Recent Fire Damage Posts
Reduce Structural Risk Against Wildfires
No symbol over wildfire symbol.
Readyforwildfire.org advises that a large step in reducing wildfire risk to your property is creating defensible areas or zones. These are described as (3) zones with varying defined distances and details to perform within each Zone: 0, 1, and 2.
Zone 0: (0) to (5) feet
The Immediate Zone is the area closest to the structure and the most vulnerable. Remove any combustible material surrounding your property. This can be dry grass or brush, outdoor furniture, trashcans etc. Clean any fallen leaves and needles regularly and repeatedly during the fire season.
Zone 1: (5) to (30) feet
The Intermediate Zone can include other buildings, structures, trees, etc. Keep it “lean, clean, and green.” Remove dead plants, dry leaves, pine needles, etc. from your rain gutters, roof, and yard. Regularly trim your trees to a minimum of 10 feet from other trees. Branches that hand over your roof should be removed and any dead branches should be kept 10 feet away from your chimney. Move any woodpiles at least 30 feet from any structure.
Zone 2: (30) to (100) feet
The Extended Zone includes space more than 100 feet away if defined otherwise by vegetation conditions, steep slopes, and or your local fire department. Cut down/back annual grass to the regulatory size in your area.
How Old is My Fire Extinguisher?
Fire sprinkler with hang tag.
Fire extinguishers do not last forever. Manufacturers prescribe most extinguishers with a lifespan of 5-15 years. What you may not know is how long ago you received yours. Any fire extinguisher with one or more of the following should be headed towards retirement:
- Hose or nozzle is broken, cracked, and or blocked with debris.
- Locking pin is missing or unsealed
- Handle is wobbly or broken
- Inspection sticker or hang tag (the record of checkups and maintenance) is missing
There are different types of fire extinguishers. Those with compressed gas can leak contents slowly as their seals weaken, while those with ammonium phosphate will solidify over the years, rendering the entire device unusable. You’re being proactive and putting your safety first and by asking this question because the answers can mean the difference between successfully responding to an emergency and being caught empty-handed.
Top Five Reasons Fire Suppression Systems Fail
Fire damage caused by inactive fire suppression system.
Fire sprinkler suppression systems are common in commercial and becoming more common in residential. Top five failures for fire suppressions systems:
- Improper maintenance – most common: faulty pumps, failing suppression material supply.
- Typically, in hotels or apartments tenants hang a coat hanger on the sprinkler head.
- Influx in pressure to fire sprinkler system.
- Crack or break in the plumbing lines.
- System shut-off. This is the cause for nearly 2/3 of fire suppression system failures.
It is important to regularly get your Fire Suppression System checked. Four times annually is the recommended amount that it should be inspected.
Regardless of the fire damage source in your home or business, SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks is there to support and educate you during your loss. Fire remediation and repair pose many questions and concerns depending on the nature of building materials burned. Our senior project managers are well trained in the science of combustion byproduct cleanup. SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaksclaims managers will be designated to be your liaison between you, our onsite team, and the insurance carrier to make sure your home is restored to its preloss condition with all appropriate post clearance testing, city inspections, and most importantly our customer satisfaction form signed by you our client when we hand back the keys to your home.
Keep Your Home Safe From Fire
Protect and fireproof your Encino home with these five tips.
Fire season is upon us and there are some things you can do to minimize damage to your property. Here are five tips to fireproof your home:
- Apply fire-retardant chemicals: You can use eco-friendly fire-retardant sprays that can be applied to at-risk areas that are most prone to fire in your home. They are a great line of defense and decrease the ability of materials to ignite. The chemicals in the fire retardant are applied to materials to create a barrier or slow the growth of the fire.
- Get rid of Vegetation: Make sure there is no dry or dead vegetation around your home because it causes the highest risk. Be sure to prune highly flammable shrubberies that are dry. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends creating at least 30 feet of defensible space between your home and surrounding vegetation to reduce the potential for damage.
- Limit roof combustibility: Complex roofs with a lot of ridges are more prone to fire because wind can cause embers to get caught on the ridges and valleys. A safer option would be to consider replacing your roofing with fireproof material and applying fire retardant chemicals. Cleaning out debris such as leaves and pine needles is helpful along with checking for broken shingles then replacing them to reduce your home catching fire.
- Keep your gutters clean: It’s important to clean your gutters because they can accumulate vegetation and other debris when it’s windy. Then the debris in your gutters is more likely to catch fire when the season is dry. Removing the debris regularly can help reduce fire risk.
- Focus on protecting your windows: Older windows may consist of a single pane of glass. Newer windows are “dual-pane” or “multi-pane.” In general, dual- or multi-pane windows are better choices from both a wildfire resistance and energy efficiency perspective. Window failure can occur if the glass in the window breaks, allowing embers and flames to enter the building, or the combustible frame ignites and the fire is able to move into the occupied space. The most vulnerable window during a wildfire is one that is left open.
First To Utilize Matterport
We are committed to the SERVPRO brand, our customers, and the restoration industry to uphold excellence.
Have you ever heard of or used Matterport before? Matterport delivers accurate, transparent, and fair documentation and valuations. Our team was the first to utilize Matterport photo document technology with SERVPRO. We advise Matterport of the benefits of using their technology in the insurance and restoration space. We have a saying throughout the company, “We don’t get paid for what we do, we get paid for what we document.”
This technology and other moisture mapping and thermal imaging advancements are now providing transparency at the highest levels helping to reduce insurance abuse. Our purpose is to always tell the truth, be transparent, provide best-in-class mitigation, remediation, and reconstruction.
We are committed to the SERVPRO brand, our customers, and the restoration industry to uphold excellence.
Three-stage decontamination chambers consist of a clean room, shower/decontamination chamber, and an equipment room.
Single or 3 stage decontamination chambers are effective in preventing cross-contamination. Strict protocols are used when entering and exiting the decontamination chambers. Three-stage decontamination chambers consist of a clean room, shower/decontamination chamber, and an equipment room. Each chamber is separated from the other and the work area by specially designed airlocks.
The clean room is used to remove and store street clothes, don personal protective clothing, and respiratory protection before entering the work area. Workers then use the shower/decontamination room on their way out after leaving any contaminated clothing in the equipment room. From there the equipment room is the contaminated area where any contaminated work clothing such as boots, hardhats, goggles, and any other equipment is stored after proper HEPA and/or wet cleaning.
An important part of the decontamination chamber is a manometer which indicates pressure differential inside the work area compared to areas outside. This digital device indicates if proper negative pressure is current inside the work area.
Smoke Damage Restoration
Smoke damage is a common side effect of fire damage, but it can happen on its own if a fire is contained. After a fire, even a small one, it’s important not to skip the important step of smoke damage restoration. A fire can devastate you and even affect your sense of security in your home or office. And while fire damage tends to be obvious, smoke damage can be a bit more subtle. However, smoke damage also needs to be repaired to restore the beauty and stability of your building’s interior.
A fire is easier to contain than smoke damage and smoke damage can be destructive even if it doesn't seem that way. Smoke restoration requires special equipment and knowledge, it also takes a special knowledge of where smoke can penetrate, the sources of smoke odor, and the best cleaning and restoration method for specific surfaces and materials.
Removing Smoke Damage After a Fire
Any fire restoration professional can tell you when it comes to fire damage, the fire is the easy part. There’s really only one way to get rid of most damage to building materials charred by fire: remove them. Getting rid of the sight of smoke damage is a fairly easy thing to do. You can clean it, paint over it or remove the items. Odor on the other hand is invisible and even more bothersome and must be dealt with immediately. SERVPRO uses scientific methods and quick measures to remove smoke damage after a fire.
1. Get rid of the source of smoke odor
2. Seal salvageable surfaces
3. Clean everything left behind
Having your home professionally cleaned after soot, smoke, and fire damage can impact your health. The hidden damage from smoke can be hard to detect, you should always call SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks after experiencing a fire loss of any size.
Fireplace Safety Guidelines
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than a third of home heating fires in the U.S. involve fireplaces and chimneys. Here are some critical fireplace safety tips that could help prevent a smoke or fire-related accident in your home during these cold months.
- Inspect your chimney cap regularly. If it’s damaged, repair or replace it.
- Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the room.
- Keep all flammable objects, such as newspapers, books, holiday decorations, and furniture, at least two feet away from the fireplace.
- Have a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors installed to prevent embers from shooting out of the fireplace.
- Always supervise the fire and never leave it burning when going to sleep or leaving the home.
Even with all the proper fireplace safety measures in place, accidents can still happen. As smoke can severely damage a home, it’s essential to get the house remediated as soon as possible. The longer soot and smoke sits on a surfacer, the more damage it can do. Our fire damage restoration technicians use the latest equipment and techniques to remove soot and deodorize your house after fire damage, quickly and properly. For professional fire damage cleaning services, contact SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks.
What To Do After Flooding
What should you do after flooding? Are you in need of some tips for what to do after flooding in Encino, CA? Either way, being prepared just in case it might ever happen is helpful as well!
Here are some tips:
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after the removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in the summertime.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe and dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
Avoid additional risks and do not hesitate to call us at SERVPRO. We are ready and here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days all year!
Summer Heat Safety At Home
In sunny southern California, it's hot enough to be outside! Beat the heat this summer and stay cool indoors with the following tips:
- Cover windows to block extra heat from direct sunlight coming in.
- Use fans strategically. Your ceiling fans should be turning counter-clockwise to force the air downwards.
- Cook with small appliances, such as a slow-cooker or tabletop grill to minimize the heat level.
- Check on your elderly and disabled neighbors regularly.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking water steadily; don't wait until you're thirsty.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol which causes us to lose water more rapidly.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightly colored, and lightweight clothes.
- Do not exercise outdoors. If you must exercise outdoors, only exercise in the early morning hours, before 8 a.m.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Check the local news and other outlets for important safety information.
How To Go About A Water Loss
We assume everyone around us knows about water losses because that’s the bread and butter of our business. But we often forget that it’s not every day our clients suffer a water loss, thank goodness, so we want to get back to basics.
If you, unfortunately, suffer from a water loss it’s good to know your resources.
Two main priorities are calling your insurance company and getting a water restoration company out to you. The longer you wait the more damage you risk in your home, standstill water can lead to microbial growth and that’s another headache you don’t need on top of a water loss.
And most importantly, even if you think you can handle it and dry out the water yourself, you should always, and no matter what call SERVPRO. We would hate for you to not be able to complete the job and create a bigger problem for your home, and it’s what we are here to do. We want to handle your water loss!
Here Are 10 Tips To Avoid Water Damage To Your Home
In Southern California, there are ways to protect yourself against costly water losses and claims. Follow these 10 easy tips to keep your home safe and well-maintained:
On The Outside:
- Maintain Trees and Vegetation
Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing – except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That’s why it’s important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.
- Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation. Don’t forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.
- Disconnect Hoses
Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe and create an ice block that may bust your pipes and create damage to walls, floor, and foundation.
On the Inside:
- Know your Water Main
Know the location of your water main and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time. If no water goes into the house, chances are no faucet drips can wreak havoc on your home.
- Check Appliances Regularly
Check and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Investigate Leaks Right Away and Fix Promptly
If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home. Keep in mind that homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from a lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
- Upgrade Washing Machine Hoses
Old, brittle, or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage.
- Install Water Detection Devices
A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor is in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.
- Check Your Water Pressure
If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure. Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 – 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.)
- Do Monitor Your Water Bill
Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is by taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next without explanation, put your “water detective’s hat” on. Is there a leak in your crawlspace? Or, is it a pipe in your front yard? Don’t leave mystery leaks unattended!
Call us if you have any questions! We are here to help!
Can Electronics Be Damaged By Smoke?
Can electronics be damaged by smoke?
The simple answer is yes!
Smoke can damage your electronics in several different ways: the black film is smoke that can seep into all parts of your electronics leaving a black film, hence the name “black film”; the film creates an insulating effect and makes your electronics prone to overheating.
The magnetic charge could cause the shortening of an item’s circuits which can happen to TVs, computers, appliances, and other electronics. The acidity from soot can lead to the early degradation of your electronics, shortening their usable lifespan. The first thing to know about cleaning your electronics is that you should always call a professional.
The best thing you can do on your own is to remove any storage or memory, try removing anything personal from the hard drive a computer to one that was not affected. For televisions, it is best to unplug them and leave them turned off.
Treat smoke damaged appliances like you would a television. Your electronics and appliances are some of the most valuable items in your home and we understand their importance when it comes to restoring them after smoke and fire damage.
Always call the professionals at SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks for any fire restoration needs.
Keep our workplace safe!
Call us to disinfect and sanitize your office! SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks professionals is uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC.
We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.
Here are other ways to keep the workplace safe:
Practice good hygiene.
Stop handshakes and use non-contact greeting methods.
Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand washing reminders.
Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, and desks regularly.
Avoid touching your face and cover your coughs and sneezes.
Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
Limit meetings and non-essential travels
Use video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings.
When video calls are not possible, hold your meetings in well-ventilated rooms and spaces.
Suspend all non-essential travels and trips.
Stay home if you are feeling sick. Also, consider staying at home if you have a sick member at home.
Take care of your emotional and mental well-being is just as important as the others on the list. Let us take care of all your deep cleaning and disinfecting your workplace to put your mind at ease.
Seven Tips To Avoid Bursting Pipes
Here are seven tips to avoid bursting pipes both inside and outside the house. Let us start with the outdoor area:
Number one: Wrap outside faucets.
Number two: Caulk around the pipe where they enter the house.
Number three: Disconnect garden hoses.
Number four: Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
Now, moving onto the indoor areas for more tips on where you can avoid your pipes from bursting:
Number five: Let a stream of water run, if the temperature dips below freezing.
Number six: Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Number seven: Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days.
If all fails, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days out of the year to help for all your water damage needs. We are always here to help!
Restore Your Fire Damaged Business
There's a specific way to clean up fire, soot, and smoke. All our technicians are trained to remove any residue after a fire.
Fires can have a devastating effect on your home or property. Regardless of the size or scope of the fire, it can lead to significant damage. The damage can come from many different sources whether it be the fire itself, the smoke, or the water used to extinguish the flames.
SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks specializes in emergency property restoration, and is equipped to handle all aspects of fire damage cleanup and restoration including water damage and full reconstruction. Call us as soon possible after the fire department has extinguished the fire, as water and smoke can continue to cause damage your property. The professionals at SERVPRO are available 24/7 and have an one hour response time so we can begin restoring your home as soon as possible.
Fire Loss is Just as Serious as Water Loss
Unique in their own ways but both devastating.
In the water and fire restoration field we more times than not get a water loss call but that doesn't mean we don't get fire losses.
When it comes to fire damage you want someone who is not only going to take care of the burned items but how to get the smoke smell out of the home as well. All of our technicians are IICRC trained and understand the proper tools and procedure of how to make sure you're not going to be smelling any little bit of smoke after you are back in your home. When you call SERVPRO of Encino/Shermaon Oaks we know that we will do everything to get your fire damaged home back to preloss condition. Our office staff is standing by 24/7 so don't be afraid to call.
Back to Fire Loss Basics
It may be light but ash can be spread throughout your home.
A fire loss can be one of the toughest things to get through, but that’s why at SERVPRO we can make it “Like it never even happened.” Unlike a water damage, fire can damage a lot more and the smell of smoke can be overbearing. Once the fire department has deemed your home safe you should call SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks. We have the equipment and cleaning tools that you will need to remove any smoke, soot, and ash from your home. It is not smart to stay in your home while the remediation is going on because smoke is known to cause headaches, you will be comfortable letting the professionals of SERVPRO handle your fire loss and get your home to preloss condition.
Leading Cause of Fire Loss
A kitchen towel was left on a still hot stove top causing this home to become charred.
Can you guess it? Cooking equipment! According to the National Fire Protection Association cooking, your heating system, electrical, smoking, and candles are the top culprits for fires starting in homes. No matter what if you have an open flame in your home you should always be on alert. For good practice try to keep anything that can catch on fire out of the way, for example keep oven mitts and towels away from your stove top or candles away from table cloths or cluttered counters. One bad move and a small flame can cause a huge problem. The NFAP reports that fires in the home are most common during the holiday season, if you ever suffer a fire loss you should call SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks to help with the damage.
Be Ware of Kitchen Grease Fires
Don't DIY it, always call SERVPRO.
Sparked by unattended stovetop pans or forgotten items in toaster ovens, kitchen grease fires are extremely dangerous. Grease fires create thick, foul, acidic, dangerous smoke residue that doesn’t just affect visible appliance surfaces, finishes and controls. This thick sooty residue coats the insides of appliances including motors, electronics, interior structural fittings and even areas inside door seals. Our experienced technicians know that action within 48 hours is recommended to prevent further damages. Odor is a concern, too. Often combined with protein, grease fires can leave extremely pungent, difficult to eradicate, long-lasting smoky odor on and in appliances. You shouldn't only worry about the appliance that caught fire but all the other appliances as well, as they have also been affect from being in the same vicinity. Always be aware and always call SERVPRO for any fire remediation.
Little Things Can Cause Big Fires
A small electrical fire turned into a big problem for these homeowners..
Every year the US Fire Administration provides statistics detailing the amount of home fires they record and there’s no sign that they are stopping. But as a homeowner you can take precautions to reduce your chances of sparking a large fire. Be aware of everyday activities such as cooking, using the heat, smoking, and doing laundry, can all be considered fire hazards. Being cautious and watching the stove when you are cooking or even smoking outside instead of putting out cigarettes in your home can mean the tiniest difference but save you a big headache. While we hope you never suffer from fire damage, the off chance that you do you should always exit the home safely and let the fire department do their job; and once they have deemed it safe call SERVPRO. We have many years of professional fire restoration and can be sure to walk you through the entire process and restore everything we possibly can.
Why Immediate Fire Restoration is so Important
The mess after a fire loss cleaned up by professionals, allowing the home owners to start reconstruction quickly.
Dealing with a fire loss is never a happy task, but by prioritizing the fire cleanup process you can avoid potential problems that can occur from delaying restoration. You should always immediately contact a fire damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks. This is the most important step because professionals are trained to handle this type of damage and we can perform some of the following steps to help you get through the loss: smoke removal, document everything including items damaged and not damaged, work quickly to get you back into your home, and have constant communication with you. If you don’t tackle the problem when it first arises it can cause more severe damage down the road and an even better headache.
Calling A Restoration Company Can Save You Money
After a fire loss always call SERVPRO for immediate restoration.
When it comes to fire restoration SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks knows that we can save you money. As a homeowner, you may think fire damage looks minor and that you can put off repairs. But in most instances more damage results from negligence, which sends the insurance company a red flag. They may deny future claims. Be proactive in making your claim, let fire restoration professionals’ help you document the damage. This makes it easier to file accurate claims, saving you more money in the long run. SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks has dealt with hundreds of fire losses ranging from a small home fire to a large warehouse fire; we have seen and cleaned it all. We help you through the steps you need to take to get back to your normal routine.
Candle Safety Tips
Over half of candle fires start because the candle is too close to combustible materials.
There is something calming about candles. They look pretty and enhance the ambiance in a room, they give off a fragrant smell that can be so luring, but they can also be the cause to a house fire. December has been noted as the peak month of candle fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of every 5 candle fires started when they were placed to something that can burn, such as furniture, bedding, or decorations. Review the tips below to prevent any house fires this holiday season:
- Blow out candles before leaving a room or going to bed
- Keep candles one foot (30 centimeters) away from anything that can burn
- Use a sturdy candle holder, that will not tip over easily
- Put candle holders and a sturdy and uncluttered surface
- Light candles carefully, keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame
- Do not let the candle burn all the way to the bottom; put it out before it gets too close to the container or holder
- You should not light a candle if oxygen is used in the home
- During a power outage, use a flashlight or battery-operated lighting instead of a candle
Although candles can add to the decor in the room, however, they can also add danger. Remember candles are an open flame which means they can easily ignite. Create an environment that is safe for you during this holiday season, use alternatives to prevent any candle fires in homes like using flameless candles. As always, remember SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks is here to help!
What Sets Smart Smoke Detectors Apart?
Protect your Encino, CA home with a smart smoke detector
Smart smoke detectors are a relatively new technology that can send push notifications to smartphones and may be controlled remotely. Find out how a next-generation smoke alarm can protect your home.
Smart Alarms Types
There are three types of smart fire safety devices:
- Smart batteries
- Smart detectors
Smart batteries can be used in standard battery-powered smoke detectors or as backups in hardwired units. Smart detectors may cover more square-footage than standard alarms and can be controlled remotely. Listeners send alerts when any alarm is triggered.
A smart battery is an affordable way to monitor your home while you are out. This technology functions like a nine-volt battery but has Wi-Fi connectivity to send notifications. You can silence battery-powered alarms remotely, but this function does not work for hardwired alarms with smart battery backups.
A smart smoke alarm also sends notifications, can be remotely controlled, and may be capable of monitoring more than one floor of your home. Some devices alert users to elevated carbon monoxide levels. Listeners send notifications whenever an alarm sounds in your home, though these devices are not capable of silencing alarms.
Smart Alarms Effectiveness
A single smart alarm may monitor an entire floor of your home, or more. If your home is spacious, you may want to just install a listener to notify you of any alarms.
Smart Detector Costs
Smart fire safety solutions are available in a wide price range:
- The initial smart battery unit retails for about $35 with $15 replacements once or twice a year
- Smart detectors start around $100
- Listeners range from $50 to $100
Consider a smart smoke alarm or smoke detector device to receive timely push notifications about alarms. All of these devices can increase overall safety at your residence in Encino, CA. If a fire results in damage, rely on the expertise of damage restoration professionals.
Fire Damage? Here's some things to avoid doing before we arrive!
When faced with fire and smoke damage, we're Here to Help®.
If you experience fire or smoke damage in your home, here are some things that you should NOT do while waiting for your remediation team to arrive.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks.
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water (they may be contaminated).
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create a secondary damage.
- Send garments to dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks Wildfire Damage Event
SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks provides fire, soot and water damage restoration service in Encino/Sherman Oaks.
As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by people, according to the U.S. Department of Interior. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson. The remaining 10 percent are started by lightning or lava.
According to Verisk’s 2017 Wildfire Risk Analysis 4.5 million U.S. homes were identified at high or extreme risk of wildfire, with more than 2 million in California alone. Losses from wildfires added up to $5.1 billion over the past 10 years.
Ready to help Here at SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks we are monitoring any wildfire situations closely. Our thoughts are with those neighbors who may be put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks is Here to Help®.
About SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks
SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks 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.
Fire or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (818)995-6444
Encino/Sherman Oaks Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Order in Your Encino/Sherman Oaks 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 Encino/Sherman Oaks 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)995-6444
Is Smoke Damage Really That Harmful?
Power washing gets rid of any soot from fire damages.
A question we hear at SERVPRO from clients quite often is: is smoke damage really that harmful? The answer is yes! Smoke damage can affect in more ways than one, while direct exposure to smoke is harmful to your respiratory system, it can also negatively affect your property's structure, sometimes in unexpected ways. Smoke from any type of fire is comprised of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and soot. Depending on what’s burning, many other harmful chemicals also enter the air, and are inhaled into your lungs or latch onto walls, furniture, clothing, ductwork, and other areas. While it may not seem like as big of a deal as the flames that burned personal property, smoke damage definitely should never be ignored! ALWAYS call SERVPRO for all your fire/smoke remediation needs.
The Dangers of Smoke Damage
Bedroom affected after a unit fire.
Fire and smoke damage can wreak havoc to your personal property and structures. A quick reaction can help you minimise the impact of the destruction as some of your household goods can be cleaned and salvaged if treated immediately.
If left untreated, smoke and fire damage can be more devastating in the following ways: extensive and permanent damage, soot deposits, and cost increase.
Following a fire, it is necessary to seek smoke treatment immediately to save yourself from the effects of prolonged exposure to smoke and to make it easier for you to restore your home.
SERVPRO has trained technicians that are knowledgeable when it comes to treating both homes and businesses for fire, smoke, soot damage that has occurred. You should always rely on a professional to help restore your property.
Don't Be A Hoarder
This home fell victim to what was considered "hoarding" and started a fire that consumed 90% of the home.
As a fire restoration team, our technicians are in client's homes and personal spaces to remediate damaged areas.
Hoarding items can be a main reason why fires start in homes. Fire is one of many dangers in a hoarded home because much of the clutter consists of flammable materials. Fires can also occur when objects cover a heat vent or damaged wires. Moreover, clutter obstructs residents in case of a fire and first responders may not be able to navigate a hoarded home to recue residents.
When the entire home is clutter-free, repairs should be done if needed. These can include repainting, re-carpeting, or damage restoration (after fire, water, mold, or biohazard damage). Then, all the contents in the house including the salvageable items are disinfected.
Fire Damage Restoration FAQ
Electrical fire affected apartment units that were all connected.
What is the first thing I should do after a fire?
Call your insurance agent and submit your claim. He or she will provide you with information on securing your home, hiring a reliable restoration company, and more.
Do I really need a professional to clean up my fire even if it was small?
Cleaning the soot and smoke is the toughest part. Moreover, even small fires can cause major damage within minutes and leave lingering odors if not cleaned up properly. If you don’t act within a day or two of the fire, soot and smoke can leave permanent damage. SERVPRO Professionals have the tools and know-how to restore your home as fast as possible and mitigate the loss.
How long with the restoration process take?
The length of time varies on the extent of the damage.Additionally, local authorities and your insurance agent will also want to investigate the damage before the restoration company can start the clean-up.
How Technology is Changing Insurance
Home fire in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Picture this. You’ve just left your house to head to work, and you forgot to turn off the front oven burner after cooking your morning breakfast. There’s a dish towel sitting on the stove that’s just a little too close to the burner, and it catches on fire. Soon your whole kitchen is in flames. But because you have a traditional smoke detector, all it will do is make a lot of noise. Hopefully, your neighbor sees something is wrong and calls the fire department. However, if your home was equipped with a smart smoke detector, cameras and fire sprinklers, you could receive a phone or email alert notifying you of smoke in the house as soon as the dish towel started to flame up. You could check then out the issue on your cameras, remotely enable your smart sprinklers, and hopefully, contain the damage. This is great news for homeowners because it’s going to keep damage from happening and their insurance low, SERVPRO works closely with both insurance agents/adjusters and homeowners and understands both of their needs. Technology will start to do the following: lessen risks with early warning, streamline the process of submitting a claim, decrease the number of claims, allow for a more personalized coverage. So, as long as we understand what our clients need we will forever be able to help them in a time of need.
How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last?
Apartment fire in Encino, CA; notice the ash covering the ground.
Fire extinguishers last between five and 15 years but they all ultimately expire and become ineffective, no matter what fire-fighting substance they contain. Household fire extinguishers—which are typically filled with dry chemicals (carbon dioxide or halon)—lose their charge over time. Those with compressed gas can leak contents slowly as their seals weaken, while those with ammonium phosphate will solidify over the years, rendering the entire device unusable. Read on to get a handle on the age and effectiveness of your fire extinguisher, plus tips on how to extend its life, get it serviced, and dispose of it correctly if necessary. Store a fire extinguisher in a clean, indoor location can help extend its life. Exposure to sun, UV radiation, wind, or rain can cause corrosion, rust, and deterioration. If the canister is dented or bruised, or if the tamper seal and pin are missing, there’s a possibility that it might explode unprompted. Examine the entire unit and if it’s not in good shape, properly dispose of it without delay.
Dryer Fire Damage
Dryer fires are one of the lead causes of fires in home
You may not think of your clothes dryer as a fire hazard, but these appliances account for tens of thousands of house fires each year. The problem most frequently occurs when lint and dust are allowed to build up. Over time, this can cause the dryer vent to become clogged with highly flammable materials, which easily combust when exposed to high temperatures. Your best option for dryer safety is to clean the lint trap each time before you use the dryer, and to inspect and clean the dryer vent area to remove lint buildup and other potential blockages. Regular cleaning can ultimately make all the difference in avoiding a house fire.
Quick statistics: 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Trust No One Else With Your Fire Damage
Fire clean up team.
An electrical spark from a unit next to this one caused both units to go up in flames. After removing all of the tenants items and storing them our technicians were able to begin removing all affected areas and materials. SERVPRO Encino/Sherman Oaks specializes in fire mitigation and re-mediation of all sizes. Most people might not realize the health hazardous that come along after a fire, the soot and smoke can make it harder to breathe and see as well as cause headaches from inhaling the smoke. After the fire department puts the flames out you should always call SERVPRO to come put your home back together. We are who your insurance agents trust and the friendly faces they would also recommend if you were to ever be faced with this situation.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Fire Re-mediation Team
An electrical spark caused this bathroom to go up in flames.
An electrical spark from a unit next to this one caused both units to go up in flames. After removing all of the tenants items and storing them our technicians were able to begin removing all affected areas and materials. SERVPRO Encino/Sherman Oaks specializes in fire mitigation and re-mediation of all sizes. Most people might not realize the health hazardous that come along after a fire, the soot and smoke can make it harder to breathe and see as well as cause headaches from inhaling the smoke. After the fire department puts the flames out you should alwasy call SERVPRO to come put your home back together. We are who your insurance agents trust and the friendly faces they would also recommend if you were to ever be faced with this situation.
Ten Unit Condo Fire
The photo shown is from when we first arrived on scene, inside one of the most affected units.
An electrical spark caused ten condominium units to go up in flames late one night. A neighboring SERVPRO reached out because they knew Encino/Sherman Oaks was a Large Loss Response Team and could handle the large amount of damage done. Ten units both on the first and second floor were affected and bad to be completely demo'ed out and ready for a new look. When we first arrived on the scene the air was still thick with smoke and soot and everything was covered in a black film. Our technicians worked for a little over a month to completely re-mediate all ten units to be ready for reconstruction. The condo tenants and HOA made it all easy and we were able to work closely with them to have everything completed in a timely manner.
Who Do You Call for Fire & Water Damage?
Fire and water emergency mitigation services (EMS)
No one ever plans for a water or fire damage in their homes, but if you were to ever experience one SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks should be your first call for mitigation and remediation. Having a fire in your home can be a life altering event and you want your property to be restored back to the way it was before the fire. When a fire occurs at your house or commercial property, you should take swift action to handle the cleanup and restoration left behind by the fire itself and the efforts of the fire department. At SERVPRO we value your home as if it were our own because we understand clients in their time of need. If you need more opinions on who to call ask friends/family, neighbors, or even your insurance agents they will be able to help you in this process.
Fire Board Up
SERVPRO Encino/Sherman Oaks was able to help board up the home after a massive fire.
A kitchen fire caused this home to be burned almost to the ground. The before pictures shows the mess left behind after the fire had been put out. SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks was called in to help clean up the aftermath as well as board up the home for safety purposes. They knew it would be awhile before the home would be livable again. The homeowners were grateful that SERVPRO was able to get out there so quickly to make sure that the home would be secure from any possible intruders. At SERVPRO we understand the urgency from homeowners in their time of need, this couple in particular was thrilled with the timeliness of the process and all the communication shared through out the job.
Warehouse Fire Catches Neighbors on Fire
You can see how much soot was covering this entire warehouse property.
This warehouse fire happened late one night, with an unknown cause at the time, when the property manager got a call from a neighboring warehouse that there were flames to be seen from the windows. Once all the soot and smoke had a chance to settle the property manager was able to call the experts of SERVPRO Encino/Sherman Oaks a Large Loss Response Team to help with his fire damage. After a few weeks of mitigation, demolition, and reconstruction our technicians were able to get this company reopened and back in business. The property manager, as well as the business owner and his employees, were thrilled with the outcome of the mitigation. The warehouse looked brand new and everyone was happy to be back at work.
Recent Fire in Surrounding Area
Here is our Marketing Director, Marc Sallin, loading up his truck with water bottles to help give back to the community in need.
Over the past month in a surrounding area, SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks was involved in helping the community from the fires that hit recently. We were actively on the site delivering water to the firefighters and evacuees. Offering support in this time of need, as a neighboring franchise we wanted to do all we could to help. This fire was a devastating tragedy that occurred to the Calabasas community, and as a fire mitigation company, we feel as if it is our duty to provide our support, both mentally and physically for the affected community residents. If you or anyone else you know was affected by the Calabasas fires, you know who to call to help you through this difficult and unexpected time in your life. Stay safe everyone!