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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Facing Fire or Smoke Damage?

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, severe fire damage can be the most devastating thing to happen to any property. As fire becomes an increasingly prevalent threat, insurance companies are constantly trying to cut corners on fire insurance claims in an attempt to save money. After a fire, you've most likely lost some personal belongings and areas of your home are completely destroyed. The last thing you need is a homeowners' insurance company giving you a hard time regarding your claim. 

First Things First, Check Your Policy

Even if you have replacement coverage for your home you actually may only have "actual cash value" for the personal items that were lost. When you call your insurance company, your agent should notify you about this and suggest buying an endorsement so that your belongings will be covered under a replacement policy. 

Secure Your Property 

The majority of homeowners coverage policy requires you to take reasonable steps to minimize more harm on your property. In short terms, this is known as your duty to mitigate damages. These steps are fairly small and easy to do, such as covering leaking areas with plastic wrap or turning off the water if you discover a huge pipe burst. Your insurance company will most likely pay these costs when you make your claim.

File Your Claim Immediately 

Every homeowner policy will require you to report your loss as soon as possible. You will need to make a call to your agent and submit a "proof of loss claim" in which you will itemize your losses in detail and list the value of each. The longer you wait, the faller you fall down the list when it comes time for the company to send an adjuster to deal with your claim. 

Always Keep Track Of Your Living Expenses

Every homeowners policy will include a loss of use clause, which entitles you to adequate reimbursement for living expenses while you're out of your home. Keep in mind, these expenses only include additional living expenses, meaning the difference between what it costs you to live on a daily basis and what it is costing you now. For example, if you ate the majority of your meals at home and your groceries cost you $400 a week and now, after a fire, you're eating out and spending $500 a week, you can claim only that additional $100. 

Fire Season

5/15/2014 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Season Wild fire threatens home

As summer approaches we find ourselves facing "Fire Season". Dry weather combined with record-breaking heat has made CA prime territory for wildfire. Dead and dry vegetation combined with high winds creates a hazardous environment where fires are common. If you have any fire damage to your home, call SERVPRO to come and restore your property. Our technicians are equipped with specially designed tools and chemicals to remove soot particles from any materials in your home or business. Remember, the fire doesn't have to happen inside your building in order for you to be effected by smoke damage. Outside fires can cause smoke to enter and damage your walls, furniture, air ducts, etc.

Earthquake Glossary

1/6/2014 (Permalink)

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated. This earthquake glossary outlines other terms.

Aftershock

Aftershocks are earthquakes that follow the largest shock of an earthquake sequence. They are smaller than the main shock and can continue over a period of weeks, months, or years. In general, the larger the main shock, the larger and more numerous the aftershocks, and the longer they will continue.

Epicenter

The epicenter is the point on the earth's surface vertically above the hypocenter (or focus), point in the crust where a seismic rupture begins.

Fault

A fault is a fracture along which the blocks of crust on either side have moved relative to one another parallel to the fracture.

Hypocenter

The hypocenter, or focus, is the point within the earth where an earthquake rupture starts. The epicenter is the point directly above it at the surface of the earth.

Magnitude

The magnitude is a number that characterizes the relative size of an earthquake. Magnitude is based on measurement of the maximum motion recorded by a seismograph. Several scales have been defined, but the most commonly used are (1) local magnitude (ML), commonly referred to as "Richter magnitude," (2) surface-wave magnitude (Ms), (3) body-wave magnitude (Mb), and (4) moment magnitude (Mw). Scales 1-3 have limited range and applicability and do not satisfactorily measure the size of the largest earthquakes. The moment magnitude (Mw) scale, based on the concept of seismic moment, is uniformly applicable to all sizes of earthquakes but is more difficult to compute than the other types. All magnitude scales should yield approximately the same value for any given earthquake.

Tectonic Plates

The tectonic plates are the large, thin, relatively rigid plates that move relative to one another on the outer surface of the earth.

Tsunami

A tsunami is a sea wave that results from large-scale seafloor displacements associated with large earthquakes, major submarine slides, or exploding volcanic islands. 

Statistics Highlight the Need for Preparation and Caution in Holiday Decorating and Entertaining

12/10/2013 (Permalink)

Statistics Highlight the Need for Preparation and Caution in Holiday Decorating and Entertaining


Local SERVPRO® restoration specialist offers tips for preventing holiday fires



Fullerton, CA (Grassroots Newswire) November 18, 2013 -- Lights, candles, action – it’s the holiday season again. Brightly lighted decorations, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all part of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 230 home fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries and $17.3 million in property damage.



“Christmas tree lights and candles are just two of the holiday traditions that increase the likelihood of a fire starting in your home,” says Robert Skelton of SERVPRO® of East Fullerton/Placentia. “There are about three times as many cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there are on non-holidays. It only takes a single distracted or careless action to turn a family get-together into a tragedy.”



Skelton says that homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.



Holiday Cooking Fire Facts

·      Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.

·      The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.



Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

·    Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.

·    Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.

·    Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.



Holiday Decorating Fire Facts

·      Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.

·      On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.



Holiday Decorating Safety Tips:

·      Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, and fireplaces.

·      Use flameless candles.

·      If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.



Christmas Tree Fire Facts:

·      50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.

·      31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.

·      14% involve decorative lights.



Christmas Tree Safety Tips:

·      Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.

·      Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.

·      Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.



“We hope these tips will be a reminder to Fullerton area families to make fire prevention a priority in their holiday preparations,” said Skelton, “so they can spend the season enjoying family and friends, not dealing with the aftermath of a fire.”





For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, contact Robert Skelton with SERVPRO® of East Fullerton/Placentia at 1-877-460-9414 or r_skelton@verizon.net.  

Earthquake Preparedness Recovery Tips

12/2/2013 (Permalink)

Unlike other weather events, earthquakes strike without warning, oftentimes leaving devastation and heartache behind. Usually, earthquakes in the U.S. occur along the West Coast. However, earthquake potential exists in all states. Although nothing can stop an earthquake, careful preparation and planning can make a difference when it comes to protecting your home and family from their effects.

WHAT TO DO IF AN EARTHQUAKE STRIKES:
You've followed precautions and made your home safer if an earthquake strikes. So what happens if an earthquake happens?

Follow these tips to stay safe:

RECOVERY TIPS
After the earthquake is over, it's important to be alert for aftershocks. Once you feel safe, look for injured victims and help administer first aid.

Be sure to pay attention to damaged utilities. Avoid loose or dangling electric power lines and report all gas and electrical problems to the proper authorities. Turn off any damaged utilities that you find.

Also, remember these important tips:



  • Check for fire hazards and use flashlights instead of candles or lanterns.

  • Wear protective shoes. Have them by your bed in case the earthquake happens in the middle of the night.

  • If your building is sound, stay inside and listen for radio advisories. 

  • Earthquake Preparedness (WHAT TO DO IF AN EARTHQUAKE STRIKES)

    11/18/2013 (Permalink)

    Unlike other weather events, earthquakes strike without warning, oftentimes leaving devastation and heartache behind. Usually, earthquakes in the U.S. occur along the West Coast. However, earthquake potential exists in all states. Although nothing can stop an earthquake, careful preparation and planning can make a difference when it comes to protecting your home and family from their effects.

    WHAT TO DO IF AN EARTHQUAKE STRIKES:
    You've followed precautions and made your home safer if an earthquake strikes. So what happens if an earthquake happens?


    Follow these tips to stay safe:



    • At the first sign of an earthquake, drop and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an inside wall away from objects that may fall on you.

    • Sit or stay close to the floor and hold on to furniture legs for balance.

    • Use your arm to cover and protect your eyes.

    • If there's no sturdy furniture nearby, kneel or sit close to the floor next to a structurally sound interior wall away from windows, shelves, or furniture that could fall and place your hands on the floor for balance.

    • Stay away from doorways, violent motion could cause the doors to slam against your body, crush your fingers or inflict other serious injuries.

    • Do not run outside.

    • If outdoors, quickly move into the open, away from electrical lines, trees and buildings.

    • If driving, bring your vehicle to a stop at the side of the road away from traffic.

    • Do not stop on or under bridges, near or under power lines or road signs.


    For more information on how to be prepared: Contact Jared at 714-342-1774.

    Earthquake Preparedness

    11/12/2013 (Permalink)

    Unlike other weather events, earthquakes strike without warning, oftentimes leaving devastation and heartache behind. Usually, earthquakes in the U.S. occur along the West Coast. However, earthquake potential exists in all states. Although nothing can stop an earthquake, careful preparation and planning can make a difference when it comes to protecting your home and family from their effects.

    To protect you and your family, develop an earthquake safety action plan by identifying places that can provide the highest amount of protection during an earthquake, as well as an escape route and off-premises meeting place.

    Become familiar with your community's disaster preparedness plan.

    Follow these tips:



    • Teach your family members how to shut off water, gas and electricity to the house.

    • Purchase at least one multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher.

    • Install smoke detectors and change the batteries every six months.

    • Prepare an emergency supplies kit including a three day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food, as well as a manual can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, first-aid kit, flashlight and battery-operated radio with extra batteries.

    • Retrofit your home's structure to better withstand the forces of an earthquake. 

    • This is a job for a professional architect, engineer or building contractor.

    • Retrofit nonstructural areas of your home to protect your personal property, including earthquake straps.



    FOR HELP GETTING PREPARED CONTACT JARED AT 714-342-1774

    Home Water Damage

    11/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Catastrophic floods may grab all the headlines, but more common water damage from plumbing systems end up costing homeowners, renters, and landlords billions of dollars every year. Plumbing problems (including leaking or damaged tubs, toilets showers and burst pipes), leaky roofs, washing machines, water heaters and frozen pipes result in thousands of people of water damage insurance claims annually.

    Even with an annual plumbing inspection, careful routine maintenance, and emergency planning, you can't be everywhere water might make an unannounced, unwelcome—and potentially very expensive—appearance. 

    That is were we come in. We make it like it never happened.... Just call us... 714-342-1774 

    Pets

    9/23/2013 (Permalink)

    The best way to protect your household from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.


     


    Different disasters require different responses. But whether the disaster is a hurricane or a hazardous spill, you may have to evacuate your home.


     


    In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too. 


    Assemble a Pet Emergency Preparedness Kit



    Keep your pet’s essential supplies in sturdy containers that can be easily accessed and carried (a duffle bag or covered trash containers, for example). Your pet emergency preparedness kit should include:






    • Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a First Aid kit.

    • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.

    • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.

    • Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener.

    • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.

    • Pet bed or toys if easily transportable.



    It is important to SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia that families in our community are prepared. For more please contact SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia. 

    Recent Floods

    9/20/2013 (Permalink)

    Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is a potential for suffering flood damage. In fact, nearly 25% of last year’s claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in moderate to low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S. Flooding can also result from plumbing failures, frozen pipes and damaged structures. Flood damage can affect your business operation in a variety of ways and can range in size from being isolated to a single room to entire floors being fully submerged. 

    For years SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia have not only helped our local community with floods but have also traveled to help the residents of Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane IKE, floods in Minot, ND and we just finished up with the floods in Palm Springs. We soon could be leaving to help with the flooding in CO.



    Our experience for these floods has helped us to become the leader in helping those with floods in our local community.   

    Things a home fire inspector may review

    9/11/2013 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO Fullerton Placentia is concerned with the safety of our customers. Here are some things a home fire inspector may review.



    • A proper ground. “One thing a home fire inspector should check is to make sure your home is grounded,” says Bill Burke, division manager of electrical engineering for the National Fire Protection Association. Grounding diverts excess current that may result from an electrical surge and helps to keep electrical systems, devices and humans safer.

    • Electrical panel. “There should be air space around the main panel,” Burke says. Inside, there shouldn’t be evidence of overheating or corrosion, and the fuses and breakers should be the correct size.

    • Appliances. “If you have a device that’s going to cause a home fire, it’s most likely going to be one that draws a lot of current,” Burke says. Inspectors might check the integrity of cords and plug-ins on fridges, stoves and other large appliances.

    • Out-of-date equipment. A home fire inspector can suggest improvements to reduce the risk of an electrical fire. One important update would be to install arc-fault circuit interrupters, which are designed to detect fire-starting arcs and shut down power.

    • General safety concerns. The inspector also should look for electrical hazards such as receptacles and switches that aren’t functioning properly, lightbulbs exceeding the maximum wattage, damaged cords and overloaded power strips. 


    SERVPRO Fullerton Placentia

    9/10/2013 (Permalink)

    Are YOU Ready? Disasters and resulting business interruption can devastate companies. It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster never reopen. Of those that reopened, the majority had some type of response plan in place. Let the SERVPRO of Fullerton Placentia Large Loss Response Team put your plan together. Our qualified team members will help with plan to get you back in business. Call us today 714-525-0158.

    National Preparedness Month

    8/31/2013 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia cares about the seniors in our area. That is why we are making a concerted effort to reach out to seniors in order to help them prepare in case of a disaster. We will be visiting Senior Living complexes and churches in our area. Providing valuable information. 

    The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person's abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. 

    Those are commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.

    The link to the video below will help you be prepared: 
    http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7050

    For more information please see www.redcross.org
    Preparing Makes Sense for Older Americans www.fema.gov.

    National Preparedness Month

    8/20/2013 (Permalink)

    The month of September is National Preparedness Month. SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia will be helping our Community throughout the month of September. The video below explains why this is so important. We will be meeting with all of our clients to offer suggestions on how they can be ready.  

    “Get Your Business Prepared- Earthquakes” 



    http://youtu.be/yex44j8GCag