Recent Fire Damage Posts

What is the Fire and repair process?

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of our technician Cleaning between the walls on top of latter.  No matter what, we are here to help.

SERVPRO of Central Glendale takes pride is knowing that we can get the job done no matter the size, day or time. We don’t just specialize in Water restoration; did you know that we also specialize in Fire Damage Repair and restoration? Yes, we do it all! Here is a glimpse of what the Fire Damage repair process is:

1. Inspection One of our certified team members will inspect your property thoroughly to locate the root of the problem.

2. Board-up/Tarping (If necessary) In order to maintain security, our team will place tarps on the roofs and will board up anu damaged walls of windows.

3. Smoke/Soot Removal SERVPRO of Central Glendale uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove any smoke of soot in walls., Ceilings, and other important surfaces of your property. 

If you have any questions regarding the process please gives us a call (818) 246-2200 We are happy to help!

Fire Damage Aftermath

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of technician's hand holding a sponge used to clean smoke. Smoke clean up in Calabasas, California.

Dealing with the aftermath caused by a Fire is no fun, in fact it it’s very difficult, but we are here to help and make the process a lot less stressful.  

We specialize in restoring contents damaged by Fire; we make sure we do our best to check what items we can restored to pre-condition. In order to do so we use different cleaning methods such as: Wiping and spraying, Wet Cleaning, Abrasive Cleaning etc.  

As part of our process, we also specialize in Pack-outs, this is done if your home needs extensive cleaning due to the fire cleaning.  In addition to cleaning your valuable belonging, we also specialize in Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), this provides a very detailed list of all your belongings. We go room by room and make an inventory of your contents including photos of the items.  

Call us for more information at (818) 246-2200 we are here to help!  

Fire Damage Tips

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of dirty finger after touching dirty baseboard due to smoke damage. Smoke damage clean up in Calabasas, California

Fire can be extremely damaging and catastrophic to your home. It is important to know that after the fire is put out, the properties suffer from massive smoke damage. SERVPRO of Central Glendale we specialize in smoke clean up and fire damage repair. Our highly trained staff understands the urgency and measures that need to be implemented to ensure that your property is returned to its original state. As always, our main priority is you, your safety and your satisfaction.  

One very important thing to remember is to not attempt to clean or even touch the area, doing so can actually make things worse and can lead the cost to be higher. Here are some things we recommend to be done prior to our arrival:  

  • Cover air registers 
  • Change HVAC filters 
  • Keep hands clean to avoid soiling woodwork, walls and upholstery 
  • Limit movement inside your home to prevent soot particles from further damaging your carpet.  
  • Protect all restorable items such as furniture, rugs, upholstery etc.  

Why Ash is Messy When Cleaning

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Technician on top of scaffolding cleaning a second floor outside window.  All of our technicians have received the best training and knowledge to get the job done.

When a water or fire damage strikes, the aftermath can be stressful and a whole lot of messy. Did you know fire and water emergencies require major cleanup by specialists?

When a fire occurs, it is burning not only wood but everything else that makes up a structure. This includes insulation, paint, drywall, vinyl and plaster to name a few. Because these materials are not meant to be burned (the components can be harmful), the ash, soot and debris requires a specialist to handle it.

Ash for example is not easy to clean. Once wiped, it will smear and make the walls or furniture discolored. It can easily be sent up into the air when wiped just to settle back onto another section of your home or office. SERVPRO of  Central Glendale‘s commercial grade cleaning products gets the ash cleaned fast and our technicians have gone through hours of training for the knowledge on how to do so. 

If you are having trouble with the aftermath of a fire, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 818-246-2200 to speak to a specialist today.

What to Expect After a Fire

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

A technician wearing a yellow PPE, power washing a brick floor. When a fire strikes, smoke and ash can get all over the outside of your home. Our technicians take care of that too!

The experience of having a fire is like no other. It can be a very scary, confusing and hectic time for both you and your family. This is why SERVPRO of Central Glendale is here to help with all of your needs. We assure you our team has the right equipment and experience to bring you peace of mind.

After a fire, there is usually water in your home or office from those brave fire fighters putting the flames out. We understand what it takes to clean and restore the wet, ash covered walls, ceiling and even contents in your home or business. Our specialty cleaning products remove even the toughest odors with no lingering smoke odor.

It is unfortunate when the flames spread to the structure of your building, damaging drywall and paint. Our technicians are specially trained to perform demolition to the affected areas only, leaving anything that can be saved. If the right side of a wall was burned and the left unaffected, our techs will always make sure you know that it can be saved. Check out more of our fire damage services here.    

After a Fire-The Dos and Don'ts

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Technician seen on top of glass roof cleaning debris. Knowing what to do after a fire will alleviate a stressful situation. Let us SERVPRO of Central Glendale take care of it for you!

A fire in your home or business can be devastating and stressful. If you ever find yourself in this situation, here are some tips on what to do and what not to do while you wait for your local SERVPRO to arrive on scene.

What to Do After a Fire

  • To avoid further damage to your upholstery, make sure hands are clean when handling sofas, chairs, woodwork and walls
  • A safe way to clean and protect chrome around the house or office is by applying petroleum jelly or oil to them
  • Place clean towels or linen where there are high traffic areas
  • Empty out the refrigerator and freezer while propping open the doors if the electricity is off
  • Change the HVAC filter in your building
  • Take double layers of cheese cloths and tape them over air registers to avoid constant debris blowing out into a room

What NOT to Do After a Fire

  • Never attempt to clean electronic appliances that may have been close to the fire, heat or water (from the fire department) without consulting an authorized professional first
  • Do not attempt to wash or paint any walls after a fire. There is guaranteed to be ash on the walls which needs to be removed with our sponges (designed specifically for fire ash and soot removal)
  • Don’t turn on any ceiling fixtures when the ceiling is wet. There may be damaged wires that are not visible
  • Do not send clothing to a regular dry cleaning service. Improper cleaning of garments after a fire can cause the smoke smell to settle into the material
  • Never eat or drink any canned / boxed food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water

If you have any more questions regarding what and what not to do after a fire, contact us at 818-246-2200 and we will be happy to answer!

West Hills Smoke and soot clean up

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

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

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Residential Fire Damage

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call (818) 246-2200!

What To Do After A Fire

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

What NOT To Do After A Fire

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

Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vents!

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Dryer Vent Cleaning Can Prevent Fires

According to FEMA, failure to clean dryers and dryer vents causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, clean dryer vents regularly. Every few months be sure to wash the lint filter with detergent to get rid of residue buildup that might be impeding airflow. Also clean the whole exhaust duct line yearly to reduce clogs and risk of fire.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load, and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.

If you have a high efficiency dryer, look for easy-access panels and check inside for any additional lint buildup.

Pet Fire Safety

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

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.
  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
Help Firefighters Help Your Pets
  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

Fire!

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

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!" 

Smoke and Suit up

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

10/13/2017 (Permalink)

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.

Smoke Alarms

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.

Wildfire Preparation

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

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.

    • Cellphone chargers.

    • 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.

Household Checklist: SAFETY FIRST!

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

Electrical

  • 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?

Inventory Loss

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

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

  1. The act of saving imperiled property from loss.
  2. The property so saved.
  3. 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?