Ten Campfire Safety Tips to Prevent Personal Injury and Fire Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto shares campfire safety tips to help Palo Alto residents enjoy campfires safely.
The highly trained and experienced professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto are prepared to respond to any property damage incident, including fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage disaster caused by Northern California wildfires.
In 2020, there were more than 57,000 wildfires in the US, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. These wildfires consumed more than 10.3 million acres, and ninety percent of the fires were caused by humans. The remaining ten percent were largely from lightning strikes. In California, approximately 10,500 buildings were destroyed by wildfires at a cost of over $12 billion. Preventing wildfires can save lives, homes, and businesses. A good place to start is with campfire safety.
How to Enjoy a Campfire Safely and Avoid Fire Damage
These ten tips can help campers and park visitors enjoy activities around the campfire without putting themselves or the surrounding forest in jeopardy.
- Be familiar with and abide by local burning regulations.
According to the National Park Service, each park has its own set of rules customized for the unique aspects of the individual park. In general, the guidelines regulate the location and conditions in which a campfire is permissible. Usually, these regulations are clearly posted in a central location in the park, often at the visitor center. If the information is not publicly posted, then ask a park employee or park ranger where the information is available. If a printed copy is available, keep it on hand at all times when in the park. Campfire regulations most likely can be found on the park website, but reception may not be available throughout the park. The best policy is to download the information before entering the park.
How serious is a campfire code violation? What are the consequences for failing to follow the rules and causing a forest fire? Simple violations may be met with a pleasant and professional reminder from a patient park ranger. However, if the careless camper causes a forest fire by failing to follow the safety guidelines, he or she may have to pay stiff fines, pay damages resulting from the fire, and possibly serve jail time. Property damage and the expense of extinguishing even a small forest fire can be financially devastating.
Knowing and closely abiding by the guidelines for campfire safety will go a long way in preventing needless wildfires that harm the forest, destroy property, and sometimes take the lives of both humans and wildlife.
- Make sure the weather is safe to enjoy a campfire.
Anything more than a gentle breeze could pose a potential wildfire threat. If rain has been sparse, a spark or ember from a small campfire could burn down a large forest. Wind and arid conditions might mean special rules or restrictions are in effect. Reach out to park officials to learn if any special restrictions apply during the time the camper plans to visit the park. Whether intentional or unintentional, violation of a burn ban or other weather-related rules is frowned upon by park officials.
- Make sure that some form of fire extinguisher, especially water, is readily available in case of an emergency.
Pack extra buckets or a water bladder dedicated to extinguishing the campfire. Haul the water to the campsite before igniting the fire. The water will prove helpful if clothes or gear catch on fire from burning embers or sparks. Play it very safe and pack an approved fire extinguisher that will have no adverse effect on the environment if it is discharged.
- Only burn wood.
Avoid using the campfire as a garbage disposal for trash such as plastic bags, plastic water bottles, plastic cups and eating utensils, and paper with printing on it. When burned, these items give off noxious gases that can be harmful to anyone downwind who has to breathe the toxic chemicals in the smoke. Disposable diapers, clothing, broken flip-flops, and shoes should be discarded in the assigned trash bin and should not be burned.
- Do not use any fire accelerants other than lighter fluid.
Lighter fluid is designed to start a fire in a controlled and safe manner. Avoid spraying or pouring lighter fluid directly on a flame since the fire could flare-up. Gasoline can cause a flash explosion that ignites the surrounding vegetation, clothing, and camp gear. An unintentional spill of flammable liquids can also pollute nearby streams.
- Once the fire is started, always remain at a safe distance from the blaze.
Clothing, especially vinyl jackets, can catch fire very easily. Once these highly flammable items are ignited, the flames spread quickly and can cause great bodily harm. Wear all-natural fiber clothing when around a campfire. Make adjustments to the fire with a long poker. Wear protective leather gloves if necessary.
- Keep an eye on children and pets.
Small children can easily stumble and fall into an open flame of a campfire. While roasting marshmallows, children can become overbalanced and tumble into the blaze. Pets can become agitated if they are not accustomed to being around the heat, flames, and smells of fire.
- Never leave the fire unattended.
Before going to bed, completely extinguish the flames and spread out the coals. Cover the embers with water and stir until the fire is totally extinguished. If water is not available, use sand or dirt that is free of debris. Remove all combustible material from around the fire pit for added safety.
- Call 911 if the fire is not able to be controlled.
If the flames spread beyond the firepit, call 911 immediately. If reception is not available, seek assistance from area campers. In a worst-case scenario, travel to the nearest visitor center or ranger station for assistance.
- Pre-qualify a fire damage restoration company to provide services should the campfire cause fire damage.
Homes and businesses located in areas vulnerable to wildfires are advised to pre-qualify a fire damage restoration company should the worst happen. By choosing a fire damage restoration company beforehand, homeowners are making sure that only one call is needed in an emergency, and they are being proactive in protecting their home, securing their belongings, and escaping the flames.
The experienced team at SERVPRO of Palo Alto is ready to serve the needs of homeowners and businesses affected by the Northern California wildfires. SERVPRO of Palo Alto, being locally owned and operated, can respond quickly with immediate action, which can minimize damage and prevent advanced secondary damage. The reduction in restoration costs can be significant. The highly trained crews possess the specialized equipment and resources to handle fire, smoke, and water damage caused by the recent Northern California wildfires. The SERVPRO teams are prepared with strategically positioned equipment when a fire emergency arises in the area, including Menlo Park, Stanford, and Redwood City. A fire damage incident is devastating for a family. The traumatic event is disruptive and stressful. The caring experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto guide their clients through the crisis with the deepest empathy and utmost respect.
For more information about Palo Alto, CA, fire damage restoration, contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.
How Disaster Response Teams Rise to the Challenges of a Large Loss Incident
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto, a damage restoration company serving Palo Alto, Redwood City, and Atherton, highlights SERVPRO’s Catastrophic Storm Response Teams.
In addition to being the local leader in property damage restoration, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is part of SERVPRO’s professional services network encompassing more than 1,700 individually owned and operated franchises. Founded in 1967, SERVPRO is an industry leader providing water, flood, and fire cleanup and restoration services. SERVPRO’s service network responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events.
One such large-loss disaster, which led to a massive response from the SERVPRO disaster response teams, was the 2017 California wildfires. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection describes the devastating disaster: “In terms of property damage, 2017 was the most destructive wildfire season on record in California at the time. Throughout 2017, the fires destroyed or damaged more than 10,000 structures in the state (destroyed 9,470, damaged 810), a higher tally than the previous nine years combined. In total 9,133 fires burned 1,248,606 acres. In December 2017, strong Santa Ana winds triggered a new round of wildfires, including the massive Thomas Fire in Ventura County. At the time, the Thomas Fire was California’s largest modern wildfire, which has since been surpassed by the Mendocino Complex’s Ranch Fire in 2018. The December 2017 fires forced over 230,000 people to evacuate. 2017 will be remembered as a year of extremes. It was the third-warmest year on record for the United States, and it was the second-hottest in California...”
SERVPRO’s Catastrophic Storm Response Teams have responded to some of the major disasters of the last two decades. Mobilizations include:
- 2017 Hurricane Irma
- 2017 Hurricane Harvey
- 2016 Hurricane Matthew
- 2015 Carolina floods
- 2014 Polar Vortex
- 2012 Hurricane Sandy
- 2010 Nashville floods
- 2008 Hurricane Ike
- 2007 Chicago floods
- 2007 Ohio floods
- 2007 California wildfires
- 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita
Supported by a robust network of damage restoration industry professionals, SERVPRO can respond to disasters of all sizes. If a major disaster event or catastrophic storm strikes a community, SERVPRO can call on strategically positioned storm teams that are on standby. When a town or city is devastated by severe weather or a natural disaster, local homeowners and business owners can be confident with SERVPRO’s response.
The SERVPRO model for disaster response offers the following benefits:
- The team is equipped to deal with a wide range of disasters, from hurricanes and tornadoes to blizzards and wildfires.
- Local command centers and the resources of over 1,700 franchises across the nation can be mobilized rapidly.
- SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Teams are available 24/7 year-round.
- A commercial operations manager supervises large loss jobs in order to ensure a seamless workflow, prompt restoration, and clear communication.
Businesses and commercial facilities can be especially hard hit by a disaster. Thousands of dollars of product and equipment, as well as vital business documentation, can be destroyed in a matter of minutes by a fire, flood, or hurricane. When a business owner loses the product of years of hard work, dedication, and passion, he or she can be devastated financially and emotionally. SERVPRO’s Commercial Large Loss program is critical to help businesses rebuild and recover.
The Commercial Large Loss Division draws on the skills and talent of the best and brightest technicians in the damage restoration industry. SERVPRO prequalifies an elite team of commercial large-loss specialists who are strategically located throughout the country. Through the deliberate and carefully planned placement and oversight of temporary labor, SERVPRO surpasses other damage restoration franchises in its ability to deploy highly-trained professionals and lower costs.
SERVPRO provides commercial large loss services for a broad spectrum of commercial settings, including the property management industry, the hospitality industry, colleges and universities, cities and municipalities, and military office complexes.
The team at SERVPRO of Palo Alto is proud to be a part of an effective, efficient network that serves people and communities in need across the United States. Whether a disaster is localized to a single residence or affects the entire town, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is committed to providing damage restoration services that reduce stress and give hope.
To learn more about the Atherton, CA, damage restoration company, contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto by phone at (650) 800-3448. The office can also be reached by email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.
Six Steps to Help Employees Report a Commercial Mold Infestation in Their Workplace
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers tips for reporting a mold infestation in the workplace.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides commercial damage restoration services to the local business community. The team of restoration experts can scale to meet any size disaster in any facility, whether it is an educational institution, office complex, service center, bank, retail business, hospital, factory, or apartment complex. SERVPRO has the necessary equipment, training, and techniques to get the job done as quickly as possible with minimal disruption. Mold infestation is a common issue in many workplaces. SERVPRO of Palo Alto is sharing tips to effectively guide employees through the process of reporting mold growth in the workplace or other commercial environments.
Mold in the Workplace
Mold is an unwanted guest in any work environment, and neither employers nor employees want mold issues in the workplace. Health effects can result in workers' comp claims or lawsuits, and property damage leads to costly repairs, especially if sensitive equipment or electronics are affected. The mitigation process can also disrupt the flow of products and services to customers. Discovering and resolving a mold infestation in the early stages can preserve workforce health and save time and money for the business owner or employer.
Mold can cause health effects for a business’ employees. In addition, guests, vendors, and contract workers who visit a facility where a mold infestation exists can be impacted by exposure to the mold, especially if the individuals have pre existing health concerns.
Should mold be discovered in the workplace, the tips listed below help employees work through the process of reporting a potentially dangerous mold situation to their employers.
- Report the discovery.
Inform a supervisor or manager immediately upon discovering mold in the workplace. Report the mold growth by email, text, or other communication platforms so that a record of action is created.
- Include basic information in the report.
Record the time of discovery, the location of the mold outbreak, and the extent of the visible signs of mold. A timestamped incident report helps mitigation experts determine important details about the infestation, such as how long the infestation has been in process, its origin, and the extent of any spread.
- Note environmental details.
Thoroughly describe the location, including any visible signs of moisture or water damage such as:
- heavy condensation on surfaces
- high humidity levels
- leaking pipes or unexplained puddled water
- dark stains
- structural damage such as warped flooring, bubbling paint or peeling wallpaper
- musty smells from vents or air conditioners
- Remind a supervisor or upper-level management of any recent water intrusion that might have a bearing on the mold infestation.
OSHA recommends that wet materials be thoroughly cleaned and dried within one to two days after a water damage incident in order to prevent mold growth.
- Make the report personal.
Speak with responsible parties in person if a timely response to the formal report is not forthcoming. Mold can cause serious health effects that can result in unexpected medical expenses and lost wages for employees.
- Follow up through the chain of command until the issue is acknowledged and a mitigation strategy is adopted.
Both fellow employees and the employer will appreciate a proactive approach to preserve the health of the workforce and the smooth delivery of products and services to customers.
Precautions Employees or Staff Should Take When Dealing With Mold
- Wear protective gear when exposed to mold infestation in the workplace.
Wear eye protection. Utilize a dust-filtration mask to protect the sinuses, mouth, and lungs. Wear rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and pants, or a full protective suit to prevent skin irritation. Employers are required by law to provide adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) if hazards are present in the workplace.
- Avoid transporting the mold to other parts of the facility, other businesses, or the home environment. Remove PPE after exposure to mold. Wash or discard contaminated items. Upon arriving home, remove clothing — including shoes — that may have been exposed to mold. Wash the clothing immediately, if possible. Do not cross-contaminate personal laundry. Be sure to wash work clothes separately from the rest of the laundry.
- Clean the work environment regularly and resolve water intrusions immediately to prevent mold growth.
- Increase ventilation in affected areas.
- Never assume that mold in the workplace is safe.
The Best Remediation Strategy to Resolve a Commercial Mold Infestation
Take the safest and swiftest course of action to resolve mold issues in the workplace. Call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto. A commercial mold infestation can harm employees and disrupt business operations. Mold in the workplace can disrupt production, slow down the provision of services, damage equipment, and the building, and cause health effects in the workforce. SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers commercial mold remediation services designed to resolve the issue as quickly as possible with the least amount of disruption to the business. SERVPRO technicians are certified mold remediation specialists equipped to mitigate any mold issues with the utmost safety.
For more information about Palo Alto, TX, commercial damage restoration, contact the office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.
What to Do After a Fire and When to Call a Commercial Damage Restoration Company like SERVPRO
Blog Summary: A fire is devastating for any business owner, but handling the aftermath requires four important steps toward commercial damage restoration. SERVPRO offers advice on where to start.
Even a minor fire at a commercial property means a lot of disruptions for the business and its employees. Commercial damage restoration services cannot begin until the chaos dies down, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t proactive steps to take in the meantime.
The SERVPRO professionals suggest four tips for how to handle commercial damage restoration most effectively after a fire.
What to Do After a Commercial Fire: Filing a Fire Claim To Cover Commercial Damage Restoration
Calling to file an insurance claim might be the first response once the fire department leaves the site, but there are four preceding steps needed to ensure the claims process goes smoothly.
#1 Is a Claim Necessary?
Evaluate the situation first to see whether a fire damage claim is necessary. Making a call to cover commercial damage restoration ignites an entire paperwork trail after a fire, and the process isn’t over quickly. Consider the extent of the damage as well as the time required for business interruptions—is it worth making the claim official?
If so, assess the overall damage to the building. If the fire engulfed much of it, an insurance claim is the only route. However, if the fire only affected a small section of the commercial premises, a claim might not be enough of an advantage to mitigate the cost or effort.
It’s worth looking at the insurance policy’s deductible and asking for a repair estimate from a contractor like SERVPRO. If the repair cost is lower than the deductible amount, paying for restoration without filing a claim might be an option. It will also prevent insurance rates from increasing when the policy ticks over.
#2 How Will a Claim Disrupt The Business?
Many insurance policies include coverage for interruption of business, and it might be possible to recoup some lost revenue, depending on the extent of the damage. For example, if the business needs to close for repairs, it loses income daily. It is wise to do the calculations of whether the policy covers the interruption before filing a claim.
#3 What Does The Insurer Advise?
If the policy will cover business interruptions and the scope of the fire damage, call the insurance agency. The business owner or responsible party will need to be clear about the need for interruption of business-coverage, even if it’s in the policy. Providing the adjuster with pictures and videos of the damage also verifies the details.
#4 How Can SERVPRO Help with Fire Restoration?
After a fire, it can be tempting to hire the first available contractor or cleaning service. Before making contact, it’s best to do some research:
- Check the contractor’s website to verify their credentials and certifications.
- Verify the company is in good standing by reading reviews online.
- Consider the interaction. Is the company as professional and experienced as the team at SERVPRO?
In addition to fire services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto, California, handles water damage, water removal, and water cleanup from flood damage. As a part of the water restoration process, SERVPRO also takes care of mold removal and mold remediation for thorough commercial damage restoration and cleanup service. Contact SERVPRO today at 650-800-3448 or visit them at 2225 E. Bayshore Road, Suite 270, Palo Alto, CA 94303.
The Storm Damage Restoration Experts at SERVPRO Give Suggestions for How to Deal with Flood Aftermath Effectively
Blog Summary: The fire and water cleanup professionals at SERVPRO offer five tips to keep in mind during storm damage restoration following a flash flood.
Homeowners and businesses in Palo Alto are well aware of the importance of proper storm damage restoration. Flash floods in the area carry a lot of uncertainty in their waters, and the inherent danger of rushing torrents is an uncomfortable thought at any time of year. Flooding and water damage aren’t exclusive to the coastline, and the SERVPRO professionals deal with this level of storm damage restoration daily.
Storm Damage Restoration: Five Steps to Take After a Flash Flood Event
Even if a home is away from the water’s edge, flash flooding still occurs near damaged dams or heavy rainfall areas. If there is overflow after heavy thunderstorms, there’s a risk of excess water. Here are five steps to protect a flooded home or business from further damages:
#1 Safety First
Step One after a flash flood is to verify the safety of all residents or employees before storm damage restoration begins in earnest. If anyone sustains physical injuries from the flood, the responsible person will need to call emergency services. They should also keep children, pets, and frail adults well away from the water, particularly if there is a strong current.
#2 Don’t Drink The Water
Flood water is not potable. It may contain sewage and bacteria, which means that the storm damage restoration team must discard any consumable items in contact with floodwater. If not, accidental ingestion could have dire consequences, even months later.
If other drinking water is not readily available at the site, or floodwater is the only option, boiling can decrease the concentration of harmful bacteria. However, it is best to contact a medical team immediately in the event of accidental flood water consumption.
#3 Document The Damage
Standard insurance policies typically do not include flash flood protection. However, homeowners with flood coverage should carefully document all flood damage before hiring a water removal company or cleaning service. A thorough approach is always helpful when trying to put together a claim in the months that follow the storm damage restoration.
Proper documentation helps insurance adjusters make a fair settlement that covers all water damage. Professional services like SERVPRO advise capturing as many pictures and videos as possible before water restoration services take over the cleanup.
#4 Beware of Flooded Basements
Floodwater in a basement causes a variety of problems. Connections for the home’s main electricity are typically in the basement, and water contact leads to power outages in the home and potential electric shock risks. If the water reaches the wrong electrical component, fire damage is a real possibility.
A flooded basement also causes significant structural damage long-term. If professional help is unavailable, it is important to be cautious. Do not empty more than a third of the water volume per day—pressure changes of that magnitude may cause collapse. Rather, safeguard the property and leave water cleanup and restoration services to the SERVPRO team.
#5 Hire Professional Help like SERVPRO
A verified company like SERVPRO is the only alternative for fast and safe water and mold removal services.
- Check the online storm damage restoration reviews to see what the community thinks of their services.
- Visit their website to verify certifications and licenses, which are particularly important for reliable mold remediation.
SERVPRO in Redwood City, California, handles many types of cleaning and storm damage restoration services, including water and fire restoration, mold remediation, and residential and commercial property cleanups. For more information, contact SERVPRO today at (650) 800-3448 or visit them at 2225 E. Bayshore Road, Suite 270, Palo Alto, CA 94303.
Three Statistics That Demonstrate How Malfunctioning Household Appliances Can Lead to Water Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains the importance of regularly inspecting household appliances that use water in order to prevent an unexpected water damage disaster.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto understands the inconvenient disruptions, stressful environment, and unexpected expenses resulting from water damage in Palo Alto, CA. The team of professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers a positive attitude, a high level of skill, and a level of customer service that set the bar high in the damage restoration industry. To ensure customers receive the best the industry has to offer, SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides up-to-date training, advanced technology, and innovative techniques to its staff in order to tailor services to the client’s needs, including water damage restoration.
Three Important Statistics About Water Damage From Household Appliances
The statistics listed below highlight the importance of being proactive when a water leak is suspected or detected.
Statistic #1: Washing machine supply lines will fail, on average, after 8.7 years.
Because washer supply lines are out of sight, homeowners often forget to replace them. Over time, the lines wear out and develop cracks, which may lead to large-scale ruptures.
Statistic #2: 75% of water heaters fail before 12 years of service.
Water heaters are not normally visible and are usually tucked away from the main living spaces in the home. Out of sight means out of mind for repairs and routine maintenance. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety rates water heater failure as one of the top causes of water damage. Water tank corrosion can lead to a slow leak or burst. Nearly 70% of water heater failures result from corrosion and lack of maintenance.
Statistic #3: On average, washing machine failures cost around $5,308 per incident after the insurance deductible.
A resulting mold infestation could add the expense of mold removal and mitigation.
Proactive Water Damage Prevention Solutions
Many water damage disasters can be avoided with a practical and proactive approach to appliance maintenance. First, when a leak is detected, it should receive immediate attention from the homeowner or property manager. If left unresolved, a small leak can cause thousands of dollars in damage to flooring, drywall, ceilings, baseboards, and support beams. Tiny leaks can cause big mold problems. Taking care of the mold issues may be more expensive than the actual physical damage to the home or business.
Second, if a leak is suspected, take immediate action to determine if the suspicion is accurate.
- Is the water bill higher than normal?
- Look for visible signs of a leak such as puddles of water, stains under cabinets, bubbling paint, and discolorations on walls or ceilings.
- Listen for dripping, whining, or creaking that might indicate a water leak.
- Feel for soft spots in the floor, warping in sheetrock, or moisture around faucets and supply line connections.
Third, anticipate inevitable leaks from appliance failures and malfunctions. Being proactive means taking time to regularly check the condition of aging appliances. This task may take only a few seconds, or it may require a few extra steps, such as removing a panel or inspecting the supply line connections of a washing machine.
If the water heater is in a closet, in the attic, or hidden in a special compartment or alcove, the homeowner may want to create a hinged door for easy access. Simply making the removal of the panel or sheetrock easier may be adequate. If the water heater is not in a pan with a discharge or overflow drain, call in a plumber to make the improvement. A leaking hot water heater can cause untold thousands of dollars in damage by the time it is discovered. If the water heater was knowingly installed outside of code requirements, there could be issues when filing an insurance claim if a leak occurs and causes coverable damage.
Being proactive also means spending money to replace appliance supply lines or other vital parts before they rupture or become defective. As the statistics demonstrate, a washing machine is a prime example of how waiting until there is a problem can result in a much bigger problem. A ruptured supply line can spew as many as seven to nine gallons of water per minute or 450 gallons of water per hour into a home. A trip to the hardware store and a few dollars for reinforced heavy-duty supply lines can avoid a water damage nightmare. Replacing the supply lines every five to seven years might seem excessive for the homeowner who has never experienced a serious water damage disaster. However, once a water damage disaster strikes, homeowners will wish that they had.
The experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto are committed to customer service. The water damage restoration company in Palo Alto, CA, can take on the entire project, bring it to completion, and provide the necessary documentation that work has been completed. SERVPRO of Palo Alto also offers consultation and rental options for DIY restoration projects. Whatever solution the homeowner chooses, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is ready to guide the homeowner through the process.
To learn more about water damage restoration in Atherton, CA, contact the office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.
What Not to Do Before Your Fire Damage Restoration Contractor Arrives
Blog Summary: SERVPRO offers residents of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and Stanford advice on what to avoid while waiting for their fire damage restoration team to arrive.
After a fire, it is understandable to want to pick up the pieces and move on as quickly as possible. Having a dependable and reputable fire damage restoration professional inspect and repair the damage as soon as possible is instrumental in that process.
The fire damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Palo Alto advise home and business owners not to do anything that may put anyone in danger or cause further damage in the aftermath of the fire. Here is what not to do while waiting for a fire damage restoration company.
What Not to Do Before Your Fire Damage Restoration Contractor Arrives
Do Not Eat Any Food From the Damaged Property
No matter how well stored, it is imperative not to consume any food from the fire-damaged property. It is easy for smoke, soot, and other airborne contaminants from a fire to get into food. It is best to throw it all away.
Do Not Use Any Electrical Appliances From the Damaged Property
Avoid using electrical appliances such as computers, televisions, stereos, or electronic devices until they have been professionally inspected and cleaned. Large appliances such as refrigerators and ovens should be unplugged. Fires can easily damage electrical components, making them unsafe to use.
Do Not Walk on Carpeting or Use Furniture From the Damaged Property
Avoid using any soft surface such as carpeting, upholstered furniture, bedding, curtains, and other fabrics until professionally cleaned. Heavy smoke residue and other debris easily seep into these, making them unsafe. SERVPRO of Palo Alto employs upholstery and fabric cleaning technicians to handle these issues specifically.
Do Not Attempt To Clean
It is essential to leave any damage just the way it is until everything is documented for insurance purposes. A professional fire damage restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Palo Alto, can handle that process and ensure that all insurance requirements are met while they clean and repair the structure. This service includes cleaning up harmful chemicals that firefighters use to put out fires and water damage caused by fire hoses or burst pipes.
Fire Damage Repair and Restoration
Californians know how devastating fire damage can be to homes and other property. SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers 24-hour emergency service with specialized fire repair and restoration equipment to handle the damage no matter how severe. They can handle any fire emergency in and around Palo Alto, Atherton, and surrounding areas.
SERVPRO's professionals treat their customers with empathy and respect, making sure to restore their homes with the utmost care. Their fire damage restoration services include soot and smoke removal, water removal, upholstery and fabric cleaning, odor control, and more.
In the aftermath of a structure fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help restore the building using state-of-the-art fire damage restoration equipment. Their experienced technicians have the know-how to resolve smoke, soot, and water damage from suppression efforts fast.
Give SERVPRO a call, day or night, at (650) 800-3448, or request help online to learn more about the fire damage restoration process.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto
2225 E. Bayshore Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Why SERVPRO? A Wide Range of Residential and Commercial Cleaning Services
Blog Summary: SERVPRO offers residents of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and Stanford professional cleaning services for both the home and office.
There are dozens of professional cleaning services to choose from in Redwood City, CA, making picking one a difficult decision. Whether residential or commercial cleaning services are needed, there are several things to consider before selecting a cleaning company.
The experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto explain what to look out for as well as how they've built a reputation for providing the highest quality cleaning services in Northern California since 1967.
Why SERVPRO? Wide Range of Residential and Commercial Cleaning Services
More than 10 million bacteria live on the average office desk. Keyboards of home computers have over 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. No matter how hard people try to keep their spaces clean, nothing compares to professional deep cleaning. Here are a few things to look for when comparing residential and commercial cleaning services:
Equipment and Technology
Make sure the cleaning service uses the latest in cleaning equipment and technology. A well-equipped cleaning team has the means to do more than a wipe down on surfaces. They should be able to clean worn-in grime, stains, odors, moisture and thoroughly sanitize a room. Companies such as SERVPRO of Palo Alto also offer sewage and biohazard clean-up.
Quality of Character
A cleaning service's employees should be professional, polite, and keep a neat and tidy appearance. Any employee who enters a home or office should carry identification and answer any questions about the tasks they are performing in a way that is easy to understand.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto only employs highly-trained technicians who take the utmost care when cleaning to maintain residential and commercial properties' integrity.
A company's reputation and experience are essential when choosing residential and commercial cleaning services. Always check how long the company has been in business and what types of services they offer.
Likewise, make sure they have experience relevant to your current service needs. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has over 50 years of experience handling cleaning jobs from the mundane up to proactive viral pathogen cleaning and biochemical spill remediation and decontamination.
Attention to Detail
A cleaning service is only as good as their attention to all the details of a project. SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program that follows the 3 C's:
- Consult: Taking the time to talk with residential homeowners and businesses to tailor a custom cleaning program based on their needs.
- Clean: Deep cleaning using propriety EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade solutions, following decontamination standards set by the CDC.
- Certify: Provide clients with a shield for their window, as well as other documentation, to represent the location's dedication to the safety of their guests, employees, and community.
Be sure to ask cleaning companies about their process, what to expect, and how long their services take. Professionals should answer these questions without hesitation and with confidence, which is hard to fake.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers a comprehensive range of services from carpet and upholstery cleaning to cleaning restaurant hoods and removing biohazard contaminants. They have over five decades of experience cleaning homes, office buildings, and other commercial properties in Palo Alto, Redwood city and surrounding areas.
To learn more about their residential and commercial cleaning services, call (650) 800-3448 or request help online.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto
2225 E. Bayshore Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
What Are the Flood Risks in California, and How Can Homeowners Prepare for Flood Damage?
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains the many flood risks in California and the importance of identifying a reliable storm and flood damage restoration company to rapidly provide services should flooding occur.
The storm damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto live in the community. They know the people, the community, and the climate. Palo Alto is no stranger to natural disturbances. In 2020, due to its proximity to the San Andreas Fault, the town registered approximately four hundred earthquakes of varying magnitudes. The area also sees its share of local flooding events from heavy rains, stormwater runoff, and rising tides.
To cope with flooding issues, the city is moving ahead with flood mitigation strategies and a new sea-level adaptation plan. Homeowners and businesses can take a page from the community’s flood mitigation playbook and prepare for the future by getting to know the property damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto today before disaster strikes tomorrow or in the future.
California is a magnet for growth. Job opportunities are available across many sectors. The climate is comfortable all year round, and the state features many hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, and kayaking opportunities. Metro green spaces dot the cities. The Palo Alto area features restaurants and entertainment that are second to none. The multi-ethnic population offers an exciting array of cultural experiences and cuisine.
However, in spite of the many amenities, including the temperate climate, abundant sunshine, magnificent beaches, and beautiful mountains and valleys, California is prone to severe flooding. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, “Most of California is vulnerable to floods. Every county has been declared a flood disaster area multiple times. One in five Californians and more than $580 billion worth of structures (including contents) are vulnerable. Transportation, energy, water supply, and sewer networks are also at risk of disruption. The state’s many valleys—particularly the Central Valley—are susceptible to rivers overflowing. Lowland coastal flooding is common when high tides coincide with large, storm-driven waves; tsunamis also strike occasionally. Southern California, the deserts, and areas recently burned by wildfires are susceptible to flash floods. Storms commonly cause local urban flooding because inadequate drainage systems and impermeable surfaces—such as streets and parking lots—allow stormwater to pond quickly and deeply.”
Even though flood risks are increasing in California, funding for flood management and mitigation is not keeping pace with the elevated risk. People and property values in California’s flood-prone areas are growing. This tandem growth heightens the economic vulnerability and threatens public safety.
Needed upgrades to flood management infrastructures — such as dams and levees — approach $34 billion. Accomplishing these upgrades within twenty-five years would mean spending $1.4 billion per year, which is nearly twice the current level of expenditures. Other novel options still fall short of the needed infrastructure expenses.
On another front, climate change calls for innovative approaches to address future challenges arising from the accelerated impact of changing weather patterns. Experts from the Public Policy Institute of California explain the challenges facing Californians, writing, “Many of California’s flood management systems were designed for the hydrological conditions of the previous century. California’s climate is changing with larger winter storms, more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow, and more extreme high tides. These changes, along with rising sea level, will make many current flood management systems obsolete within decades, requiring major investments in new infrastructure and new approaches to reducing flood risk.”
Helping those hurt by flooding
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers federal flood insurance to homes and businesses in flood-prone areas. However, the program is deep in debt, and its future is tenuous. California must proactively develop new strategies regarding the development of floodplains and create a state-run flood insurance program in order to lower economic risk to residents and businesses.
The multiple benefits of modern flood management
Past strategies routed floodwaters to the sea through thousands of miles of man-made river channels. These efforts separate communities from their rivers, adversely impact the environment, and may even increase the risk of flooding.
Contemporary approaches integrate floodwaters into the overall water management system. These strategies involve taking advantage of floodwaters to:
- restore wetlands and river corridors
- replenish aquifers
- improve the quality of surface water supplies
In the meantime, flooding is a problem for many California residents, including those in Redwood City and the surrounding area. Until infrastructure programs are implemented to decrease the intensity of flooding and redirect the water from urban centers and flood plains, homeowners and businesses will need to take precautions, obtain flood insurance, and have readiness plans in place to deal with storm and flood damage disasters.
In case of a property damage disaster such as storm damage or a flood in a residential or commercial setting, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help regain control of the situation quickly and begin the restoration process. Quick response and rapid remediation return life and storm or flood-damaged areas back to their pre-disaster condition. A rapid response not only means less disruption, but it also lowers the potential for advanced secondary water damage and the likelihood of mold infestation. SERVPRO offers emergency tarping, security fencing, and board-ups. When damage is severe, the team of professionals can also do pack-ups and provide storage until the site is ready to receive the items.
Sometimes only a few minutes separate calm from chaos in a property damage disaster. The time to prepare is well in advance of severe weather, flooding, earthquakes, or wildfires. Contact the SERVPRO professionals today and begin a relationship that will last long into the future. For more information about flood damage restoration in Redwood City, CA, and the surrounding area, contact the SERVPRO of Palo Alto office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.
Fire Damage Prevention Tips and SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile
Protecting your residence or business in the event of a fire is of the utmost importance. Having an emergency plan in place is critical to responding during and after the event. The first 48 hours after a fire can make a difference in determining whether to restore, or replace your property and personal processions. SERVPRO of Palo Alto believes in informing our customers the importance of fire prevention with some tips from the National Fire Protection Association.
- Never leave your cooking unattended especially when frying, grilling or broiling food.
- Turn off the stove if you must leave, even for a short period of time.
- Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
- Inspect electrical cords and replace any that are cracked, damaged or broken.
- Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn.
- Have an escape plan.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto recognizes the importance of being prepared, which is why we provide our customers with an Emergency Ready Profile. Our SERVPRO professionals can assist you in developing an ERP plan which contains crucial information needed in the event of an emergency occurring.
Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for more information on fire prevention and restoration at 650-800-3448