Archived Blog Posts
Woosley Fire Burns 96k Acres
Forced out of their neighborhoods for more than a week because of a wind-driven wildfire that raced across the canyons, devouring hundreds of buildings in its path, residents in Malibu are finally returning home.
Mandatory evacuation orders continued to lift over the weekend in the aftermath of the Woolsey Fire. One of the largest and most destructive in LA history, it has torched 96,949 acres and destroyed an astonishing 1,500 homes and buildings across two counties, from the beaches to the Valley
Two people, who officials believe were trying to flee flames in Malibu, have died. An additional fire-related death is under investigation. In the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, 83 percent of all National Parks Service land has burned.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, who surveyed the area by air last week, called the devastation “heartbreaking.” In his three-decade career, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said he’s only witnessed devastation on this scale in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The size of the fire—more than 150 square miles, according to Osby—is astounding. Firefighters, who endured erratic wind and steep terrain, expect to get to full containment by Thursday.
Pomona tenants allege cockroach infestation, pervasive mold growth in lawsuit
Mold Grows in Pomona, CA Apartment
Current and former tenants in three Pomona apartments have filed a lawsuit, alleging their units were crawling in cockroaches that were getting into their clothes, had to be picked off their kids’ bodies and were even found in their hair. The conditions were so deplorable, residents had to regularly toss food because of the feces and filth the roaches left behind.
Thursday’s filing by 16 current and former tenants of Casa Grande and Pomona Grove Apartments allege the absentee landlord allowed inhumane conditions to occur as far back as 2014. That includes exposure to bedbugs, incidents of raw sewage seeping into a common area and faulty utilities, according to the suit.
Mold growth was so pervasive, it would return despite numerous attempts to clean the flooring and walls in units, they allege.
The 39-page filing from Santa Monica-based law firm Cypress LLP paints a picture of a landlord who not only failed to take corrective measures but allowed his onsite management to threaten tenants when they complained about the conditions.
“Defendants know that they can prey on vulnerable, low-income tenants in an area suffering a severe affordable housing shortage,” the claim states. “If tenants exercise their rights or speak up, defendants threaten them with eviction, which for many plaintiffs means homelessness.”
The suit claims William C. Chu, who has owned the complexes — Casa Grande at 700 N. East End Ave. and Pomona Grove Apartments at 707 N. East End Ave. since 2011 — was not only negligent but committed fraud by requiring the tenants to pay for shoddy cleanup and maintenance work, never deducting it from their rent or compensating them for costs incurred. The occupants also claim the uninhabitable living conditions caused them emotional distress.
Neither Chu nor the property manager responded to requests for an interview. A representative from Chu’s office was not aware of the lawsuit and asked for details. The lawsuit notes that Chu “resides comfortably” in a $4.5 million home in San Marino.
“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation
Mold in Attic
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.
A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.
- Step 1: Emergency Contact 1-800-SERVPRO
- Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Step 3: Mold Containment
- Step 4: Air Filtration
- Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
- Step 7: Restoration
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
Rain in the forecast for California fire areas brings concern over possible debris flow
Victor Lobl, loads sandbags provided by the LA County Fire Department on Monday with the help of friends to protect what's left of his home
or residents whose homes were spared by massive wildfires burning throughout the state this month, rains expected this week are prompting concern about another potentially destructive and deadly phenomenon: mudslides.
Weather experts said that rain is likely to fall midweek over areas recently affected by the Camp and Woolsey fires. The area hit by the Woolsey Fire, which spread west of the San Fernando Valley and burned to the coast, is expected to see between half an inch to an inch of rain late Wednesday into early Thursday. Showers could linger into Thursday morning, said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
The Woolsey blaze ravaged nearly 97,000 acres and destroyed 1,500 structures in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Three people died and three firefighters were injured.
Heavier precipitation is anticipated in Northern California, in the area of the Camp fire. A series of storms beginning early Wednesday and lasting through Saturday is expected to bring 3 to 5 inches of rain. That fire charred 151,000 acres and destroyed more than 12,000 homes. The death toll of 79 is expected to rise as workers comb through the ruins.
During a Landslide
Aftermath of a Mudslide
What should I do if a landslide is occurring or likely to occur?
- If you suspect imminent danger, evacuate immediately. Inform affected neighbors if you can, and contact your public works, fire or police department.
- Listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
- If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and notice whether the water changes from clear to muddy. Such changes may mean there is debris flow activity upstream so be prepared to move quickly.
- Be especially alert when driving— watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of possible debris flow.
- If you are ordered or decide to evacuate, take your animals with you.
- Consider a precautionary evacuation of large or numerous animals as soon as you are aware of impending danger.
During Severe Storms
- Stay alert and awake. Many deaths from landslides occur while people are sleeping.
- Listen to local news stations on a battery-powered radio for warnings of heavy rainfall.
- Consider leaving if it is safe to do so.
5 Early Signs of Water Damage in Roofing Systems
Call SERVPRO of Central Glendale for Roof Leak Repair
1. Water Spots on the Ceiling
Water spots on the roof ceiling indicate leakage; however, it may be hard to pinpoint the origin of the leak. A slow leak is usually harder to find than a big leak. The reason is, a slow leak often migrates from the original opening, making it difficult to find the source of the leak. If you spot a leak, it is advisable to get in touch with a professional residential roof repair company for inspection. The professional will conduct a thorough inspection to find the source of the leak and provide a solution to reverse the damage.
2. Granule Filled Gutters
Shingle granules may come off the roof surface due to aging, rain or storm. If the roof is losing a lot of shingles, it indicates that you need to replace the granules of the roofs. Shingle damage is often visible in the form of smooth or bald spots with a majority of the granules ripped off. Before you consider a shingle replacement, the first step is to check the manufacturer’s warranty followed by contacting a residential roof repair professional to gauge the extent of shingle damage and the need to repair or replace them.
3. Cracking and Blistering Shingles
As the shingles get old and lose granules, they are exposed to direct sunlight and turn brittle. UV radiation damages the shingles from the inside, leading to cracking and blistering. Apart from damaging the aesthetic appeal of the property, cracking and blistering of shingles leave the roof susceptible to water leaks that may cause an irreversible damage to the roofing system. If you notice any cracks or blisters in the shingles, get in touch with a roofing professional to avoid further damage and costly repairs.
4. Soft or Spongy Wood Decking
Soft and spongy wood decking is an indication of a longstanding water damage. Water damage may cause the decking to rot and leave the roof susceptible to potential leaks in the future. You should be able to notice water spots on the decking while walking on the roof. It is, however, unsafe to walk over spongy decking and the area must not be used until appropriate repair work is carried out.
5. Water Spots on the Exterior of Walls
Water spots on the exterior walls of a building indicate damage to the step flashing – the section where the roof meets the wall. The step flashing may rust or become loose with time, which causes the rainwater to leave those water spots. Though replacing the step flashing can mitigate the issue, the job is quite tricky which makes it necessary to get the help of a roofing professional. If you notice water spots on the exterior walls of your property, waste no time in contacting a roofing company.
The Bottom Line
Roofing systems deteriorate due to consistent exposure to weather and other elements. Though the damage may seem to have a little impact during early days, if ignored, it may lead to either a permanent damage to the roof or would need costly repairs. Having a preventive maintenance plan helps in detecting early signs of damage, making it easy to fix. If you think the roofing system of your property needs expert attention, look no further than SERVPRO of Central Glendale. Our experts possess extensive experience in handling complex water repairs and can help you maintain a roof that continues to serve, year after year. Feel free to speak with one of our residential roof repair professionals by calling at (818) 246-2200.
Pet Fire Safety
Never leave pets alone around an open flame. If your pet is rowdy, it's best to avoid candles.
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.
Help Firefighters Help Your Pets
- 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.
- 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.
SERVPRO to the Rescue!
SERVPRO restores a commercial water damaged building.
Dealing with water damage is not easy. If you’ve ever walked into your home or office and realized you have water damage, you know how frustrating and stressful it can be. Sewage backup, earthquakes and floods, as well as house fires mean water in areas where it should not be. When water invades your property, you need professional water damage restoration in Glendale to solve the problem.
Floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters aren’t the only things you can associate with water damages. In fact, many water damage issues happen due to broken pipes, failed sump pump, clogged toilets or leaking washing machine hose. These can destroy your space in just a matter of hours. Don’t let a seemingly small problem becomes worse. Immediately find a reliable water damage restoration Glendale. Don’t skip the services of a reputable damage restoration company, as the problem can become even more expensive when not treated right away.
Although we always do everything we can to respond as quickly as possible, there may be times when it will take us some time to get to your property. While waiting for our arrival, there are certain things you can do in order to minimize further damage. The process does not have to be too complicated. Once you do the following tips, you can speed the process of helping you get back to normal.
- Blot or mop up the wear areas using towels.
- If you can access the circuit breakers safely, make sure that you turn the power off in every affected area. This must also be done for your water shut off valve in order to stop the water flow.
- Remove anything that could stain on wet floors or carpets like newsprint items and books.
- Remove wet upholstery cushions from furniture and put in a dry area.
- Remove all items that are sensitive to moisture from any affected areas and place them in a dry, safe area.
- Avoid any contact with wet areas if the water didn’t originate from a clean source.
- In case you’ve come in contact with the contaminated water, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and immediately.
- Don’t enter a room where there’s a possible electric shock hazard.
- HVAC units must be turned off, as they can spread contaminated air.
- Don’t try to extract water using a household vacuum cleaner or use fans to try drying the structure. This is an unsafe practice that could cause an electric shock or the machine could be damaged.
- Don’t use any of your electrical appliances while standing on concrete, wet carpets or any types of flooring.
- Place plywood or foil under furniture legs in order to separate them from wet flooring or carpeting.
Commercial Water Damage Events present unique challenges
Flooding and water damage events at Los Angeles commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need. You may contact us 24/7 at (818) 246-2200.
About SERVPRO of Central Glendale
SERVPRO of Central Glendale specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
A storm caused the basement to flood
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Los Angeles basement could flood, including:
A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
Storm sewer backup
Sanitary sewer backup
Foundation drainage failure
Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
And many more
A flood could be caused by heavy rain runoff. For the past few days, we have had more rain in Los Angeles than we could remember! Calls about this issue have been swinging in!
If water damage is not handled quickly and properly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s structure not to mention the potential harmful health effects of mold. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
We have advanced inspection and extraction equipment
Have Questions? Call Us Today – We’re Here To Help - (818) 246-2200
SERVPRO drying the carpets.
A roof leak caused this buliding in Glendale, CA to have a flood in the office rooms. This picture shows you how the carpet is soaking wet and we removed the furnitures so it would be easy for us to remove the carpet and start inspecting if there is any mold. The incident happened overnight and the very next day the ceo of the company called SERVPRO of Central Glendale and we did an inspection within the hour we went back to grab our equipment. Once we came bak we started to do our work and the we finished within three days. The total progress was within five days of work. The owner was very pleased and surprised that we finished the work so fast.
Fire in the classroom.
A fish tank in a classroom exploded overnight caused half the classrooms and the basement to catch on fire in a school in the Los Angeles area. This picture shows that one of the classrooms that got more damaged than any other rooms. SERVPRO of Central Glendale was called in by the principle of the school the very next day within thirty minutes we have arrived to the damage areas. Fire is very dangerous and its usually hard to get rid of when it spreads rapidly. The process of the work took about a week and two days to finish. The owner was thrilled when he saw the aftermath of the work we did for them and he said "The classrooms look amazing and thank you again!"
A roof leak caused this room to have damages to the walls and floors of a church located in the Los Angeles area. This picture shows the mess left behind after all the water had receded. SERVPRO of Central Glendale was called in to do an inspection and withinn an hour we came back with our equipment, and than we started to do our work. SERVPRO of Central Glendale finished the job within five days. The owner of the buliding was thrilled when we arrive prepared and ready to work. He said, "I was very impressed with the work that they did, they were very polite and organized. Now I know who to call just in case if I ever have any damages at all."
When storms hit LA, SERVPRO is ready!
Storms hit LA area, SERVPRO will be ready to take action!
SERVPRO of Central Glendale specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Glendale, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (818) 246-2200
Does your home have a Mold Problem?
Mold located on the walls of a Glendale home.
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (818) 246-2200
Be careful! Mold can be very dangerous.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
Stay out of affected areas.
Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
Contact SERVPRO of Central Glendale for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Central Glendale specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (818) 246-2200
SERVPRO of Central Glendale is here to help!
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Central Glendale provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Central Glendale arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (818) 246-2200
Water Damage Timeline
Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
Drywall begins to swell and break down.
Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
Furniture begins to swell and crack.
Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
Metal begins to rust and corrode.
Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
Paint begins to blister.
Wood flooring swells and warps.
Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Central Glendale
SERVPRO of Central Glendale specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Smoke and Suit up
SERVPRO of Central Glendale is on 24/7!
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 of Central Glendale 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.
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 – (818) 246-2200
SERVPRO is on the move for 24/7!
SERVPRO of Central Glendale is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (818) 246-2200
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Central Glendale has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
Your name and contact information
Your insurance information (if applicable)
The street address of the water-damaged home or business
When did the flooding or water damage occur?
What caused the water damage (if known)?
Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of Central Glendale
SERVPRO of Central Glendale specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Pipes Burst in a church
A pipe burst in the middle of the night at a church located around the Los Angeles area. This before picture shows the mess that was cause from a pipe burst. Water usually floods either the whole floor or the whole buliding. It travels from one place to the other within seconds. It is a big mess to clean usually it takes about a few days or few weeks to get everything back to where it came from. Usually water floods either half the room or all the way to ceiling. Once this room got flooded the owner called SERVPRO of Central Glendale. The next day we arrived to the damage and we did an inspection, once we did it, we started the following day.
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances
In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.
Learn About Fires
- Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
- Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
- Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
- Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.
Before a Fire
Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan
In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.
Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan. Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:
- Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
- A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
- Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
- Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
- Teach children not to hide from firefighters.
A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.
- Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
- Test batteries monthly.
- Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
- Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.
Smoke Alarm Safety for People with Access or Functional Needs
- Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
- Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
- Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.
Molds and other fungi grow easily in damp indoor environments. People who spend time in such environments sometimes complain of respiratory effects.
Mold is a non-scientific term for many types of fungi - unwanted, unappealing patches of black, brown, yellow, pink, green, smelly, fuzzy growths. Countless species of mold are found both indoors and outdoors.
"Mold" and "fungus" have many connotations, most of them unpleasant: musty odors, damp basements, moldy carpets, water leaks, soggy drywall, athlete's foot, and poisonous mushrooms, among others. On the positive side, molds are also responsible for penicillin and blue cheese; yeasts are fungi (plural of fungus) used to make bread, beer, and wine; and some types of mushrooms are considered edible delicacies. And without fungi to break them down, the world would be buried in leaves, trees, grass, and garbage.
Although mold and its spores are literally everywhere, active mold growth requires moisture. Whether on visible surfaces or hiding behind drywall, in attics, or under carpets, indoor mold grows in the presence of excessive dampness or water. Also found in damp indoor environments are:
- dust mites;
- break-down products of bacteria and molds, such as proteins, cell-wall particles (glucans) and volatile organic compounds (the actual cause of the musty odor associated with mold);
- airborne chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter caused by destruction of materials by growing molds.
Indoor mold may be unsightly and smelly, but the potential problems are more serious than that. By definition, actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on, thereby impairing structural integrity. In addition, mold is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections. (Some health effects attributed to mold may in fact be caused by bacteria, dust mites, etc., found in mold-colonized environments. So-called "toxic mold" has been claimed as the cause of "toxic mold disease"; this syndrome remains undefined and "toxic mold" as a cause remains unproven. "Toxic mold" is also unproven as a cause of the various symptoms associated with "sick building syndrome".
Mold growth in homes, schools, and businesses should be eliminated for the sake of human health, structural integrity, and quality of life. Cleaning up small amounts of mold can be done by homeowners. Eliminating mold from large areas requires expertise and protection both for the removal specialists and occupants of the affected space.
How Mold Effects Human Health
Spending time in damp and moldy buildings seems to increase the risk of bronchitis and respiratory infections, but is not proven to do so.
Molds and other fungi grow easily in damp indoor environments. People who spend time in such environments sometimes complain of respiratory effects, headaches, and other physical symptoms. In addition to visible or hidden mold, damp spaces likely harbor mold break-down products, dust mites, bacteria, and chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter released from the materials on which molds are growing. Given the difficulties in testing for all of these elements, hard evidence of precise cause-and-effect can be elusive.
In an extensive 2004 report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) did not find enough evidence to identify health effects which were definitely caused by spending time in damp indoor spaces. However, the experts found that being in damp indoor spaces seemed related to respiratory illnesses: nose and throat [upper respiratory] symptoms, cough, wheeze, and asthma symptoms. They also found limited evidence that these environments can be associated with shortness of breath, the development of asthma in people who did not previously suffer from it, and lower respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath) in healthy children. Based on available research, IOM was not able to substantiate claims of numerous other symptoms such as skin irritations, fatigue, cancer, lung disease, or respiratory infections. There was enough evidence of health effects overall, though, that IOM identified damp indoor spaces as a public health problem that needs to be addressed.
It can be difficult or impossible to assess all types of molds, spores, fungal fragments, chemicals from destruction of mold-colonized materials and second-hand smoke, and other airborne matter indoors at any given time. Though numerous studies associate the presence of dampness and mold with respiratory allergies and asthma, it can be equally difficult or impossible to establish the presence of these substances as the definitive cause of illness in particular patients.
What to do during a storm?
Most of the U.S. will experience thunderstorms from time to time, but the state with the highest occurrence of storms might be surprising.
- Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Look for lightning and go indoors if you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder; stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder-clap
- Consider investing in a personal lightning detector
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage
- Shut all windows and secure outside doors
- Unplug electronic equipment
- Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords, including devices plugged in for recharging (consider unplugging valuable electronics in case of power surge)
- Water conducts electricity, so avoid contact with plumbing
- Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches
- Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls
- Avoid natural lightning rods, such as tall isolated trees, and avoid isolated small structures in open areas
- Avoid contact with metal, including farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts and bicycles
- If you are driving, safely exit or pull over and park; do not touch any surface that conducts electricity in or outside of the vehicle
- Never drive through a flooded roadway
- Avoid storm-damaged areas
- Help people who may require special assistance
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately
- Watch your pets closely; keep them indoors if possible
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm.
When a severe thunderstorm is imminent or already occurring in your area, it's time to put your plan into action. Pay close attention to any storm watches or warnings that have been issued for your location.
If You're in a Building
- Make sure you have a portable radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio, for weather alerts and updates.
- Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or storm cellar. If you don't have a basement, go to an inner hallway, a smaller inner room or a closet.
- Keep away from all windows and glass doorways.
- If you're in a building such as a church, hospital, school or office building, go to the innermost part of the building on the lowest floor. Do not use elevators because the power may fail, leaving you trapped.
- You can cushion yourself with a mattress, but don't cover yourself with one. Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass. Don't waste time moving mattresses around.
- Keep pets on a leash or in a crate or carrier.
- Stay inside until you're certain the storm has passed, as multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm.
- Do not leave a building to attempt to "escape" a tornado.
If You're Outside
- Try to get inside a building as quickly as possible and find a small, protected space away from windows.
- Avoid buildings with long-span roof areas such as a school gymnasium, arena or shopping mall, as these structures are usually supported only by outside walls. When hit by a tornado, buildings like these can collapse, because they cannot withstand the pressure of the storm.
- If you cannot find a place to go inside, crouch for protection next to a strong structure or lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Cover your head and neck with your arms or a jacket, if you have one.
If You're in a Car
- If you can safely drive away from the tornado, do so.
- If there is a sturdy structure available, go inside.
- If no building is available, it might be better to pull over, stop the car (but leave it running so the air bags work), and crouch down below the windows. The airbags and frame of the car will offer some amount of protection, but certainly not absolute safety.
- A long-standing safety rule has been to get out of the car and into a ditch. If you do that, you should get far enough away from the car that it doesn’t tumble onto you. Being below the prevailing ground level may shield you from some of the tornado wind and flying debris, but there is still danger from those.
- Do NOT get out of a vehicle and climb up under the embankment of a bridge or overpass. This often increases your risk.
If You're in a Mobile Home
- Do not remain in a mobile home during a tornado. Even mobile homes equipped with tie-down systems cannot withstand the force of a tornado's winds.
- Heed all local watches and warnings, and leave your mobile home to seek shelter as quickly as possible before a tornado strikes, preferably in a nearby building with a basement.
- If no shelter is immediately available, find the lowest-lying area near you and lie down in it, covering your head with your hands.
Buying a house with water damage?
As with any water loss, the first thing we will do upon arriving at your property is assess the full scope of the damage.
You found your dream home. It's in the perfect neighborhood, has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, an updated kitchen, spacious family room and sprawling backyard. The only negative: it's a water damaged house. Buying a House with Water Damage: Important Facts to KnowYou don't have to give up your dream home just because the house has suffered water damage or currently has water damage. You do need to determine some facts before making an offer on the property. Schedule Inspections Before BuyingBegin by scheduling a home inspection. A home inspection before you purchase any property is wise and especially important when dealing with known water damage. Only work with a certified home inspector who can provide a comprehensive water damage inspection including the extent of the mold problem. The inspector needs to be able to find any hidden damage, including structural issues, leaking windows, foundation cracks and bad pipes. You also may opt for an inspector who specializes in foundations or a roofing expert depending on where the mold issue is concentrated. Important: Request written copies of all home inspection reports. Consult a ContractorA contractor can provide an estimation on how much it will cost to repair the damage caused by water, including any repairs needed after mold removal. It's important to factor in the cost of water damage repair and mold remediation (if mold is present in the home) before placing a bid on the house. The mold experts at SERVPRO of Central Glendale can provide full mold remediation for any type of mold issues. Evaluate Repair and Remediation CostsWater damage from a leaking bathtub pipe may have effected more than what can be seen. Water can seep through the walls, soaking the back of drywall, structural supports and insulation, especially if the leak had been undetected for some time. Flood damage to a basement can create significant mold issues that need to be treated by professionals. It's essential to factor in full water damage repair and mold remediation costs before making an offer on the house. Thoroughly read all inspection reports and don't be afraid to ask questions of the inspectors, contractors and other experts. Get all the facts and then sit down with your real estate agent. It may be possible to work the repair costs into the offer or to have the seller cover the costs of repair and mold remediation. Be sure your realtor includes the water damage repair costs in writing in the bid presented to the seller. Everything in WritingNegotiations may go back and forth. However, once a final deal has been agreed upon, double-check to ensure the agreement regarding water damage costs is correct. A real estate attorney can be consulted if any of the contractual terms need clarification.
Prevent Water Damage from Toilets
If you experience backups or blockages regularly even after having the pipes cleaned, then you may have an underlying issue.
Common toilet problems and plumbing issues can lead to water damage. Plumbing problems can be prevented by regular plumbing maintenance. Taking care of a toilet repair as soon as toilet plumbing problems occur is the best way to prevent toilet-related water damage. Follow the IBHS recommendations below to avoid costly water damage repair and water damage restoration.
Water damage in your bathroom can drain your wallet, which is why IBHS urges property owners to complete preventive maintenance before trouble strikes. IBHS conducted a study of closed water damage insurance claims and used that information to identify the leading causes of water damage and develop solutions.
- The study found that toilet failures cost more than $5,500 per incident after the deductible was paid.
- One-third of all toilet failures in the study resulted from an overflowing or clogged toilet.
Ways to Reduce Damage
- Be patient after you flush and wait for the valve to completely finish refilling the tank and bowl. If an overflow looks imminent, lift off the tank cover and lift the float to shut off water flow to the tank, and then turn off the supply valve.
- Twice a year, inspect a toilet’s components, such as the fill, supply and flush valves and the supply line. Make sure that you can turn off the supply. If you have older screw type valves that are hard to turn or start leaking, consider replacing them with simpler ball valves that are easy to shut off quickly.
Tip: It is a good idea to look over your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover sudden damage, like water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowing washing machine. On the other hand, any water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded, as well as gradual leaks that caused water damage over time.
How to prepare for a water damage consultation
Sensitive moisture meters detect trapped and hidden moisture in and below the surface of building materials.
If your home has been affected by water damage, the hours following the incident are crucial. Whether due to a flood or a leaky pipe, one of the first things you should do is to call a company who specializes in water cleanup in Glendale. These professionals are equipped to assess, restore, and repair any sort of water damage that occurs in your home. Their first appointment is generally just a consultation. Before they arrive, there are a few things that you can do to prepare.
- Have your insurance information close by. Most restoration companies can assist you in filing an insurance claim. Before they arrive, make sure that you have your homeowner’s insurance policy available. If you have time, it could be beneficial to look it over or call your carrier to find out if your policy covers the water damage.
- Think about what you want to do. In some instances, water damage is so severe that it is impossible to repair the structure. In other cases, it’s completely possible to restore your belongings. Before your water damage consultation, think about whether or not you would rather restore your belongings or purge them. Purging them would require you to throw them out and start again.
- Prepare yourself for the process. During water damage consultation, the professionals will take their time to look over your property and assess all of the issues. It could take quite a bit of time for everything to be detailed and examined.
- Trust your restoration professionals. When calling a company to assess the water damage in your home, it’s important to trust them and their opinions. While you may think that certain walls are dry to the touch, there may still be risk of mold and deterioration. Experts can detect and assess these types of issues. If you aren’t willing to listen to their opinions or trust their methods, it will prolong the process and could lead to further damage. Trust those who are trying to restore your home. It’s in their best interest to get the structure of your home and your belongings back to normal as soon as possible.
- Be prepared to vacate the premises if needed. Not all water damage warrants an evacuation. However, in the event that your water damage professionals need you to leave the home while they restore it, have a place in mind that you can stay. Whether you choose a hotel or with friends, mentally preparing to stay somewhere else can make it easier if it ends up being a reality.
The restoration process can be slow. There are deliberate procedures that must be executed to ensure that water damage doesn’t spread and that your home remains safe for you and your family. If you are dealing with water damage, be prepared for the road ahead of you. Water damage repair should only be left to the professionals, like the technicians from SERVPRO of Central Glendale. Whether you are dealing with flood water or a burst sprinkler pipe, don’t attempt to clean up the damage on your own.
Avoid Hazards & Fires in your California Home
From overly hot faucets to tipped-over coffee cups, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns (especially scalds from hot water and liquids) are some of the most common childhood accidents. Babies and young children are especially at risk — they're curious, small, and have sensitive skin that needs extra protection.
Here are some important ways to protect kids from burns — as well as electrical shocks and household fires — in your home.
Make a fire escape plan with two ways out of the house, plus a designated meeting place once out of the house. Practice the fire escape plan regularly.
- Keep an emergency ladder on upper floors of your home in the event of a fire. Keep the ladder in or near the room of an adult or older child capable of using it.
- Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in each bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and remember to change the batteries twice a year.
- Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older.
- Install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it.
- Keep matches, lighters, chemicals, and lit candles out of kids' reach.
- Don't smoke inside, especially when you're tired, taking medication that can cause you to be drowsy, or in bed.
Electrical Equipment and Appliances
- Put child-safety covers on all electrical outlets.
- Get rid of equipment and appliances with old or frayed cords and extension cords that look damaged.
- Bind excess cord from lamps or other electrical equipment with a twist-tie to prevent injury from chewing on cords. You also can purchase a holder or spool specially designed to hide extra cord.
- Position television and stereo equipment against walls so small hands don't have access to the back surfaces or cords. It's best to secure TVs by attaching them to the wall.
- Make sure all wires to seasonal lighting, such as holiday tree lights, are properly insulated (for example, make sure they don't have exposed or broken wiring). Bind any excess cord and unplug lights when they're not in use.
- Check electronic toys often for signs of wear and tear; any object that sparks, feels hot, or smells unusual must be repaired or thrown away immediately. Replace batteries in electronic toys regularly and look for any signs of corrosion in the toys.
- Clean the clothes dryer vent of lint after each use.
- Don't run electrical wires under rugs or carpet.
- Don't overload electrical sockets.
- Keep any decorative items away from windows, doors, and ceilings. Make sure anything you have near the ceiling is not blocking any sprinklers you may have installed.
- Screen fireplaces and wood-burning stoves and always keep kids 3 feet away from them. Radiators and electric baseboard heaters also might need to be screened.
- Teach kids never to put anything into the fireplace when it is lit. Also make sure they know the doors to the fireplace can be very hot and cause a burn.
- Make sure to have all chimneys inspected and cleaned regularly
Southern California is infamous for its wildfire seasons. With high temperatures and winds, fires can spring up and can spread very quickly. It is important to take the time to prepare for evacuation should an emergency situation arise.
Below is a checklist that can help you with this:
1. Pack an emergency bag for you and your family (basically act like you’re going on a weekend camping trip):
- Water and nonperishable food (3 day supply per person). If you have animals, ensure you include their food.
- A first aid kit, including any absolutely needed medications or medical items.
- Emergency tools including flashlights, batteries, radio, etc.
- Sanitation and hygiene items, including any items needed for any infants such as diapers.
- Extra clothes and footwear for each person.
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person.
- Some cash and emergency credit cards (if you have them).
2. Put a plan together:
- Plan two ways out of your neighborhood in case a usual road is blocked
- Select a meeting place for your family members in case you are evacuated, can’t get home, etc. Also select one person who is out of the area to be a central contact point in case you are not able to meet up or get a hold of one another.
- Figure out what documents you should take with you. Make sure the documents are all in one location that is easy for you to access. You can also make copies of all of them and keep them specifically with your emergency bag.
- Figure out any cherished (irreplaceable) items you would want to take (jewelry, artwork, etc.). Make a list ahead of time so that if you do HAVE TIME to pack, you can quickly gather up these items (NOTE: These are the LAST things you would gather up, the first being your family and pets, the second being your emergency supplies, the 3rd being your documents and this being the LAST. If there is something so important to you that you must take it with you, put it with your emergency bag).
- Don’t let your vehicle get to empty on gas. You don’t want to have to evacuate and be out of gas, that would be bad. Try to keep at least 1/2 a tank of gas throughout the fire season.
3. Prepare your home:
- Clear dead brush, dead or dry plants and pine needles from around your home
- Keep your roof and rain gutters clean and clear of all pine needles, dry leaves, etc.
- Keep trees and bushes trimmed and not hanging over your roof
- There are many other steps you can take, including using fire resistant material for your roof and fence, but the above 4 are things you can do immediately. For longer term fire proofing of your home, here are some great tips.
If and once you’re told to evacuate, do so immediately, don’t wait. Don’t panic. Take your emergency kit, family and pets and then anything else you have time for, lock your home and go to your emergency meet up location.
Are You Sick of The Mold In Your Home?
Mold and Your Home
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.
Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
You Can Control Mold
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
- If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
MOLD PREVENTION TIPS
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
- To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency's publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home at http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html.
Rules for Storm Safety
1. Have a storm safety kit handy. You can make your own kit at home.
2. Stay inside during thunderstorms and blizzards. Lightning, wind and ice can damage power lines, making them very dangerous. It's also important to stay off the phone and computer during a storm too.
3. Use flashlights instead of candles. Using candles during a storm is a big fire hazard.
4. Don’t open the refrigerator or freezer unless you absolutely need to. Keeping the door closed as much as possible will make the food last longer.
5. If your power goes out, notify the power company right away. The more calls or notifications they get, the faster they can find and fix the problem.
6. Don’t try to use a gas appliance to keep warm. Using a gas appliance the wrong way can cause deadly carbon monoxide. Bundle up in layers of clothes instead.
7. Ask someone to unplug as many appliances as possible. This will help prevent damage when the power comes back on.
8. Don’t stand near portable generators or heaters. This equipment is very dangerous, so stay far away.
9. Stay away from damaged or downed power lines. Even utility workers can't tell if a power line is energized just by looking at it.
10. Watch out for power lines when they're cleaning up outside. If power lines are running through damaged trees, call the electric company for help.
Thunder and Safety Thunders
Learn how to protect you and your loved ones during a thunderstorm.
The weather forecast calls for a slight chance of thunderstorms, but you can only see a few fluffy white clouds overhead. So you and your tennis partner grab your racquets and balls and head for the tennis court. You spend a few minutes warming up and then—wait! Is that thunder you hear? Was that a lightning flash?
What do you do? Keep playing until the thunder and lightning get closer? Go sit on the metal bench under the trees to see what happens? Or get in your car and drive home?
Correct answer: If no substantial, non-concrete shelter is nearby, get in your car and wait out the storm.
Why? Because being outside when lightning is present is not something to take lightly—ever.
Risks of Lightning Strikes
Although the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk. Lightning most often strikes people who work outside or engage in outdoor recreational activities. Regional and seasonal differences can also affect your risk of being injured by lightning.
In 2016, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas had the most lightening deaths.
The consequences of lightning strikes are serious. Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. During 2004–2013, lightning caused an average of 33 deaths per year in the United States.
When you see lightning, take safety precautions.
Protect Yourself from Lightning Strikes
You can protect yourself from risk even if you are caught outdoors when lightning is close by.
Safety precautions outdoors
- If the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity.
- Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors. Find a safe, enclosed shelter.
- The main lightning safety guide is the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
- If no shelter is available, crouch low, with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away.
- Stay away from concrete floors or walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Although you should move into a non-concrete structure if possible, being indoors does not automatically protect you from lightning. In fact, about one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors.
Safety precautions indoors
- Avoid water during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
- Avoid electronic equipment of all types. Lightning can travel through electrical systems and radio and television reception systems.
- Avoid corded phones. However, cordless or cellular phones are safe to use during a storm.
- Avoid concrete floors and walls.
Lightning strikes may be rare, but they still happen and the risk of serious injury or death is severe. So take thunderstorms seriously.
Learn and follow these safety rules to keep yourself safe from lightning.
Household Checklist: SAFETY FIRST!
- Are all unused outlets covered with safety plugs?
- Are all major electrical appliances grounded?
- Have cord holders been used to keep longer cords fastened against walls?
- Have you checked for and removed other potential electrical fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires running under carpets?
- Are televisions, computers, and stereo equipment positioned against walls? Are they secured to the wall with brackets so they can't tip forward?
Heating & Cooling Elements
- Are all radiators and baseboard heaters covered with childproof screens if necessary?
- Have gas fireplaces been secured with a valve cover or key?
- Do all working fireplaces have a screen and other barriers in place when in use?
- Have any chimneys been cleaned recently?
- Are all electric space heaters at least 3 feet (91 centimeters) from beds, curtains, or anything flammable?
Emergency Equipment & Numbers
- Have you placed a list of emergency phone numbers near each phone in your home?
- Are there fire extinguishers installed on every floor and in the kitchen? Do you know how to use them?
- Do you have an emergency ladder for the upper floors of your home?
- Are there smoke detectors on each floor of your home?
- Have smoke detectors been installed in the hallways between all bedrooms of your home?
- Have you tested all smoke detectors within the last month?
- Have you changed the batteries in the smoke detectors within the past 6 months?
- If you cook with or heat your home with natural gas or have an attached garage, have you considered installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home?
Water and electricity make a dangerous combination. That's especially true in your bathroom, where you use water from the sink and shower to clean yourself, but also rely on electrical devices like shavers and hair dryers. That's why you need to take special care with your devices in the bathroom to protect yourself and your family from shock, electrocution or fire. Read on for tips on how to ensure safety when it comes to the electrical work in the bathroom.
Bathroom Electrical Safety is Paramount
Water is essential to human health and hygiene. Unfortunately, it's also a great conductor of electricity. That means that you could receive a severe shock when you are standing in water, and even wet skin allows electricity an easier path to pass into your body. Electrical shocks can cause burns, heart arrhythmia, nervous system damage and death, and bad wiring or improper grounding can also start a fire. That's why safety in your bathroom electrical work should be one of your primary concerns. Follow these tips to avoid an emergency:
- Make sure your electrical sockets are located a safe distance away from the shower. Cover the outlets when they aren't in use.
- All the outlets in the bathroom should be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters, which can sense when an electric current is improperly grounding and automatically shut down the power, potentially saving a person holding a hair dryer in the shower from a nasty shock.
- On that note, never use electrical devices in the bathroom when you are standing in or otherwise in contact with standing water. This should be common sense, but sometimes people forget or get careless.
- Any exposed or frayed wiring in the bathroom should be addressed and repaired immediately.
- If you use an electric heater in your bathroom, it should be hardwired into a circuit, and preferably installed into the wall or ceiling.
- The less wiring you have in your bathroom, the better, so recessed or enclosed lights are better than light bulbs or fixtures that hang freely from the walls or ceilings.
- Pull strings for your lights are safer than switches because they prevent wet hands from getting anywhere near the circuit.
- Electrical work must be performed by a licensed professional so you have assurances that the job is done well, and recourse if it isn't.
Don't Leave the Quality of Your Electrical Work to Chance
In addition to these tips, certain requirements about the installation of electrical work in bathrooms are found in local municipal codes as well. For all the electrical work in your bathroom, make sure you hire a qualified electrician who can adhere to all of the applicable quality and safety standards.
Pet Safety Matters Too!
If you have a dog or cat, you know that they can get into just as much trouble as kids. Dogs and cats are naturally curious. They might go snooping around your home, and you don’t want them to get into anything that could hurt them. That means you have to try to keep your house as pet-friendly as possible. There are plenty of safety tips you can follow to protect your pets as well as ways you can keep your home clean even with pets.
Keeping Your House Safe
As you start the process of keeping your home safe for your pets, you need to remember that certain things that are not threats to humans can still be dangerous to animals. For instance, certain plants can be hazardous to animals, so if a cat eats a lily, her kidneys can shut down. As a homeowner, you must do some research to find out what is really dangerous for your pets. Beyond knowing exactly what is dangerous for them, you can just try to keep everything out of reach. Here are some ways you can make sure that your pets stay safe and healthy:
- Childproof Latches
Use childproof latches on kitchen and bathroom cupboards. This will prevent animals from getting to foods and chemicals that can cause them harm.
- Store Items High
Keep medications, cleaners and other chemicals on high shelves, so if the childproof latches don’t keep your pets out they still won’t be able to get the dangerous stuff.
- Cover the Garbage
Keep garbage cans covered, and, if possible, store them in a cabinet, closet or outdoors. Garbage cans are usually filled with a collection of old food, dangerous chemicals, and small indigestible pieces of trash that can all be harmful to your animals.
- Use Blockades
Animals can get trapped behind large units and overheat. To prevent this, put up blockades so they can’t get behind appliances like washing machines, dryers, refrigerators or air conditioning units.
- Keep Food Out of Reach
Make sure food is out of reach or behind a closed door. Different food causes problems for dogs and cats, and the wrapper could also present a choking hazard. It is best if you keep all food where they cannot get to it.
- Close the Toilet Lid
Keep the toilet lid down to prevent small animals from drowning. Allowing your pets the opportunity to drink out of the bowl is dangerous too, as it exposes them to all sorts of harmful chemicals.
- Avoid Dangling Wires
Try to eliminate dangling wires from lamps, gaming systems, TVs, stereos or anything of the sort. Your animals might get hurt if they chew on any wires.
- Hide Breakable or Chewable Items
Be wary of placing knick-knacks, picture frames, vases or other dangerous items on low shelves where your cat or dog can get at them. Smaller or breakable items should be kept higher than your pet can get to.
- Dangerous House Plants
Be aware of plants that may be a danger to your animal, and try to avoid bringing them into the house. Common houseplants that are actually dangerous for your animals to ingest are Lilies, Azaleas, Oleander, Tulips, Yew, Chrysanthemum and English Ivy, and there are many more. Be sure to research if your houseplants are hazards to your beloved animals.
- Strings and Threads
Make sure all thread and string is safely put away. Sewing rooms in general can be very dangerous for pets. It is easy for a cat to choke on some thread while playing with it. Needles also pose a real danger to animals.
- Laundry and Shoes
Keep your laundry and shoes in closets or proper bins, so your pets can’t eat them. Not only can pets ruin your clothes for you, but small pieces like buttons and zippers can be choking hazards.
- Closet and Cupboard Traps
Be careful not to close your cat or dog in closets, cupboards or drawers. You don’t want to trap them without food and water! Make sure all cabinets are clear of animals before you shut the doors.
- Rugs and Claws
Pick rugs that resist stains, such as indoor-outdoor rugs, as well as ones that do not have high loops. Cats in particular can get hooked by their claws and hurt themselves.
Risk of Water Damage for Hotels & Shopping Centers
Large buildings often have a long and confusing system of water pipes that deliver water from floor to floor. This makes the potential for water damage from flooding after a burst pipe much higher in these types of buildings than in a typical home or small business. Buildings that are prone to this type of damage include high-rises, hotels, hospitals, dormitories and shopping centers.
Some of the most common causes of flood damage in these types of buildings includes:
- Malfunction of level detection devices
- Malfunction of fire water sprinkler systems
- Burst pipe
- Human error
- Natural disaster
- Roof leak
- Foundation leak
- Leaking or rupturing water chiller lines for HVAC systems
When water leaks on an upper floor, it will often flow down several floors by following the path of least resistance. That means that it can get into ceilings, behind walls and under carpet. When water damage strikes, the consequences can be serious. Not only is the space damaged, resulting in high repair costs, but the longer it takes to repair the space the more revenue is lost. Further, damage from the water itself is only the beginning of the problem. If untreated, water damage can lead to mold and mildew, necessitating even more cleanup and repair.
The more difficult part is establishing the accurate salvage value of the damaged goods.
Although typically not given much thought, salvage has a significant impact on a claim and the claim process. It can either be a means to be fully indemnified for a loss, or potentially impede the recovery. If there is sufficient insurance on the damaged goods, the insured still has the first choice in the handling of the goods whether they are salvageable or not. After all, it’s his/her goods until paid for by the insurance company. If the owner of the damaged goods has no insurance for his/her loss, every penny that can be recouped from the pile of debris is even more critical for the owner.
The Basics of Salvage
The dictionary describes “salvage” as
- The act of saving imperiled property from loss.
- The property so saved.
- Something saved from destruction or waste and put to further use.
The owner of damaged goods (insured or not) will always want to recover as much as possible for the salvageable items. How that is accomplished could fill volumes of books, as almost every salvage effort is unique. This is because the major factors that affect salvage value are market conditions, and time and place of loss. Each of these components is ever-changing.
The following scenarios provide a basic look at salvage principles.
1. Salvage Turned Over to the Insurance Company
Insured A has $100,000 in inventory value. They have $100,000 in coverage without
a coinsurance clause or a deductible in the policy. In the event of a total loss to the coinsurance clause or a deductible in the policy. In the event of a total loss to the insured property, the insured would be paid the policy limits of $100,000 and surrender title and ownership of the damaged inventory. The inventory, now owned by the insurance company, would be removed by them and salvaged if possible.
2. Salvage Retained by the Insured
Insured A has $100,000 in inventory value. They have $100,000 in coverage without a coinsurance clause or a deductible in the policy. In the event of a loss to the insured property the insured decides to retain and attempt to salvage the inventory themselves.
The insurance company places a salvage value of $30,000 on the damaged inventory. The $30,000 value is deducted from the policy limits of $100,000 and the insured would be paid $70,000. It is then up to the insured to salvage the inventory.
3. Salvage in an Underinsured Loss
Insured A has $100,000 in inventory value. They only have $50,000 in coverage and no coinsurance clause or a deductible in the policy. In the event of a total loss the insured is paid $50,000 — the limit of liability of their policy. The insured also retains the damaged inventory and, if salvageable, those monies contribute to the reduction of the policyholder’s uninsured loss. Salvage becomes a means to become more fully in terms of the consignment with respect to damage while the goods are in the “care, custody, and control” of the insured?
Our customer's come first!
We love sharing letters and testimonials from our satisfied customers. We take our time to listen to our customer's needs, provide them with excellent service, and treat them the way we would treat our own family. Here are some great reviews that our happy customers left us! Hope you enjoy the as much as we do :)
"We woke up to a burst hot water pipe under the house. It must have been going on through the night without us waking up from it, because there was a lot of standing water under the house and steamed up windows in the house. We had no idea what to do and a friend recommended we call SERVPRO of CENTRAL GLENDALE. She had used that specific one and highly recommended them. So we called and within an hour had them arrive to check out what was going on. They confirmed what we thought that there was moisture in the walls and floors. They put fans in all the areas affected and also under the house. Fast forward to a week or so later, there was still moisture in the walls and we were told that the dry walls/hardwood floors need to be cut into so they can dry it and mold doesn't form. They completely packed all our stuff (I need to call these guys next time we want to move!) and did a very thorough job with drying out our walls. With having 3 kids under 4 I wasn't going to take a chance with mold. The job was done right and completely taken care of. I also want to add that they were very clean. The guys cleaned up after themselves every time they left and were very courteous when there. It's never comfortable to have strangers in your house and it's very stressful when your family is going through something like this, but if you're in the situation, I highly recommend SERVPRO of central Glendale!!"
"I am extremely satisfied with SERVPRO Of Central Glendale's professional work and caring personnel. It was a very stressful week for my family, going through the water damage. My insurance agent recommended them and I am glad they chose SERVPRO. They do live up to their slogan "Like it never even happened " Everything that was promised by Mike was delivered on time! I highly recommend it! Bravo to them!"
"Amazing amazing service! My parents house had water damage so I contacted SERVPRO of central Glendale. They were quick, professional, caring, and very friendly. They made sure everything was dry and put in place before the job was down. I will contact them again if I need their service."
For Immediate Service in Glendale, Call SERVPRO
SERVPRO of Central Glendale provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Glendale. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 –(818) 246-2200
Whether your Glendale home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Glendale commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business.
IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Central Glendale is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Central Glendale
SERVPRO of Central Glendale specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.