this does not mean that it is inevitable. If you are fully aware of the security measures in your home, you can always prevent this from happening. Remember, fire can be stopped. You just have to know how to do it before it gets worse.

It is important to observe proper preventive measures because it can save lives not only for you but also for your family. Nothing bad can happen in a person’s life without putting your house on fire. So if you are not a victim of this horrific incident, check out the rest of this article for more fire safety advice.

The best way to avoid a fire is to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire in your area. In case of emergency, fire tactics should be done which you should be fully aware of. You should also inform all family members who are with you. That way, they won’t panic whenever an emergency occurs.

It helps to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home. These devices can help give you an early warning. There are different types that you can choose from. There are water sprinklers and fire extinguishers. For others, they thought these alarms were only for businesses. This is not entirely true; These can actually be installed in your home.

All electrical devices and applications should be plugged in to secure. Do not leave them in the still mode as they still use a small amount of energy. Check regularly to see if they are still in good condition. There are many times that electrical gadgets are already broken but still used can cause fatal events like fire. So don’t ignore the condition of your tools.

If there are no leaks, always check your gas tank and gas limit. You should monitor when the tank needs to be replaced and the gas controller installed correctly. This can be really dangerous as you can smell the leaking gas which is harmful to your health.

There may be plenty of fire safety tips that every family should consider. But regardless of what these preventive measures are, homeowners should not underestimate the importance of getting to know them. It is very important to learn how to stay away from dangers and how to prevent them from happening. Doing so will not only save your house from burning, but you will also save your family and family.

Another Day At The Office? No, Not Really.

11/7/2020 (Permalink)

Imagine this. You head off to work just like any other day, and about lunchtime, you get a call from your neighbor saying that there are several fire trucks in front of your house, and he thinks your home is on fire. You bolt out of the office as fast as you can, worrying terribly about your family all the way there. Luckily, the kids had gone off to school, and no one was home.

This is precisely what happened to one of our former customers. An electrical fired occurred while they were at work. Fortunately, the fire department arrived quickly and contained the fire to just the downstairs living room. What a complete nightmare to have a fire happen, and now your home is full of smoke, soot, and water and smells terrible.

Fire and Water Damage is our specialty.

House fires are more common than you may think. Some of these fires are contained quickly and extinguished by the homeowner, while others get much larger and do way more damage. Fire damage cleanup and restoration is our specialty and is something we see and deal with every day.

With this smaller electrical fire, there was not that much material that burned; it was mostly smoke and water damage. Our crews were able to clean and restore all of the homeowner's personal belongings onsite while cleaning and repairing the structure. It's often better to remove the contents to a safer environment while the house is being cleaned and repaired. We didn't need to do that in this case because there was not very much demolition needed or fire damage to the home.

Sometimes a fire does so much damage that the home or business is a total loss. Some fires cause so much damage that a complete demolition is required down to the frame and then rebuilt with all new building materials. Luckily, that's not the case for this family. They stayed with some of their family while we made it "Like it never even happened," to their home.

Doing What You Can to Reduce Your Fire Risk at Home

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

There will never be a good time to experience a house fire, but never experiencing one at all is certainly preferred. Practicing prevention can go a long way in reducing the likelihood that you will experience a house fire. It only takes 30 seconds for a fire to spread through the home and cause serious damages, but by preventing them altogether, you can keep your household significantly safer.

Reducing your overall risk profile is so important to your safety when it comes to house fires. By making sure your home is equipped with safety features, your family is prepared and you are practicing good habits, you can mitigate a fire’s likelihood and impact.

How You Can Reduce Your Household Fire Risk

Check your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are always the first step in improving your household fire safety, as they will be the thing that notifies you if a fire has started. Be sure to do a monthly test to make sure they are operational, and keep track of when they were installed so you know when to replace the unit altogether.

Create a fire escape plan. Making sure that your family members feel comfortable escaping your home quickly in case of a fire is so important. Fire escapes should be done in under two minutes to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation. By drafting a solid plan and practicing it often, you can be certain that everyone will know exactly what to do.

Limit your fire risks. Practicing good fire safety habits on a daily basis can really add up, as you are reducing the chances that a fire can even start. Simple things, like not running cords under rugs, always attending to open flames and avoiding using frayed wires, will go a long way in ensuring your home will not be impacted by a fire to begin with.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Fire extinguishers are so important for having nearby while using any open flame. Though it is important to only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is small and contained, having one nearby can be the difference between a small flare-up and a large-scale house fire that causes significant damage.

Why to Board Up After a Fire

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.

Fire Prevention Month 2020

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Fire Prevention Week 2020

October is Fire Prevention Month! The goal of Fire Prevention Month (and week October 4th – 10th ) is to raise fire safety awareness, and help ensure your home and family has a plan and is ready for the unexpected. In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) named the second week of October Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, we celebrate Fire Prevention Week and Month by raising fire safety awareness and educating families, students and communities across the United States. During this month, fire departments provide education to their communities, and encourage parents and loved ones to practice fire safety and whole home safety.

The NFPA's 2020 campaign for Fire Safety Month is "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen." At First Alert, we are proud to support their mission and this year’s theme to 'Be Ready for the Unexpected', especially while cooking. For Fire Safety Month this year, First Alert is urging families to improve their home’s safety. Be ready at home by installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as having fire extinguishers at home. First Alert is dedicated to helping protect what matters most because a home emergency can happen at any time, and we want to help you be ready.

Did You Know?

Fire Prevention week is the perfect time talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher and escape route planning.

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan*
  • Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires

Fire Safety for Kids

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Fire safety

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 cautions in your 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. 
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Pet Fire Safety

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Pet Fire Safety Protect your pets

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.

Smoke Alarms Can Save Lives When Properly Installed and Maintained

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms can save lives when properly installed and maintained.

  • In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement.
  • Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years.
  • Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years.
  • If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.
  • Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm.
  • Many fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries.
  • If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department or a licensed electrician.
  • Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.

Have questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage? Call Today – (925) 681-9093

Fire Prevention Tips for Your Apartment

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

A fire in a small space, such as your apartment, can spread quickly and become a deadly fire within just a few minutes. Just a few precautions taken beforehand can protect you, your apartment, and your belongings. Today, we’d like to share some fire prevention tips with you:

  • Inspection First. Take a good look around your home to make sure all potential hazards have been identified and eliminated:
    • Use surge protectors in place of overloaded circuits or extension cords
    • Appliance cords that are frayed or cracked are replaced immediately
    • No cords are being extended under rugs or between rooms
    • Space heaters are not being used near flammable materials, such as furniture and drapery. Make sure your space heaters are always turned off when the room is empty or everyone is going to bed
    • No matches or lighters are within reach of children
    • Candles and incense are never left unattended - make sure these items are used far away from curtains and other flammable materials
    • Items such as gasoline cans or propane tanks are not stored inside your apartment 
  • Kitchen Safety:   
    • Never leave food cooking on your stove unattended
    • Keep towels and potholders away from cooking areas
    • Don’t wear loosely fitted sleeves while cooking
  • Laundry Room Safety
    • Have your dryer installed and serviced by professionals
    • Always use a lint filter in your dryer, and clean it before or after every load 
    • Remove lint that collects around the drum of your dryer regularly
    • Make sure the right plug and outlet are being used and that your machine is connected properly
    • Never leave the dryer running when you go out of the apartment or when you go to bed
  • Smoke Alarms

Make sure there are smoke alarms in your apartment, and that they function correctly. There should be one installed outside of every sleeping area, and they should be tested once a month, with batteries changed at least once a year.

What is Soot?

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that the highest cause of house fires is from cooking? Usually when a homeowner leaves a pot or pan unattended and then only remembers it when smoke invades their home. It may not develop into fire damage to your property but rather smoke and soot damage that usually is worse than you would think. Although your kitchen cabinetry isn’t on fire and ruined there is still some specialized clean-up needing to be done from the smoke & soot.

Soot is a powdery, flaky substance composed of mostly carbon that is a result of incomplete combustion of materials like coal, oil, and wood. Not only is it harmful but it can also be a pain to remove due to its stickiness which can cause staining if not treated properly.

A chemical sponge is used to clean soot from walls. Commonly a chemical sponge may also reveal soot you did not notice was there.

When treating textiles, a heavy duty vacuum must be used before trying to clean them. Do not try to wash these in regular dry-cleaning or wash. Professional cleaners will need to use counteractants to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors.

It is highly recommended to hire a professional to properly handle clean-up and restoration to eliminate chances of staining and odor.

Have any questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage? Call SERVPRO of West Concord today! (925) 681-9093.

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Home dryer fires can cost millions of dollars in property loss and can even cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, SERVPRO of West Concord can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. For more information on cleaning dryer vents, contact SERVPRO of West Concord at 925-681-9093.

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

A leading cause of dryer fires in homes is the lack of dryer maintenance. Homeowners are reminded to take the following precautions:

Always:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the safe use of the dryer.
  • Inspect and clean the lint screen after each load of laundry. The build-up of lint can lead to a fire. Regularly remove lint from metal ducts and exhaust vents. The inside of the dryer cabinet should be cleaned as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Regularly inspect the air exhaust to ensure it is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap opens when the dryer is operating.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer clear of items that can burn.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home if using a natural gas or propane dryer.
  • Ensure there are working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas.

Do Not:

  • Overload the dryer.
  • Exhaust the dryer indoors.
  • Dry materials or fabrics that have been saturated by chemicals, oils or gasoline (e.g. mops and towels and cloths saturated with wax, flammable solvents or vegetable oils). Even after washing, these substances can start a fire during the drying cycle.
  • Dry natural or synthetic rubber, rubber-coated sneakers, galoshes, foam pillows or any garment with foam padding (e.g. blouses with shoulder pads, bras, bicycle shorts)
  • Dry garments that have been cleaned with dry-cleaning fluid.
  • Use a dryer without a lint filter, or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services

Campfire Safety

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you prefer your campfires in the great outdoors or at the comfort of your own home, it is important to be safe before, during, and after enjoying some time by a fire outdoors. Here are 5 safety tips to consider before your next fire.

Look Up and Look Around- When choosing your fire pit, make sure it is not under any low-hanging branches or near any brush or bushes which can easily go up in flames. You should also keep a radius of 8 to 10 feet around the fire pit clear of tents, chairs, food, and any other items.

Safety Proof Your Pit- Before starting your fire, clear all debris from around the fire pit, including garbage and grass. There should be a five-foot perimeter of soil around the campfire space. If there is no metal ring, circle the pit with rocks. If your fire grows in size, this will help keep it within the borders of the fire pit. Keep any flammable items far from the fire, including aerosol cans and pressurized containers.

Keep Water Nearby- A big gust of wind or new piece of wood could cause your fire to grow larger than anticipated. In that case, always keep water, dirt or a shovel nearby to help reduce the flames or put the fire out completely if necessary.

Always Watch- Whether you are camping alone, with friends, or family, it is easy to get distracted and walk away from the fire. Regardless of what is going on around you, make sure someone always has an eye on the fire. It is especially important to keep an eye on pets and children that may be sitting or walking near the fire.

Extinguish Before Bed- When it is time for bed, you need to put out the fire. You can do this by putting water or dirt on top, then stirring the embers around with a shovel to ensure another fire won't start. Ideally, the coals should be wet and cold.

These tips will help keep your campfire or bonfire under control so you can sit back and enjoy some s'mores without worry.

Why Board Up After a Fire

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.