Recent Fire Damage Posts
The Causes and Prevention of Winter House Fires | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel
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.
Massive fire in Arcadia, CA
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
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.
What steps will CAL FIRE take to engage communities and inform the public?
CAL FIRE continues to partner with numerous organizations to educate the public about fire prevention and safe practices through social media, community meetings, fairs and other events. CAL FIRE units also educate and inform the public about prescribed burn projects in local areas through social media and community events.
In addition, CAL FIRE will work with the Forest Management Task Force to develop coordinated messaging on public education campaigns, including coordinated messaging for Cal Volunteers and Office of Emergency Services grants consistent with AB 72 enacted earlier this year.
2019 Cal Fire Fact Sheet.
Identifying Fire Hazards in the Home
Who wants to think about the possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire? Unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for too many Americans.
One way you can protect your home is to understand fire hazards and know how to identify them. In this blog, we’ll be discussing two of the most common household fire hazards.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, over a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States answered approximately 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles. These were responsible for a total of 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
When burning a candle, be sure it’s safely kept at least one foot away from anything flammable and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Never use a candle where oxygen is used in the home and always blow all candles out before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Candles were a cause of 2 percent of home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent resulting in injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December the prime time of the year for home candle fires.
Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.
While cooking may be the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2014, an estimated 17,200 home structure fires caused by smoking were reported. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out, and keep in mind that one out of four fatal victims from smoking-related fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that start in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are a great option—and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.
<h4are-lesser-known-fire-hazards-to-watch-for">Here Are Lesser-known Fire Hazards to Watch For
While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.
Did you know that there is glassware you may have in your home that could actually pose a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray could ignite flammable materials. It’s best to move glass accessories away from windows.
Also, look out for loose outlets in your home. Movement of these electrical outlets could loosen wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.
Dust bunnies are also 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 entertainment systems can help prevent buildup.
Fire, smoke and water damage can be devastating to homes, including the damage caused by firefighting efforts. SERVPRO® of San Gabriel has your back and is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.
3 Fire Safety Basics for the Whole Family | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel
Were you aware that every year in the United States, more than 350,000 house fires occur, amounting to more than $5.5 billion in property damage? These fires are also responsible for almost 3,000 deaths and another 10,000 injuries.
Advance preparation is your best defense against a fire. The importance of every person in your family knowing how to prevent fires and how to respond if they occur cannot be understated.
Start by teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines early in their life. Take a look, as a family, at three fire safety suggestions you can practice:Include Your Family in Fire Safety Planning
Plans should be in place in the event of a fire. Every family member needs to know that plan and what to do. This includes how to get out of the house and a safe place to meet once they’ve gotten out.
But don’t just create a plan and stop there.
Conduct fire drills on a regular basis. Practice makes perfect. This helps everyone remember the plan if an actual fire breaks out.Catch Fire Hazards
Would you be surprised if you were to take a look through your home and found fire hazards? Be sure to look through every room as well as your outdoor space checking for hazards.
Practice Kitchen Fire Safety
- Appliances should be in good working condition.
- Electrical cords should not be frayed or damaged.
- Outlets and/or extension cords should not be “maxed out.”
- Proper wattage light bulbs should be used in light fixtures.
- Electrical wiring should not covered up by rugs or carpet.
Did you know cooking is one of the major causes of house fires? That’s why it’s important to be cautious in the kitchen.
All cooks should follow basic cooking safety rules:
- Never cook when tired or distracted.
- Kids and teens need to be supervised when they cook.
- Keeping a lid nearby when cooking with grease on the stove helps in the event of a grease fire. Should a small grease fire occur, use the lid to cover and smother it.
- Turn the oven off and do not open the door if the oven catches fire.
- If a kitchen fire is spreading, immediately leave the room, closing the door.
If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of San Gabriel can help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.
Actions to Take for House Fire Prevention | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel
House fires are dangerous and damaging, but most are not aware of just how widespread they are
House fires are dangerous and damaging, but most are not aware of just how widespread they are—and how preventable. While there are no guaranteed ways to ensure a house fire will never occur, there are ways to lessen the chances.Statistics About House Fire Frequency
The regularity that house fires occur is alarming—the NFPA reports that a fire is called in over twice every 60 seconds.
Because many people cook with gas stoves each day, it is logical that the number one cause of residential fires is cooking. Unfortunately, there are many other things to be wary of surrounding house fires.Actions for House Fire Prevention
Flames can spread rapidly once they begin, which is why it is best to stop them from occurring in the first place. These actions you can take to prevent house fires will keep flames from starting and growing out of control:
Battery tests for smoke detectors. It only takes a moment to test your smoke alarm batteries via the button on the unit. It is recommended that a test is performed every month.
Clearing the tray of the dryer. Though they are an everyday appliance, dryers can be a fire hazard as well. As they heat up, lint in the dryer tray can spark and catch fire if not cleared out.
Being careful of open flames. Even if a fire starts out contained, such as for cooking or heat, it can easily jump to other surfaces if the conditions are right. It is recommended to never leave open flames unattended, no matter for how short of a time.
Checking cables. Any cable that carries electricity can become a fire hazard if frayed or worn. Check cords often for signs of wear and replace if necessary.
Proper household chemical storage. A surprising amount of things under the kitchen sink can be highly flammable. Check the labels of each product for storage instructions and keep combustible materials away from heat.
If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 24⁄7.
Fire Safety Tips for Your Business
As a business owner, there are plenty of safety considerations to address regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One of the things you need to spend a little extra time planning for and working toward is fire prevention.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) listed 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 those cases, three of them—intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment—accounted for 20%, 18% and 15%, respectively, of the most property damage.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
In taking a looking at more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year, which were responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
Tips for Protecting Your Business
What can you, as a business owner, do to protect your business from the risk of fires?
First, you must assess your risk for fire by identifying hazards. In some areas, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.
You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
Finally, work on creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff. That way you’ll be making sure everyone knows what to do and how to stay safe in the event of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and the location of your first-aid kits.
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 San Gabriel is the team to call.
SERVPRO of San Gabriel specializes in Fire Mitigation as well as Fire Restoration. Fire damage is a homeowner's biggest worry. In the modern world we have endless appliances to assist our daily living; however, they also pose a great danger if not properly maintained or applied. Here are some common causes of fire as explained by Traveler's Ins.
Alternative Heating Sources May Also Create a Fire Hazard. Do not place a space heater near furniture, curtains or other objects that could easily catch fire. Clothes Dryers Are Another Common Source of House Fires. Clean out the dryer vent regularly. Clean out the lint filter after each load. Lint may also collect under and behind your dryer, so do not forget to clean these areas. Carelessness in the Kitchen May Also Lead to a House Fire. Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher readily available and know how to use it. Keep your stove and oven clean. Built up food splatter or grease can later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking. Faulty Wiring and Outlets Are One of the Top Causes of House Fires. Check the electrical cords throughout your home for signs of fraying, and replace all frayed wires.
Source: ternative Heating Sources May Also Create a Fire Hazard. Do not place a space heater near furniture, curtains or other objects that could easily catch fire. Clothes Dryers Are Another Common Source of House Fires. Clean out the dryer vent regularly. Clean out the lint filter after each load. Lint may also collect under and behind your dryer, so do not forget to clean these areas. Carelessness in the Kitchen May Also Lead to a House Fire. Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher readily available and know how to use it. Keep your stove and oven clean. Built up food splatter or grease can later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking. Faulty Wiring and Outlets Are One of the Top Causes of House Fires. Check the electrical cords throughout your home for signs of fraying, and replace all frayed wires.