Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts
The Top Reasons for House Fires | SERVPRO® of Anaheim Central/Garden Grove East
Don't be a victim of house fires.
House fires rank high on the list of disasters that homeowners want to avoid. While thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and flooding are all risks that homeowners must face, fire is one of the most unpredictable and ranks high on the danger list.
Fires appear to start out of nowhere, and with today’s new fabrics and building materials, we only have two to three minutes to safely exit the home. Homeowners will go to great lengths to avoid a fire.
However, despite decades of awareness campaigns, more than a quarter of all reported fires still occur in homes.
Let’s review the top causes of fires in the home and see if we can reduce that number through education and information:
Cooking. This is the leading cause of home fires. Almost half of all home fires start in the kitchen, and the primary reason is unattended cooking. Want to avoid a home fire? Never leave your cooking unattended.
Heating equipment. Though not nearly as prevalent here in Anaheim, 14% of all home fires nationally are started because of heating equipment. Causes include equipment malfunctions, mishaps and flammable materials placed too close to heaters, with portable space heaters being the biggest offender.
Electrical fires. As homes age, they become more susceptible to electrical issues. Houses 50 years old or older should have an electrical inspection to ensure wiring is capable of handling current electrical requirements. The overloading of circuits and a generally higher usage of electricity than older homes can handle are all factors that contribute to electrical fires at home.
Intentional fires. A full 28,000 home fires are set by arsonists each year. When we say arson, we mean fires begun deliberately with the intention of destroying the structure.
Smoking materials. Even though smoking has declined by 65% over the last 50 years and is only responsible for 5% of home fires, tragically it is the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. These often start because cigarettes or ashes are left burning as people fall asleep, which makes victims more susceptible to smoke inhalation.
Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.
Are You Fire-Safe for Summer? | SERVPRO® of Anaheim Central/Garden Grove East
Be Fire-Safe prepared this Summer.
Spring is a time of year many people look forward to from, well, from summer on. The weather is perfect, the birds are singing and nature is calling.
There are also lots of social opportunities and gatherings during the warmer seasons, from family cookouts to church events to random weekend hangouts.
This also means, unfortunately, that there’s a greater risk of fire. In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year.
But there are a few simple things that will go a long way toward giving you a safe spring and summer at home. Let’s look at the most common ones:
The grill. Grills and smokers are an essential outdoor tool for lots of us, but they also present the perfect opportunity for a fire to get out of control—flames, heat, grease and sometimes even gas. What could go wrong, right? Make sure your grill is stable and in good working order with no leaks and ensure that it’s away from anything flammable (including the side of the house) and cleaned well often. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.
The fire pit. There are lovely evenings to be spent during spring and summer around a fire pit with family and friends, but we must do it safely to protect our homes and neighborhoods. Always keep unattended children away from open flames. Keep a bucket full of water handy to soured any errant flames, and to slowly put out the fire when it’s time—dumping it on can send embers into the yard. And resist the temptation to add leaves or pine needles to the fire; they quickly burn to embers, which are easily blown around.
Chimneys and dryer vents. Your chimney might not be in use right now, but it will be again in the fall, and now is the perfect time to clean it out and head off the risk of trying to send fire and smoke up a clogged chimney in October. And while you’re at it, check your dryer’s vent pipe for collected lint.
Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 24⁄7 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.
How Can I Plan Ahead to Prevent House Fires? | SERVPRO® of Anaheim Central/Garden Grove East
Be Prepared - Plan Ahead!
No one wants to experience a house fire, but how confident are you that you are doing everything you can to prevent one? Fires can start suddenly and only take around 30 seconds to spread—meaning prevention is the best strategy for ensuring you never have to experience one.
Fortunately, there are many prevention measures people can take to keep their household safer from fires. While there is no way to ensure you will never experience a fire, doing your due diligence around the house can go a long way in ensuring reducing the chances that one will start.
Reduce the Chances That a House Fire Will Start
Check your smoke detectors. There are few things more important to fire safety than operational smoke alarms being installed throughout the home. You should make it a habit to check your smoke alarms every 30 days, and ensure you know when to replace your batteries or the unit as per your manufacturer’s guidelines.
Create a fire escape plan. It is important for the safety of everyone in the household that you have a comprehensive fire escape plan that is regularly practiced. It should only take two minutes to exit the home, and every room should have two ways to get out so no one will be trapped in the house depending on where the fire starts.
Limit your fire risks. Anytime you practice good fire safety habits around the house, you are significantly reducing the chances a fire will start. Simple things, such as cleaning your dryer’s lint catcher, not overloading electrical outlets and installing surge protectors, can go a long way in house fire prevention.
Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Though fire extinguishers will not always be appropriate to use, if there is a small, contained fire and you are able to, using a fire extinguisher can reduce the damage a fire can cause. It is always smart to have an extinguisher if there is an open flame present and ensure everyone around knows how to use it just in case.
If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 24⁄7 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response.
Fire Safety Considerations for Grilling | SERVPRO® of Anaheim Central/Garden Grove East
As Summer approaches, use these very helpful tips to stay and still enjoy a good BBQ.
There are few things that make it feel like summertime more than having a cookout and sharing a fresh, grilled meal with your family. While grilling is certainly one of the most fun ways to cook, it is also one of the most dangerous—and if you are neglecting safety concerns, you may quickly have a grill fire on your hands.
The reports from the U.S. Fire Administration shows just how common grill fires are—over 5,500 happen each year. A grill fire can lead to damage to your yard and your home, but you can practice grill safety to lower your chances of this occurring.
Practicing Grill Safety to Lower Your Chances of a Fire
Create a safe zone around your grill. Of course, convenience might be the factor that comes to mind when deciding where to place your grill, but do not forget about safety concerns as well. A sudden flare-up can ignite anything in its path, which is why a minimum of three feet of clearance is advised for wherever you set up your grill station.
Clean your grill grates often. The food buildup on your grill grates do more than just make cooking inconsistent—they also pose a fire hazard if they become hot enough to ignite. A simple scraping of the grates after each use is generally enough to prevent this from occurring, as it will remove any caked-on grease or crumbs that pose a hazard.
Never leave the grill unattended. Even if you need to walk away from the grill for a moment, you should always ask someone to take your place. A flare-up can happen suddenly even with the lid on, and if your back is turned, things can become catastrophic quickly. Always stay vigilant about watching the grill and keep a fire extinguisher within reach in case it is needed.
Inspect the grill regularly. Double-check your grill’s hardware every time you use it to prevent any accidents. Make sure the lid closes properly and that the connection to the gas tank is still air-tight and shows no signs of wear. Gas leaks are an extremely common cause of grill fires, so you may want to replace your hoses or connectors if issues arise
If you have a grill fire that does damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.
Bring Fire Safety to the Forefront of Your Business | SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central
Every business owner knows the importance of preparing for risks and understanding potential pitfalls, but many do not consider how their emergency planning plays into this. Commercial fires happen more often than many realize, and planning ahead is the best way to reduce the devastation they can bring.
The most important part of any fire plan is safety, for you and for your staff. Scheduling regular, comprehensive fire drills for your employees is a great way to make sure everyone will feel ready to handle a real-world scenario and reduce panic in a stressful time. Here are the steps to take to set fire evacuation planning into motion:
Setting Fire Evacuation Planning Into Motion for Your Business
Consult with your local fire officials. You should certainly take advantage of all the resources at your disposal to boost your fire safety, including your local fire marshal. They will be able to come in and educate you on how to plan out your evacuation routes and what steps you can take to boost your business’ fire safety overall to create a safer workplace.
Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After you have planned out several evacuation routes throughout your building, communicate them to your staff and prepare them for your drills. While you do not have to tell staff when exactly a drill will occur, make sure they know the pathways available to them and what the procedures are.
Have fire drills frequently. Having fire drills often—but not so often that they become mundane—is key to solidifying the safety procedures in everyone’s minds. Many businesses schedule drills to take place once every quarter, but you may find that your needs vary depending on your industry and staff size.
Run different fire scenarios. While there may be areas in your building that are more likely to experience a fire, it is important to plan for every possible scenario instead of just the most likely ones. As you plan out your drills, include different scenarios and situations so that every drill is different and your staff can be prepared for any situation that comes their way.
If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.
Preventing Winter Fires
While practicing prevention of house fires is helpful at any time of year, winter is when homeowners should be most vigilant due to the high rate of fires that occur during the season. The uptick in winter fires is due to several factors, which is the reason we have put together a guide to help you be more educated.
The Most Common Causes of Winter Fires
An Increase in Cooking
The No. 1 cause of house fires at any time of year is always cooking, and even their rates increase in the winter. Because people are cooking holiday meals, baking more and are likely cooking uncommonly used recipes more often in the winter, it can create the perfect environment for cooking fires to start.
The Risk of Heaters
Heating your home safely is an important part of winter fire prevention, as heating is the second-most common cause of winter house fires. Because the safety measures on fireplaces and space heaters are not always adhered to, the margin for error is high when it comes to keeping warm.
Candles and Decorations
Both decorative and celebratory candles are used more often in the winter, and because an open flame always creates an increased risk, this can lead to more frequent winter fires. Additionally, holiday decorations can often pose fire risks due to faulty electrical wiring and the materials they are made out of.
The Best Ways to Prevent Winter Fires
Preventing fires is a wise practice year-round, but the high winter rates make it especially important. By keeping these winter fire prevention tips in mind, you can keep yourself and those around you safe and help to reduce the statistics surrounding winter fires.
- Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
- Always monitor open flames.
- Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
- Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
- Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.
If your home has been impacted by damage fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.
A Home Fire Prevention Guide
Protect you family and home from fire disasters.
Any homeowner knows that there are many natural disasters and other occurrences that can cause damage to the house. However, few of these instances are more damaging and deadly than home fires.
While everyone hopes they will never have to experience a house fire, it is important to be proactive about prevention to lessen the likelihood.
A Look at House Fire Statistics
Reported at the rate of nearly three times per minute, home fires are one of the most common disasters that occur.
Cooking still retains the No. 1 spot for causing house fires, but of course it is not the only thing that can cause a fire in the home.
A Look at House Fire Prevention Tips
Part of what makes house fires so dangerous is that once a flame starts, it can so easily spread. That is why being a proactive fire preventer is the most effective way to prevent your home from getting caught in a blaze. Here are some house fire prevention methods:
Regularly perform smoke alarm checks. Most smoke alarms are equipped with a test button that allows you to check the batteries once a month. In 10-year intervals, it is recommended to replace the entire smoke alarm.
Make cleaning dryer lint a habit. As the heat of the dryer dries out lint in the collection tray, a perfect situation for combustion is created. After each load, clean out the tray to prevent it from catching fire.
Keep watch when flames are around. It is not uncommon to interact with open flames every day, whether through cooking, candles or heating. However, it is advised to never leave the room while a flame is burning.
Replace frayed wires regularly. Wires that are bent, twisted or squashed can quickly become a fire hazard as they grown worn and frayed. If continuing to route electricity, this can lead to a fire.
Protect aerosol cans. Aerosol cans are highly pressurized and highly flammable. Keep them away from heat sources or direct sunlight to avoid combustion.
If your home has suffered from fire damage, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and we are here to help 24⁄7.
Fire Safety Tips You Can Use to Protect Your Business
When you own a business, there are many aspects to consider, some of those being safety factors regarding risks to your business, your staff and your visitors. One of those safety factors that you should spend some time planning for and working toward is fire prevention.
<h4causes-of-commercial-structure-fires">Top Causes of Commercial Structure Fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading causes for structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):
- Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
- Heating equipment, 11% of fires
- Intentional, 10% of fires
- Smoking materials, 9% of fires
- Exposure, 4% of fires
- Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires
From that list of causes, intentional accounted for 20% of property damage, exposure accounted for 18%, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for 15%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
Further studies conducted by the NFPA estimate that for the period from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year, and those fires resulted in an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
<h4your-business">Protecting Your Business
There are certain steps to take to protect your business from the risk of fires. When you focus on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you are working toward reducing the chance of a fire breaking out.
First, assess your risk for fire hazards. In some areas, a fire marshal is provided by the local government to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.
Make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place on each floor. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
Most importantly, you must consider the safety of your employees. Create a fire plan and review it regularly with your staff, and then you’ll can be assured everyone will know what to do in the case of a fire. Plan to conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep fire safety procedures fresh in everyone’s minds, and take time to review evacuation plans and routes and the locations of the first-aid kits with your staff.
Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central is available to help make it 'Like it never even happened."
How to Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen
Having a plan in place and being prepared for any fire emergencies is the smartest thing you can do to protect your family and loved ones.
Who knew that the kitchen would become that wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather to spend quality time while delicious meals are being cooked up? Unfortunately, however, the kitchen is also a space where many home fires occur.
Fires caused by cooking are listed as the No. 1 contributor of home fires and injuries. And the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
Important Kitchen Safety Tips
- North Carolina
- New York
Staying in the kitchen to supervise your cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
1. Clothing is flammable! Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
2. Be observant as to what you have around the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything that is flammable needs to be kept a safe distance from it.
3. Have a fire extinguisher available in/near the kitchen. It is important that you have at least one fire extinguisher available in your home and, ideally, one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.
4. Hot grease in the garbage can be dangerous. While the grease may not actually be on fire, it might be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never to subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.
5. Make an emergency escape plan and practice it! It’s never fun when it comes to thinking about the worst that could happen, but it’s better to be prepared than to be caught by surprise if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.
Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Watching for Fire Hazards in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central
We know the idea of your home being damaged by fire is an unpleasant one, but unfortunately for many Americans, it’s something that has become a harsh reality.
You can help protect your home and family by understanding fire hazards and learning how to identify them.
Smoking Is a Fire Hazard
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, but smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths.
An estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported in 2014 due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
It is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.
Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out—and remember that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
Exercise Caution With Candles
During a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, the National Fire Protection Association reported that fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles.
In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries.
There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December being the prime time of the year for home candle fires. Of the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the deaths and 51 percent of the injuries.
Tips for safely burning a candle:
- Keep it at least one foot away from anything flammable.
- Always use a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over.
- Never burn a candle if oxygen is being used in the home.
- Always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Fire Hazards That Could Be Hiding in Plain Sight
There are other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.
Did you know that some kinds of glassware in your home could be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s best to move glass accessories away from windows.
Look out for loose outlets in your home. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.
Dust bunnies can also pose a fire risk when collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can help prevent buildup.
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO ® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.
A Friendly Reminder For Fire Safety
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. Fire Departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires per year during 2011 to 2015. The fires caused an estimated $6.7 Billion in direct damage. However, with friendly reminders such as this, these statistics have decreased per year between 2016 and present day.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home injuries. Smoking has been the leading cause of home fire deaths for decades. Heating equipment was involved in one of every five home fire deaths. Smoke detectors provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional time to escape. Interconnected smoke alarms throughout the home increase safety because when one sounds, it triggers them all. It is especially important to have interconnected alarms if you sleep with your door closed. Be sure to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. 25% of fires were a result of dead batteries.
We at SERVPRO of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central recommend developing and practicing a home fire escape plan. We can help you develop that plan with our Emergency Ready Program (ERP). Call us today to find out more. In the meantime, we hope you stay prepared, stay ready, and stay safe.
SERVPRO Assists With Local Fire!
Fire Damage affected this Anaheim Office. We were able to cleanup, restore all salvageable contents and get this business back up and running.
Dealing with fires in your home or place of business can be a very stressful time. Your property is unfortunately put into critical condition due to the smoke damage that takes place during the fire, the water damage from extinguishing the fire, and from the aftermath of everything sitting in smoke and soot filled rooms. Leave it to SERVPRO of Garden Grove East / Anaheim Central to come to your rescue.We had a customer from the city of Orange, who was a collector of memorabilia of both great emotional sentiment and monetary values. He and his family had accumulated beautiful and delicate items from all over the world throughout many years of traveling. These items ranged from very small glass figurines and trinkets to large wall mounted items to expensive paintings and furnishings. Unfortunately his small but quaint 2 bedroom apartment was ravaged with smoke from a fire that started in an oven in a neighbors unit just down the hall from his. All his belongings needed to be boxed and moved offsite, cleaned, re-boxed and stored until the cleaning and reconstruction of his place was completed. He was concerned about his valuables and the care they would encounter without any further damage taking place. Considering the contents of his home filled over 100 storage boxes, from small to large in sizes, everyone here at SERVPRO understood is was crunch time to wrap each item carefully in bubble wrap or packing paper, inventory and box each item, and have his place emptied quickly so that the demolition could begin.
Not only was our customer moved out before the deadline, he was able to rest assured that our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of Garden Grove East / Anaheim Central would be able to restore most of his items that were damaged by smoke and soot, back to their original preloss condition. The customer was especially pleased with how carefully his items were handled and how much SERVPRO treasured and cared for them just as he did.
We understand fire losses are stressful and extremely unfortunate, but know that you can always count on SERVPRO of Garden Grove East / Anaheim Central to be there for you every step of the way!
For more information regarding fire damage, call us today at (714) 748-7800 for a free inspection and estimate.
The Effects of Smoke Damage After a Fire
This door may have stopped the fire from entering this home in Anaheim, CA but it could not stop the smoke damage that it caused within the home.
When one thinks of fire season, the one thing that usually comes to mind is the hope that a wild fire doesn’t occur and affect any homes however, even if one of these devastating infernos doesn’t cause actual fire damage to your residence or commercial property, the chances of Smoke Damage occurring can be very high if the structure was exposed to the smoke. Just think of that smell that your clothes or hair bring home after a campfire. That same scent, yet more intensified can force its way in through your property’s vents, open windows/doors, and even your closed garage door. Once this occurs, your appliances, clothes, furniture, and the structure can be subject to smoke damage from soot (a black powdery or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter) on your walls, ceiling, etc. We can rid your home of these odors by using professional equipment, products, techniques, and procedures to eliminate and relieve your home of the odor, leaving your home freshly deodorized. The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. If you have been a victim of fire or smoke damage, don’t be discouraged; instead give SERVPRO of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central a call. We’re always here to help!
Be Extra Cautious of Fires During the Holidays
According to the American Red Cross, almost 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, costing over $554 million in property damage. We, at SERVPRO of Garden Grove East/ Anaheim Central, recommend that you and your families be extra cautious during this time. Place anything that can catch on fire far away from any candles, fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents. Never leave any holiday lights unattended and remember to unplug them before you go to bed or leave your home. If you plan on deep frying any turkeys, make sure that they are fully thawed and dried before placing them in oil. Always keep deep fryers away from home and 10 feet from any combustibles. It is crucial that you keep a fire extinguisher inside your home at all times and to regularly maintain any fire alarm systems. It’s always best to be prepared and proactive.
For more tips on fire prevention or information on fire damage, call SERVPRO of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central today at 714-748-7800! With our certified crews available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we are always here to help!