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The Causes and Prevention of Winter House Fires | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

As the days become shorter and the temperatures become lower, the number of house fire occurrences begin to increase.

Winter sees the highest number of house fires each year, with several season-specific factors contributing to their increase. By understanding what causes this increase, individuals can better prepare themselves to prevent it and have a safe cold-weather season.

Causes for the Increase in House Fires

An Increase in Cooking
The most common cause of house fires in America is repeatedly found to be cooking, and this holds true for the winter months as well. There are many more baked goods, elaborate meals and group-cooking events that occur in the winter, which are likely to contribute to this increase.

The Risk of Heaters
Imploring the use of extra heating methods in addition to a home’s central heat can save money, but it is important to take additional safety precautions in order to prevent the fire risk from increasing. Errors from heaters and fireplaces account for the second-highest amount of fires during the wintertime, so taking precautions are key.

Candles and Decorations
Decorations for the holiday season are a fun way to spread holiday cheer but can lead to fire hazards of their own. Electrical decor such as strings of lights should always be inspected for fraying or overheating. Candles, also common during the wintertime, should be treated with caution in case of the spreading of the open flame to other surfaces.

Prevention of Winter Fires

Understanding why winter fires occur is an important part of knowing how to prevent them. By utilizing these fire safety tips and exercising caution when cooking, warming and adding decor to your home, you will be able to stay safe all season:

  • 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 a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.

Severe water damage in West Covina, CA

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

A severe case of water damage occurred in West Covina, California home that was brought to the attention of SERVPRO San Gabriel. Burst pipe in kitchen had been left unattended for months before getting in contact with SERVPRO San Gabriel. The home owner had reached out to local plummer and had the pipe patched up but never correctly repaired.  The unresolved damage resulted into hot water sitting in the floor and the walls which resulted into mold growth. The amount of fungus that had grown in the home was ridiculous. There was a handful of mold spores and the home reaked of mold the day of initial inspection. When SERVPRO of San Gabriel technicians arrived they discovered mushrooms growing from kitchen baseboards. The amount of fungus that had accumulated in the home was disgusting. Luckily SERVPRO of San Gabriel technicians are extremely experienced and trained on the cleaning and removal and how to treat these affected areas. The homeowner and his wife explained that they travel a lot and when returning home from a recent trip they smelled the mold and saw the wet areas that would not dry. "Thank you SERVPRO, for cleaning and removing all the mold and water damage from our home. Thank you so much!"

Massive fire in Arcadia, CA

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical fire resulted into burnt down home in Arcadia, Ca. Luckily for the homeowner no one was in the home at the time of the fire. The fire began in the kitchen and spread throughout the rest of the first floor of the home. Household fires are extremely devastating especially if they aren't contained or dealt with quickly. The kitchen is the most common place for a fire to begin. Your stove and your oven are two big potential fire sources because they generate a lot of heat whether it be from gas or electricity. Some contributing factors that can trigger a kitchen fire are technical malfunctions, cleanliness, gas ovens and electrical ovens. In this case the fire was caused from a faulty socket that the stove was plugged into causing the circuit breaker to spark and ignite flames. SERVPRO of San Gabriel technicians worked thoroughly they came and cleaned up and removed affected area. The home owner couldn't be anymore pleased. His exact words where; "Thank you SERVPRO, thank you for servicing my home and leaving it as good as new. More beautiful than ever before."

Massive fire damage in El Monte, CA

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

One of the next most common causes of residential fires is electrical malfunction. Though it may seem like electrical malfunction is unavoidable, there are a number of bad habits that can be corrected to better your chances of escaping this catastrophe. Unfortunately for the residents of this El Monte apartment building this was definitely unavoidable. The cause of the fire still remains unknown, but after inspection it is seeming that it was more than likely a faulty cord or power socket. Here are tips to help avoid and or prevent electrical fires:

  • Make sure all electric outlets are "up to par," not loose, wired properly and covered when not in use
  • Make sure you never use a cable where the third ground prong has been removed
  • Never use extension cords as permanent solutions and make sure all permanent cords are in-tact and not frayed or damaged

Be aware and be careful and always make sure cords do not have wiring exposed prior to use.

Commercial water damage in Monterey Park

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Although strong storms can inflict major structural damages, business owners should understand that inclement weather isn’t the only cause of floods and other water-related catastrophes. High levels of moisture, damaged sewer lines, plumbing leaks and other accidents can all result in severe commercial water damage.

If you are a business owner or manager, it’s smart to be aware of the different problems that can lead to indoor flooding and other water disasters. By familiarizing yourself with the four most common causes of commercial water damage you’ll be able to mitigate them properly before things get out of hand

1. Damaged Pipes and Plumbing

Your building’s plumbing system carries large volumes of water each day so if it gets damaged, you can expect water to flood into the workplace.

2. Malfunctioning Sprinkler Systems

There’s no question that your sprinkler system will come in handy during a fire emergency. However, if the sprinklers are outdated, they can cause damage to your building.

3. Broken Appliances and Equipment

Water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers, and many other appliances can experience problems that may cause them to leak.

4. Backed Up Toilets and Sewer Lines

Backed up sewer and toilet water contains a host of microbes and toxic substances that can cause health problems. Contaminated water can also ruin the quality of your belongings and pollute the air.

Leak caused by sewage line in Temple City, Ca

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

The sewage line in Temple city is backed up and resulted into excessive water damage to business office. A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately so that a city operator can investigate. A sewer backup can lead to disease, destruction of your valuables, damage to your house or business, and can even result in electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of the affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold and further damage. In the event of sewer backup, immediately arrange for the cleanup of your property. SERVPRO of San Gabriel was contacted to clean and treat the affected areas throughout the office.

A Guide to Home Damages From Flooding | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Though flooding once was a concern only for those in low-lying regions, even other areas are now at risk due to the rising frequency of floods throughout the country. For homeowners, this means that making preparations is a wise choice no matter where you’re located.

Floods vary in type and severity, so the damage they can cause is variable as well. In an attempt to give homeowners an idea of what to expect, we’ve put together a guide for the most common types of damages that can result from flooding.

Flood Damage That Is Common in Homes

Foundational Damage. Your home’s foundation sits upon the soil below, meaning that soil can affect how sturdy it is. When a flood rolls through and oversaturates the ground below, it can cause the ground to shift and swell, leading to movement within the foundation.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Because of how well drywall can conceal a mold problem, experts recommend replacing any water-damaged drywall after a flood, even if it is fine in appearance.

Insulation Saturation. Most insulation can absorb water if the walls around it become soaked through, making it a prime spot for both water damage and mold growth. Some types of insulation are non-absorbent, so having a professional assess your damage is key.

Temporary Frame Swelling. The frame of a home is of solid construction, so as long as the foundation is stable, it generally will remain so as well. While the lumber may swell, once it is thoroughly dried out, it should return to its previous structural integrity.

Appliance Ruining. The appliances that trap heat or cold within them can become waterlogged due to the insulation they contain, but not every oven or freezer is built this way. Always get an expert opinion before using or throwing out appliances that have been impacted by a flood so you know what is safe.

Furniture Damage. While some furniture will survive a flood with a thorough cleaning, others might be better off being replaced due to health concerns. Typically materials such as solid wood and metal will be able to be salvaged, while pieces such as upholstery and mattresses might have to be tossed.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

Hoarding in Arcadia, CA

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

06/21/2019 This women had been hoarding items for the past five years, she wouldn't let anyone into the home.

A massive hoarding issue was brought to the attention of SERVPRO San Gabriel. Property owners and concerned children contacted SERVPRO of San Gabriel when discovering their mother had a hoarding issue. Many issues arise when hoarding is discovered. The reason being is that items that are being hoarded can harbor mold, bacteria and pest that contribute to property damage and make the living space unsanitary. With that being said our customer reached out to SERVPRO of San Gabriel when he discovered through a Yelp search that we offer cleaning services as well as mold removal and or any plumbing damage. When technicians arrived to the site to begin cleanup there was vermin infestation as well as mold growth and water damage under most piles of items. SERVPRO had a significant amount of work to restore this property, the home owner was more than thrilled with the result. He said, " I haven't seen this house this clean or been able to be in here more than five minutes in years." "Thank you SERVPRO of San Gabriel for all the work you put into restoring and saving my property from further damage."

Massive water damage in Pasadena CA

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water shut off valve Being able to shut off the water immediately after a pipe burst will help minimize water damage.

SERVPRO of San Gabriel was contacted after previous customer of ours discovered a burst pipe in their kitchen. Luckily for the customer he became aware of the burst pipe immediately. When initially contacting SERVPRO there was not much damage, but a few days passed before the home owner had time to sit and meet for an inspection. When SERVPRO technicians and Eric had the chance to make it to South Pasadena there was some water damage that had resulted from the burst pipe. Water was still leaking out of the burst pipe that the homeowner had tried to mask with masking tape. When SERVPRO technicians arrived to the site they immediately shut off the water valve to prevent any further damage. After cleaning up the wet and affected areas SERVPRO technicians began water restoration returning the home to a livable area, the home owner was pleased with how quickly and efficiently SERVPRO of San Gabriel was able to get the job done. 

SERVPRO San Gabriel is Ready for this years Santa Ana Winds

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO VAN SERVPRO San Gabriel is ready to assist in any post fire recovery effort.

SERVPRO of San Gabriel is well-prepared for this year's Santa Ana Winds. We are monitoring current wind trends carefully with you, our neighbors, and are ready to help in the event that any wind-related damage occurs.

This year we experienced several heavy rain cycles contributing to brush and vegetation growth. this growth is now dry and can serve as a potential fuel source. This year Santa Ana Winds has the potential to claim larger areas due to the abundant fuel source and dry conditions. 

As we post this blog post, firefighters are currently battling fires in the Pacific Palisades. The fires threaten multimillion-dollar homes and have caused the evacuation of homeowners.

Give us a call 24/7 and we can take control of the situation and put you at ease. 626-478-0286