Preventing Second Hand Smoke and Soot
SERVPRO is connected to a network of SERVPRO professionals called the Disaster Recovery Team. This teams purpose is to aid victims of smoke and soot damage within the affected areas. The first and foremost primary concern through it all is personal safety. the first several days after the fire is controlled are critical to preventing secondary damages from smoke and soot. Once the local authorities say it is safe to return to your home and/or business, SERVPRO of Chatsworth/Stevenson Ranch would like to offer the following steps to help minimize additional harmful effects.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Brush and vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpet.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances with a light coating of Vaseline or oil.
- Wash house plants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Don't 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.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water. They may have been contaminated.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
- Even if your property didn’t suffer fire damage, there may be soot particles and residues left to clean up. If cleaned improperly, the odor and effects can linger long after the fire has been extinguished. From the structure itself to the contents inside, SERVPRO of Chatsworth/Stevenson Ranch uses the latest technology and training to leave your property smelling fresh and clean.
To find more up-to-date notices of how the fire’s being handled, you can visit http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/home/home-alt/
SERVPRO of Chatsworth/Stevenson Ranch prides themselves on customer service. Here at SERVPRO we make ourselves available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our office staff work hard day in and day out to help every customer who may call. They are well trained and up to date with everything there is to know about SERVPRO so that they might help to the best of their ability.
When it comes to our techs and men who work out in the field they carry respect for every customer they come in contact with. They are aware that everyone they help are in a stressful situation and try their best to alleviate any stress they can. Our men are kind and well trained here at SERVPRO of Chatsworth/Stevenson Ranch!
Tips on Avoiding a Flood
Floods are the most common natural disasters in the United States. There are many effects a heavy rain storm can cause. Some significant things such as flooding, potential flash floods, mud-flows, or over-topping levees and dams. Here in California heavy rains can happen, putting properties like your home or business at risk.
Tips to help your home or business avoid floods:
- Purchase flood insurance. (Call your insurance agent make sure your covered for FLOODS)
- Install rain gutters and other drainage systems. (Clean out rain gutters frequently)
- Fix any leaks IMMEDIATELY.
- Extra roof protection (spend a few hundred dollars more to install a rubber roof underlayment, a waterproof barrier that goes under the shingles and protects the roof from water intrusion.)
Tips for drivers during the rain season:
- Avoid cruise control (This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase)
- Slow down and leave room in front of you (Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water.)
Remember if you do experience a flood in your home or business SERVPRO of Chatsworth / Stevenson Ranch is one call away and we make your water damage "Like it never even happened."
Call SERVPRO of Chatsworth/Stevenson Ranch at (818) 842-1400
Water Damage Categories
Water damage restoration training is one of the important skill sets that a team of professional cleaners need in order to offer comprehensive services. This is a service that involves going into a home or business after a wet disaster, such as flood, burst pipes, or snow destruction, and not just cleaning up the mess, but actually drying and repairing the substructures that high volumes of moisture will affect, such as plaster and drywall, wood, concrete, and metal. When it comes to any type of water damage mold is a big concern yet there can be many other problems related to moisture damage. Some other moisture damage problems involve crumbling drywall and plaster, weakening beams and supports, rusting metal surfaces, and more. If the moisture is left to sit long enough, it will eventually bring the house to ruin. By having professional water damage restoration training, a cleaning crew will be able to properly assess the situation and devise the best plan for repair.
According to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), which sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are several different levels and classes involved in liquid destruction. From the IICRC’s S-500 standards, there are three categories describing the type of liquid involved.
- Category 1. This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. But, category one can quickly degrade into category two.
- Category 2. This category of liquid used to be called grey water, and is described as having a level of contaminants that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, and toilet overflow with some urine but not feces.
- Category 3. This is the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.
Info provided by: http://www.IICRC.org/the-basics-water-damage-restoration-training-a-23.html
Common Reasons for Commercial Water Loss
When talking to business owners regarding potential water damage events, they often visualize a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices. Resulting the fear of having to shut down businesses for days at a time with it potentially not opening. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. Although living in sunny Southern California; hurricane-like storms are few and far between.
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only cause of floods and water damage. Commercial water damage is surprisingly common year-round, and it can drastically affect the operation of your business. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
- Malfunctioning sprinkler systems: Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.
- Damaged appliances and equipment: This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
- Broken pipes and plumbing: Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. If you question the stoutness of your building's pipes, contact SERVPRO for a thorough inspection and assessment.
- Backed up sewer lines: This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. SERVPRO has certified IICRC technicians to deal with this type of water damage.
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Chatsworth / Stevenson Ranch call us anytime 24/7 at (818) 842-1400 for fast help.
Categories of a Water Loss
If you've been in and around a water loss you may have often heard the reference of which category the loss is under. So what exactly does that mean? SERVPRO of Chatsworth / Stevenson Ranch will shed some light on the three categories of a water loss and what they mean.
Category 1: Refers to the source of water as being "clean water" otherwise meaning a source of water that does not pose a substantial threat to humans. Examples:
- Broken water supply line
- Sink or tub overflow
- Appliance malfunction
Category 2: Refers to the source of water as containing a significant degree of chemicals, biological or physical contaminants that cause discomfort or sickness when consumed or exposed to. It is often referred to as "grey water" Examples:
- Toilet bows w/urine (no feces)
- Sump pump failures
- Seepage from washers
Category 3: Referred to as "black water" and is grossly contaminated. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Examples:
- Toilet back flows
For all your water damage needs give us a call at 818-842-1400
What is Soot?
What exactly is soot?
SERVPRO of Chatsworth / Stevenson Ranch is happy to give some insight on what the common black powder substance is.
Soot is described as the fine black particles composed of carbon. It is created by incomplete combustion of coal, oil, wood and other fuels. It can consist of acids, chemicals, metals, soils and dust. The main trait of soot is it's size, the particles are extremely tiny, 2.5 micrometers or smaller.
Is soot dangerous?
With soot often containing chemicals in addition with its tiny size, it can prove dangerous when breathed in. It can travel deep in the lungs which can lead to coronary heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory illnesses.
Compounds from soot are sulfur dioxides and nitrogen dioxides, they combine with moisture and form acid rain which then worsens water quality and damages crops. In addition, it can also change nutrient balances in many ecosystems.
Developing Fire Safe Habits For Your Home is very important here in SoCal. SERVPRO of Chatsworth / Stevenson Ranch and the Red Cross have some tips on how to do so:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.
info provide by redcross.org
It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen! Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.
Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Plan serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.
By working with SERVPRO to develop your personalized Emergency READY Plan your business will receive the benefit of over 30 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response for the greater LA area and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
Call our office at (818) 842-1400 to learn more on how to set up this profile for your facility and get prepared before disaster strikes!
Preventing a Fire in Your Home
How to prevent fires at home
Most people know the basics of fire safety at home, such as not leaving burning candles unattended and keeping a fire extinguisher on hand. Here are a few more things you can do to prevent fires at home.
- Have your heating system serviced regularly by a professional, including chimneys from wood-burning fireplaces. Clean around heat sources and keep dust and other flammable items away from ignition sources.
- Remove the lint from your dryer filter after every use. A clogged filter and lint trap makes your dryer less efficient, reduces the airflow needed to keep heat from building up in the vents, and forces lint onto the heating coils. Also, never let your dryer run when you are out of the house or when you’re asleep.
- Keep firewood, piles of leaves and trash away from the home. If a grass fire starts nearby, these items next to your home could easily become kindling. Never dump hot ashes inside or near your home; keep them in a metal container well away from your house and garage.
- Avoid using outlet extenders or plug-in power bars: they can quickly overload an electrical circuit. Replace old, damaged or frayed appliance cords, and never force a three-pronged plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Store containers of cooking oil well away from the stove. When cooking with oil, never leave the stove unattended. To stop a grease fire, turn off the burner and place a lid on the pan to suffocate the flames, or pour on lots of baking soda. Never pour water on a grease fire or try to carry the pan outside; water splatters the grease and makes the fire bigger, and the pan will be much too hot to carry.
- Consider using borrowed heat to keep outdoor pets warm. During winter months, avoid using heat lamps, solar lamps, trouble lights, heated watering bowls or other such heated devices, which could lead to a potential fire. Borrowed heat involves providing warmth from a heating system located in a separate building. If this isn’t possible, consider bringing your pets inside.
- Be sure to properly extinguish smoking materials. Smoking materials that are not properly extinguished can smoulder undetected for days before igniting a fire. Never discard smoking materials on the ground or in plant pots.
info provided by https://www.cooperators.ca/en/Answer-Centre/how-can-i-be-safe-and-prepared/home/five-best-ways-to-prevent-fires-in-home.aspx