Recent Fire Damage Posts

Stay Safe from Fires in the Workplace

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

A kitchen after a fire If a fire does occur in your business, call SERVPRO® of Arleta, Hansen Hills to get the restoration process underway.

A fire is never fun. At the office or workplace, fires can cause danger to personnel in addition to property damage. Read these tips on basic fire prevention to stay as safe on the job as possible.

Steps of Prevention

  • Ensure all staff is properly educated on fire prevention procedures, evacuation routes and fire hazards.
  • Maintain a clean workspace to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Be aware of potential combustible materials and flammable items.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher in the business and know its whereabouts.

General Safety

  • Dispose of combustible or flammable materials in and around the workplace.
  • Keep combustible materials in approved containers and away from other flammable items.
  • Keep fire extinguisher in an accessible place not blocked by furniture or clutter.

Preventative Safety

  • Keep fire equipment up to date, receive inspections on a regular basis.
  • Have a working alarm system with both sound and lights.
  • Be aware of local authority and fire department information for easy contact when necessary.
  • Keep staff up to date on training, be aware of what’s going on.
  • Work with SERVPRO® of Arleta, Hansen Hills to create an emergency response plan for your business.

If a fire does occur in your business, call SERVPRO® of Arleta, Hansen Hills to get the restoration process underway. We know a fire can be devastating, and that is why we take great care in restoring as many of your items as we can. No job is too big for SERVPRO® of Arleta, Hansen Hills. Call today at (818) 465-2882, we are 24/7/365.

What is My First Step After a Business Fire?

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

interior shot looking out of broken window from fire attack Review the list of items damaged to determine what can be salvaged.

Call The Insurance Company

Your insurance company will need to know the full details of what occurred. Prepare yourself for the first call by collecting as much information as possible. Give the adjuster the extent of the water and fire damages. The following are important point to cover.

  • Insurer’s damage documentation requirements
  • Scheduling inspection of property with adjuster
  • Proof of loss statement deadlines
  • Request possibility of extensions and approvals

Don’t Throw Away Your Things

Items can be saved, and you will want to review the list of items damaged to determine what can be salvaged. Leave everything in its place so when the adjuster / inspector arrives onsite they can see the full extent of the damages incurred.

Our experienced franchise professionals frequently save business items after a fire. Special techniques developed in the field can salvage nearly any item from paper records to electronics. When speaking with your designated claims manager and project manager, the entire process is discussed and documented from start to finish.

Call a Remediation and Restoration Professional

We regularly work directly with your insurance and keep you in the know on the details. Call SERVPRO® of Arleta, Hansen Hills at (818) 465-2882, we are 24/7/365.

Facts and Falsehoods about Fire Suppression Systems

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

commercial building loss with walls stripped revealing framework beneath Acting fast when a fire breaks out in your business will be the difference in mitigating your losses.

Fire suppression systems are typically the first response to any fire in a commercial building. Acting fast when a fire breaks out in your business will be the difference in mitigating your losses. It is important to know what is true or false when it comes to your fire sprinkler system.

False: Water Damage from Fire Sprinklers is More Costly Than Fire Damage

Fact: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advise sprinkler systems as more cost effective than damaging comparatively to other fire fighting efforts. Since they can keep the fire contained within a single room rather than allowing the fire and smoke to spread throughout the building.

False: Every Fire Sprinkler Will Trigger

Fact: First, confirm with the manufacturer and/or installer what the activation and release methods are for your buildings commercial fire suppression system. Typically, when one sprinkler in your commercial sprinkler system goes off, the others do not. Fire sprinklers act individually and should only release when high levels of heat are detected.

False: Fire Sprinklers are Overly Sensitive

Fact: Fire sprinklers only activate when high heat is sensed. Meaning, employees burning their lunch in the break room will not set off the fire alarm. Protection and safety are most important when keeping operations running.

When the unexpected happens, you are not alone. SERVPRO® of Arleta, Hansen Hills at (818) 465-2882 is 24/7/365 and committed to helping you every step of the way. Use our fire, smoke, and water damage clean up services to return your business to its preloss condition.

Prepare Your Business for Fire Season

2/19/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial fire suppression system Fire suppression systems require a minimum of (4) annual inspections performed by a 3rd-party fire protection expert.

As summer and fire season approach, it is important to have your property inspected to ensure your business’s readiness should a fire break out. Keep workspaces clear of combustibles, and have any damaged electrical cords replaced. Work with your team to develop an evacuation plan and have your staff trained on the safety procedures unique to your commercial property. Once determined, the fire escape routes will need to be posted in multiple areas around the office. This way, everyone has an equal opportunity to see them. It takes minutes for a fire to become an inferno and knowing the proper routes for evacuation may be the difference in getting out safely. Fire drills should be performed with your team on a semi-regular basis to help ensure their knowledge of escape routes is up to date. Many commercial properties have fire suppression systems in place that require a minimum of (4) annual inspections performed by a 3rd-party fire protection expert.

Call the Professionals

Our franchise professionals at SERVPRO® of Arleta, Hansen Hills are familiar with the risks associated with fire damage to your home. As a leader in the fire damage disaster industry, we use proven systems to address fire damage when the call comes in. If a fire affects your property, contact us 24/7 - (833) WTR-FIRE (987-3473).

Check Your Smoke Alarm

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm testing. Smoke alarm testing.

The burning rate for objects depends on the substances caught ablaze and, in some cases, it takes less than 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a major fire. In a few short minutes your entire property could be engulfed in thick black smoke or flames.

Heat is more dangerous than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can rise to 100 degrees at floor level and 600 degrees at eye level. This super-heated air undoubtedly will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.

As a fire burns it will impair your vision. It might start off bright, but quickly produces black smoke further blocking your sight.

Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Smoke and toxic gases do more harm to people than actual flames.

Smoke Alarms

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Check your batteries recorded lifespan and set a schedule to replace prior to their expiration.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.
  • Review your smoke alarms manufacturing instructions and schedule replacements for the entire smoke alarm in accordance.
  • Never disable your smoke alarm while in the process of cooking.
  • If you are hearing or visually impaired there are smoke alarms that utilize vibrating pads or flashing lights in lieu of the traditional high pitch alert.

How Long Does Residual Smoke Damage Last?

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

Fire aftermath shown as burnt shell of a utility room with blackened ceiling. Aftermath of fire in utility room.

Ridding a property of smoke damage is a difficult task unto itself. One of the worst things a home or business can experience is a fire as it not only destroys household items but can also affect structural materials as well. The damage can sometimes extend after the fire has been extinguished in the form of water damage due to the fire-fighting efforts.

Residual smoke odor can linger within your business or home until affectively treated after the flames have been put out. If a fire affects your home or are, such as is the case with when a wildfire occurs, take the necessary steps to rid yourself of the smoke smell effectively and fast.

It can be quite difficult to remove the odor of smoke from your property. When the smoke first infiltrates your home, the small imperceptible particulates can stick to all household surfaces and even become embedded in porous materials – carpeting, furniture, fabrics, books, and even paint. Removing them requires a lot of effort and, often, specialized cleaning equipment. SERVPRO of Arleta, Hansen Hills

have the expertise and industry leading equipment (air scrubbers, nano filters, ozone generators, hydroxl technology, etc.) that is required to effectively deodorize after a fire loss. We use safe and efficient odor removal techniques to make it "Like it never even happened."

5 Common Types of Smoke Damage

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Overhead kitchen fire rose to affect plenum ceiling. Kitchen fire damage.

5 Common Types of Smoke Damage

Depending on the substance that a fire consumes determines the type of smoke damage which occurs. Prior to inspection, in the initial call, we may ask what burned or request photos to get a better grasp on the extent which fire and smoke damage occurred. Below are some common types of smoke damage SERVPRO of Arleta, Hansen Hills may inquire about.

  1. Tenant Smoking

This is the most common type and is caused by residents that smoke. In multifamily buildings, property managers / owners deal with these odors on a regular basis. This smoke can cause a great deal of damage to the structure, from unpleasant odors to surface damage. Smoking damage typically requires intense cleaning. 

  1. Protein Smoke Damage

Second to tenant smoke kitchen fires are the most common. They typically produce protein smoke. Protein smoke damage occurs when food burns and clings to wood or painted surfaces and has the potential to discolor the surfaces it affects permanently.

  1. Wet Smoke Damage

This smoke damage occurs when a fire is slow burning with a low temperature. It is one of the more difficult forms of smoke damage to address and is sometimes the hardest form of smoke damage to clean. It tends to be sticky and thick, and latches to almost all surfaces.

  1. Dry Smoke Damage

Usually, this is one of the easier forms of smoke damage to take care of. It is nearly the opposite of wet smoke damage and occurs from high-temperature fires. This damage produces finer particulates, however, if it lands on porous surfaces this will make it more difficult to clean up.

  1. Petroleum Smoke Damage

When an oil-based substance is burned, petroleum smoke damage occurs. This smoke is darker and lingers on nearly all material it comes in contact with, and often stains surfaces.

Commercial Fire Cleanup Steps

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

pressure washing foundation pressure washing foundation

These are typical steps in the commercial fire damage restoration process:

1. Inspection

Call your local SERVPRO to come and inspect the damage to your property. Our highly trained Project Managers and Technicians thoroughly inspect your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. Hiring a professional restoration company will allow for a complete comprehensive review of the property damage. They will also record and document all damage for your insurer if needed.

  1. Safety Work

Property damage can continue even after the fire has been extinguished. The priority should be to prevent further damage to your property. A restoration company will look at what needs to be protected and take the proper steps to do so. With a lot of your windows, walls, and roof potentially damaged, the restoration company will look at what needs boarding up or if your roof needs tarping. This helps to protect your property from further damage.

  1. Water Removal

Water removal post firefighting efforts is top of the list. Hiring a professional team to investigate the possibility of leaks or places where mold can develop is very important.

  1. Smoke and Soot Removal

Odors and staining left behind from smoke or soot damage go beyond surface level. With SERVPRO’s specialized techniques, the next step for SERVPRO of Arleta, Hansen Hills is to remove the smoke and soot left behind on the ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

  1. Cleanup

There are a variety of cleaning techniques that can be used to clean up these damaged items and structures, along with equipment such as industrial air scrubbers and foggers that will help remove smoke odors.

Reduce Structural Risk Against Wildfires

10/20/2021 (Permalink)

home ignition zone Home Ignition Zone

Readyforwildfire.org advises that a large step in reducing wildfire risk to your property is creating defensible areas or zones. These are described as (3) zones with varying defined distances and tasks to perform within each Zone: 0, 1, and 2.

Zone 0: (0) to (5) feet

The Immediate Zone is the area closest to the structure and the most vulnerable. Remove any combustible material surrounding your property. This can be dry grass or brush, outdoor furniture, trashcans etc. Clean any fallen leaves and needles regularly and repeatedly during the fire season.

Zone 1: (5) to (30) feet

The Intermediate Zone can include other buildings, structures, trees, etc. Keep it “lean, clean, and green.” Remove dead plants, dry leaves, pine needles, etc. from your rain gutters, roof, and yard. Regularly trim your trees to a minimum of 10 feet from other trees. Branches that hand over your roof should be removed and any dead branches should be kept 10 feet away from your chimney. Move any woodpiles at least 30 feet from any structure.

Zone 2: (30) to (100) feet

The Extended Zone includes space more than 100 feet away if defined otherwise by vegetation conditions, steep slopes, and or your local fire department. Cut down/back annual grass to the regulatory size in your area.

How Old is My Fire Extinguisher?

8/21/2021 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler with hang tag Fire sprinkler with hang tag.

Fire extinguishers do not last forever. Manufacturers prescribe most extinguishers with a lifespan of 5-15 years. What you may not know is how long ago you received yours. Any fire extinguisher with one or more of the following should be headed towards retirement:

  • Hose or nozzle is broken, cracked, and or blocked with debris.
  • Locking pin is missing or unsealed
  • Handle is wobbly or broken
  • Inspection sticker or hang tag (the record of checkups and maintenance) is missing

There are different types of fire extinguishers. Those with compressed gas can leak contents slowly as their seals weaken, while those with ammonium phosphate will solidify over the years, rendering the entire device unusable. You’re being proactive and putting your safety first and by asking this question because the answers can mean the difference between successfully responding to an emergency and being caught empty-handed.

Top Five Reasons Fire Suppression Systems Fail

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

inactive sprinkler head above flames Fire damage caused by inactive fire suppression system.

Fire sprinkler suppression systems are common in commercial and becoming more common in residential. Top five failures for fire suppressions systems:

  1. Improper maintenance – most common: faulty pumps, failing suppression material supply.
  2. Typically, in hotels or apartments tenants hang a coat hanger on the sprinkler head.
  3. Influx in pressure to fire sprinkler system.
  4. Crack or break in the plumbing lines.
  5. System shut-off. This is the cause for nearly 2/3 of fire suppression system failures.

It is important to regularly get your Fire Suppression System checked. Four times annually is the recommended amount that it should be inspected.

Regardless of the fire damage source in your home or business, SERVPRO of Arleta/Hansen Hills is there to support and educate you during your loss. Fire remediation and repair pose many questions and concerns depending on the nature of building materials burned. Our senior project managers are well trained in the science of combustion byproduct cleanup. SERVPRO of Arleta/Hansen Hills claims managers will be designated to be your liaison between you, our onsite team, and the insurance carrier to make sure your home is restored to its preloss condition with all appropriate post clearance testing, city inspections, and most importantly our customer satisfaction form signed by you our client when we hand back the keys to your home.

SERVPRO of Arleta/Hansen Hills Has The Resources and Experience To Mitigate Any Size Water and Fire Damage!

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Hallway in hotel wrapped up in plastic Westside of Southern California, Santa Monica, Los Angeles Luxury Hotel suffered fire and water damage.

A luxury hotel located in Santa Monica, Los Angeles suffered a small fire that set off the fire suppressant system causing water damage to four floors.  Our team quickly deployed our key project coordinators and water technicians to moisture map, photograph the entire loss for the insurance companies and owners, document the smoke/soot, set the proper mitigation equipment to control odor, and begin to speed up the evaporation process. 

Our ownership is the first SERVPRO to utilize Matterport digital photography. This camera system provides a virtual tour of the affected areas to help all interested parties. Our team has performed work for the Ojai Valley Inn located in Ojai, California, the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake, California, the Disney Holiday Inn in Anaheim.  Rosewood Miramar in Santa Barbara was also cleaned by our team. Our team is the preferred vendor for Caruso Properties.

Dryer Fires

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

In Arleta, Hansen Hills, or anywhere in Southern California, 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.

Even if you live in Venice, Santa Monica, or in Century City, 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.

3 Tips to Make Sure Your Home is Carbon Monoxide and Fire Safe

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

burned house House fire in Arleta, CA

Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, and invisible which makes it extremely deadly to those unaware of it. Most fire alarms in a home are equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. However, if yours does not come equipped with a carbon monoxide detector, here is a simple tip: you can buy a wall plug-in carbon monoxide detector to plug in anywhere in your house or place of business. 

But experts suggest you place it next to your hot water heater.  The second tip to keep your home safe from a fire is to have an emergency fire extinguisher within your home but also out of the reach of small children.  The third and final tip is to know all the exits in your home and to have an escape plan. 

No one can ever plan for a fire but we can be prepared whether you live in Arleta, Hansen Hills, Panorama City, North Hollywood, or Sun Valley. Always call SERVPRO of Arleta/Hansen Hills in case of a fire emergency because we are the trusted industry experts

Who Should You Call for Water and Fire Damage

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

No one ever plans for water or fire damage in their homes, but if you were to ever experience one, SERVPRO should be your first call for mitigation and remediation. 

Having a fire in your home can be a life-altering event and you want your property to be restored back to the way it was before the fire. When a fire occurs at your house or commercial property, you should take swift action to handle the cleanup and restoration left behind by the fire itself and the efforts of the fire department.

At SERVPRO we value your home as if it were our own because we understand clients in their time of need. If you need more opinions on who to call ask friends/family, neighbors, or even your insurance agents they will be able to help you in this process. 

Fire Safety Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

According to the American Red Cross, home fires are the most common disaster they respond to - and also the most preventable. Planning ahead is the best way to promote the safety of the people and animals in your home. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan which should include pet safety.

Here are some steps to protect your pets:

  • They should have their own disaster supplies kit ready in advance which should include food, water, pet records, spare collars and/or leashes in case you need to control or calm them from being frightened.  
  • Have a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
  • Include your pets and take them with you when you practice your escape plan.  Train them to come to you when you call for them. 

Following these steps can lower the risk of harming your pets from a fire.

Facts About Fire Extinguishers

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers last between five and 15 years but they all ultimately expire and become ineffective, no matter what fire-fighting substance they contain. Household fire extinguishers—which are typically filled with dry chemicals (carbon dioxide or halon)—lose their charge over time. Those with compressed gas can leak contents slowly as their seals weaken, while those with ammonium phosphate will solidify over the years, rendering the entire device unusable. Read on to get a handle on the age and effectiveness of your fire extinguisher, plus tips on how to extend its life, get it serviced, and dispose of it correctly if necessary. Store a fire extinguisher in a clean, indoor location can help extend its life. Exposure to sun, UV radiation, wind, or rain can cause corrosion, rust, and deterioration. If the canister is dented or bruised, or if the tamper seal and pin are missing, there’s a possibility that it might explode unprompted. Examine the entire unit and if it’s not in good shape, properly dispose of it without delay.