Recent Fire Damage Posts

The Importance of Content Restoration and Cleaning After a Disaster

8/21/2023 (Permalink)

The stove and microwave area in a kitchen with severe fire damage. When it comes to disaster restoration, content cleaning is a crucial step in the process.

Disasters can strike at any time, which can often lead to a great deal of damage to your property. Efforts to restore the affected structure can be time-consuming and expensive, but it’s necessary to have it done to prevent further damage and maintain structural integrity. One important aspect of restoring a property after a disaster is content cleaning. The process of cleaning and restoring damaged content is an essential part of the recovery process, and it's important to understand the importance of content cleaning, how it's done, and who can help you get it done.

What is Content Restoration and Cleaning?

Content restoration, or content cleaning, is the process of cleaning, restoring, and repairing any damaged personal belongings or contents within a residence or place of business. This includes items like clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics, and anything in between that could be affected by water, fire, or mold. The process of content cleaning is essential in the complete restoration of the property.

Why is Content Restoration and Cleaning Necessary?

After a disaster, it's not uncommon for there to be damage to the property’s content. Although it might seem easier and faster to throw out the damaged items, content cleaning can be a less expensive alternative to replacing everything and can help to save a great deal of money and a lot of memories. The benefits of content cleaning include:

  • Preservation of sentimental items that can never be replaced.
  • Lower costs than replacement of all items.
  • Quick and efficient process, less time-consuming than replacing everything.
  • Re-use of items that may still be functional but require cleaning and repair.

Content cleaning can be especially useful in situations where there may be insurance claims involved, as it can allow them to properly assess and document the damage to the content and potentially reduce the claim amount.

Types of Content Restoration and Cleaning Services

There are many different types of restoration content cleaning services available, and the right one for you will depend on your specific needs. These services can range from cleaning items on-site to taking them to a specialized facility for deeper cleaning and restoration. Some common content-cleaning services include:

  • Dry cleaning – for items that can't get wet like clothes and drapery
  • Wet cleaning – for things like furniture, bedding, and linens.
  • Electronics cleaning – for devices and appliances that may have been damaged by electric surges or exposure to moisture or soot.
  • Furniture repair – for repairing furniture such as reupholstering chairs, replacing legs, and fixing dents or scratches.

Who Can Help with Content Restoration and Cleaning?

There are many professionals in the disaster restoration industry that can help with this process. These professionals have the expertise and equipment needed to clean and restore your damaged personal belongings or contents after a disaster. Some companies even specialize in content cleaning only.

Professionals will assess the damage and determine the appropriate cleaning and restoration method to be used. Once the method has been decided on, the cleaning and restoring process will begin. You may be surprised to learn how much of the damaged content can be restored and made usable once again.

When it comes to disaster restoration, content cleaning is a crucial step in the process. It saves time and money while ensuring the preservation of the sentimental and valuable items in your possession. The help of professional content cleaners makes this process more effective, efficient, and thorough. Before starting the content cleaning process, you should always assess the damages and contact the correct disaster restoration company. By doing this, you can help to ensure that the cleaning and restoration process is done properly, that your content is not permanently damaged, and lastly will allow you to get your life back to normal.

After the Fire: Steps Homeowners Should Take for Recovery and Restoration

4/10/2023 (Permalink)

fire alarm maintenance Hire a professional restoration company to help eliminate smoke odor.

Experiencing a fire in your home can be a traumatic event. After the flames have been extinguished, it's important to take immediate action to start the process of recovery. In this blog, we'll discuss the steps homeowners should take after a fire to ensure the safety of their families, preserve their property, and begin the restoration process.

The first step after a fire is to contact your insurance company to report the damage. They will guide you through the claims process and provide information on what to do next. Make sure to document everything, including damage to your property and personal belongings, and keep receipts for any expenses incurred.

Secure your belongings

After a fire, your property may be vulnerable to further damage or theft. Board up any broken windows or doors, and secure any openings in the roof or walls. You may also need to turn off utilities such as gas and electricity to prevent further damage.

Document the Damage

Take photos or videos of the damage to your property and personal belongings. This documentation can be used to support your insurance claim and may be required to receive benefits.

Contact a Professional Restoration Company

A professional restoration company can help assess the damage and provide a plan for restoration. They will have the expertise and equipment necessary to safely clean and restore your property, and can help salvage as much as possible. SERVPRO of Anaheim West is a local leader in fire damage cleanup and restoration and is here to help!

Assess Your Personal Belongings

After a fire, it's important to assess your personal belongings to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be discarded. Clothing, linens, and other washable items may be able to be cleaned, while items that have been significantly damaged by fire or water may need to be disposed of.

Address Smoke Odor

Even after the fire has been extinguished, smoke odor can linger in your home. A professional restoration company can help eliminate smoke odor using techniques such as air purification, ozone treatment, and thermal fogging.

Experiencing a fire in your home can be a devastating event, but taking the right steps after a fire can help ensure your safety, preserve your property, and begin the restoration process. By contacting your insurance company, securing your property, documenting the damage, contacting a professional restoration company, assessing your personal belongings, and addressing smoke odor, you can start the process of recovery and get back to your normal life.

3 Things Homeowners Should Clean To Prevent a Lint Fire

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Removing lint from a drying machine Clean the lint filter each time the dryer is used

Prevent a Lint Fire

Accumulated lint in the dryer vents of your home is a danger, especially if the vents have never been cleaned. A lint fire hazard can be overlooked by homeowners in Southwest Anaheim, CA because the lint is hidden.

To Avoid A Fire, You Can

  • Clean your dryer vents regularly
  • Remove lint from the dryer filter after each use
  • Have your dryer serviced routinely by a professional

A dryer that has stopped working effectively is a sign that you have a clogged dryer vent. To find and clean hidden lint, check these three areas.

1. Dryer Vents
The dryer vent allows lint to escape through a pipe that has its opening on the roof each time you use the dryer. Sometimes, the wall damper through which the lint is meant to escape is covered by a mesh screen. This blocks the exit for the lint, causing it to accumulate with each use of your dryer. The wall damper should be covered to keep rain from moistening the dryer vent. Ensure that the damper opens with each use for proper ventilation.

2. Behind the Dryer
Lint behind your dryer is another indicator for a clogged dryer vent. This lint can be neglected because of its location behind the dryer and out of sight. Check behind your dryer regularly and clean well to prevent a lint fire. If you notice lint accumulating behind your dryer, contact a professional cleaning service to clean the vents.

3. The Lint Filter
Each time the dryer is used, the lint filter accumulates thread particles. If it is not cleaned, it can cause a dryer fire. The lint filter and its housing should be cleaned with a brush at least once a month to prevent hidden lint from igniting within the dryer. It should be cleaned before and after each use of the dryer.

Dryer vents that have not been treated are a fire hazard. In case of a lint fire, you should know what companies provide fire damage restoration services in your area. Maintaining your dryer vent clean will protect you from property loss and fire damage restoration costs.

Top 3 Tips on How To Prepare for a Business Fire

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Following a well-structured fire safety plan is the most effective way to prevent an incident. Depending on your operations, the contents may differ.

Top 3 Business Fire Preparation Tips

A business fire can strike at any time, damaging your Anaheim, CA, establishment and everything you worked hard to create. The unpredictability of this potential disaster should inspire you to generate preventative measures and appropriate responses. Protect your staff and your property by practicing the following fire preparation tips. 

1. Create a Fire Safety Plan 

The most effective way to prevent an incident is by following a well-structured fire safety plan. The contents can vary depending on your operations, but it should include information such as possible fire hazards, proper procedures for handling each one and location of available safety equipment. Each employee should have a clear, contributing role. Ensure this safety plan is communicated orally, as well as written down, so new and veteran personnel can access it.

2. Maintain Emergency Exits in Case of a Business Fire

A fast and organized evacuation during a commercial building fire can keep people safe. The building's emergency exits help facilitate it as long as they are maintained. Provide enough signage on the emergency exit doors and the paths leading up to them so people can quickly identify them. The doors should also be sufficiently lit to draw attention and increase safe use. Finally, keep the doors unlocked and clear from any obstructions. 

3. Handle Dangerous Materials Properly 

If your business uses flammable liquids or combustible objects, you and your staff should handle them carefully. Each item might require a different set of instructions, but they should all be kept at a reasonable distance from heat sources or other hot environments. Train your employees on preventative tactics such as the correct storage of gas cylinders, immediate disposal of faulty electronics and regular trash removal from all rooms. 

No matter the size or nature of your establishment, there are many factors that can start and boost a business fire. Use preparation strategies to prevent or minimize fire damage and work with your insurance agency and a fire restoration company to resolve the aftermath. 

How Can I Prevent a Lint Fire?

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in clothes dryer. If you have experienced a dryer fire, contact your local fire damage restoration service to help get your property back to normal.

What Can I Do To Avoid A Lint Fire?

Lint fires are common occurrences in Southwest Anaheim, CA, and cause heavy fire damage leading to costly repairs. You can prevent a house fire by keeping flammable substances away from your home.

To prepare in case of a fire:

  • Have a fire plan in place
  • Keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible
  • Create a list of emergency contacts

Lint from dryers is often used in campsites to light the campfire because of how highly combustible it is. Here are some ways you can prevent a dryer fire.

Properly Clean Your Dryer

Experts recommend that you hire a professional to service your dryer at least once a year. You can also take steps throughout the year to clean around your dryer and prevent accumulating lint. Check behind the dryer to ensure no lint is hidden.

Clean the Lint Filter Housing

The dryer filter is the most obvious place where lint accumulates. Its housing can also become filled with lint if it is not cleaned regularly. When you lift the filter from its housing, you will often find the lint trapped under it. This buildup can easily start a lint fire inside of the dryer. It is best to use a small brush inside the housing to reveal any hidden lint and use a vacuum to remove it.

Notice the Signs

When your dryer begins to function abnormally, it can be an indication that your dryer vents are clogged. Knowing the signs of a malfunctioning appliance can prevent a dryer fire. If you notice that the dryer is no longer drying effectively or your clothes are coming out hotter than usual, contact a professional to clean your vents before purchasing a new one.

A lint fire is preventable in your home if you take the appropriate steps to maintain your dryer. If you have experienced a dryer fire, contact your local fire damage restoration service to help get your property back to normal.

3 Important Elements of an Office Fire Evacuation Plan

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Escape plan. The people who use your commercial building on a regular basis need to know how to leave it during a fire.

Three Important Elements Of A Fire Evacuation Plan For An Office

Do you have a fire escape plan in place for your Anaheim, CA commercial building? Preparing your employees for a worst-case scenario can help ensure everyone stays safe even during a fire. Keep these tips in mind as you create your own evacuation plan.

1. Chain of Command

Who is in charge during an emergency if you are not present? Establishing a chain of command ensures someone will take charge if a fire breaks out. You can also assign people with important tasks, such as the following:

  • Calling emergency responders.
  • Getting in touch with the fire restoration professionals.
  • Starting the evacuation procedures.
  • Handing out protective equipment.

When everyone knows their role during a fire, it is more likely the whole group will make it out safely.

2. Meeting Spot

Your entire staff may not make it out of the building at the same time. Because you need to know who is out to determine who may still be in the flames, you need to create a meeting spot outside of the building as part of your emergency escape plan. Make sure your spot is a safe distance from the commercial space. An ideal meeting spot would be easy for everyone to get to, well-lit and safe.

3. Evacuation Routes

The people who use your commercial building on a regular basis need to know how to leave it during a fire. You can achieve this goal by training your employees on a fire escape plan. You should also mark emergency exits with lights and signs that would be visible even during a fire. You can even post evacuation signs to make sure those unfamiliar with the building know where the nearest emergency exit is.

You can never know when or if your commercial building is going to be engulfed in flames. Creating a fire escape plan before an emergency can help ensure anyone inside the space is able to make it out safely.

Prevent a Lint Fire With These 4 Tips

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Someone is cleaning a lint trap If you want to avoid a fire, at least twice a year, unscrew the back panel on your dryer and vacuum out any lint you find.

These 4 Tips Can Help You Avoid a Lint Fire

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to clean out the dryer lint every time you start a new load, but this task can be easily forgotten. While you may already be aware that cleaning out lint helps to dry your clothes faster and preserve your dryer, letting dryer lint build up can lead to a dangerous home fire. Prevent a lint fire in Anaheim, CA, by following these four tips!

1. Wipe Off the Lint Screen After Every Load

The simplest step to prevent a dryer fire is to remove the lint screen from the dryer and wipe it off every time you take out a load. Extremely flammable lint paired with a dryer that gets extremely hot makes for a dangerous combination!

2. Wash the Lint Screen

Your lint screen can get clogged and dirtied over time due to the products used to clean and freshen your clothes. Every few weeks, use hot water, dishwashing soap, and a soft brush to remove gunk from the screen.

3. Occasionally Deep Clean Dryer Vents

Your lint screen isn’t the only place that lint gathers. The exhaust hose on your dryer and wall vent connected to your dryer collect lint over time which can easily lead to a lint fire if not cleaned periodically. This process will require removing the exhaust hose from your dryer and getting ahold of a special vent cleaning kit.

4. Clean Inside Your Dryer

The last place you want lint to build up is inside the interior of your dryer. At least twice a year, unscrew the back panel on your dryer and vacuum out any lint you find. A microfiber cloth is useful for wiping off metal bits. Avoid needing to call in fire damage specialists by performing this step and clearing away lint blockages before they occur.

It is important to remember that flammable lint and hot dryers don’t mix well! Prevent a lint fire in your home by keeping these four tips in mind.

Apartment Fires: Responsibility Versus Ownership

1/1/2022 (Permalink)

businessman present insurance concept with house on fire Fire damage for residential owners is straightforward, but when it comes to investment properties and renters, it can get confusing.

Responsibility VS. Ownership In Apartment Fires

An apartment fire can create many victims, leaving not only property owners but tenants scavenging for salvageable items and wondering how they are going to rectify the situation. Fire damage for residential owners is straightforward, but when it comes to investment properties and renters, it can get confusing. Who is responsible for what?

1. Structure

The property owner is likely responsible for the structure, meaning that tenants do not need to worry about rebuilding their dwellings. Unfortunately, restoration work can take a while which means that renters are responsible for finding another place to live.

2. Electrical and Plumbing

An apartment fire can cause significant damage to the electrical and plumbing systems, which again is the responsibility of the owner and not the tenants. As the owner of the property, both the structure and the habitability of that structure are your responsibility. However, this may be challenged if it is found that the fire was intentional or due to renter negligence.

3. Personal Property

The property owner is not responsible for a tenant’s personal belongings. Most renters will have or should have renter’s insurance which should cover personal property loss. These policies will either cover the cost to replace the items or the true value of the items.

4. Restoration

Again, as the property is the responsibility of the owner, the restoration expense is also their responsibility. Their insurance policy should cover the cost to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Anaheim, CA, area. However, this does depend on whether the fire was caused by accident, neglect or criminal intent.

While it is often difficult to understand who should pay for what after an apartment fire, it primarily comes down to ownership; the property owner or landlord is responsible for the building, and the renter is responsible for their personal property. However, all of this depends on the cause of the fire and whether it is deemed criminal or accidental.