Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Safety Facts & Prevention Tips for the Bay Area

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Keep safe with these fire safety tips.

FIRE SAFETY FACTS

Each year, more than 4,000 Americans die in fires, more than 25,000 are injured in fires, and more than 100 firefighters are killed while on duty. Eighty three percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences. Many of these fires could have been prevented.

Cooking is the third leading cause of fire deaths and the leading cause of injury among people ages 65 and older.

Direct loss due to fires is estimated at nearly $8.6 billion annually. Intentionally set structure fires resulted in an estimated $664 million in property damage.

In order to protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire.

  • Fire is FAST. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

  • Fire is DARK. Fire produces gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three- to- one ratio.

  • Fire is HOT. Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super- hot air can sear your lungs.

    FIRE PREVENTION TIPS

    BEFORE A FIRE

    The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a fire:

    SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

  • Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.

  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement.

  • Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms.

  • Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke

    alarms once every 10 years.

    COOKING SAFETY

    • Never leave cooking unattended.

    • Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.

    • Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames

    • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.

      ESCAPING THE FIRE

• Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family.

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.

  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire.

  • In high-rise, never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Never prop stairway or other fire

    doors open.

    HEATING SOURCE

  • Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials.

  • Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater.

    MATCHES/LIGHTERS AND SMOKING

  • Keep matches/lighters away from children.

  • Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated.

  • If you must smoke, do it responsibly.

    ELECTRICAL WIRING

  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

  • Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.

  • Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas.

  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

    ASK THE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO INSPECT YOUR HOME FOR FIRE SAFETY AND PREVENTION

    DURING A FIRE

    If your clothes catch on fire, you should:

• Stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished.

DO NOT PANIC

• Do not assume someone else already called the fire department get out of the house then call the Fire Department.

ESCAPE A FIRE

  • Check closed doors with the back of your hand to feel for heat before you open them.

  • If the door is hot do not open it. Find a second way out, such as a window. If you cannot escape

    through a window, hang a white sheet outside the window to alert firefighters to your presence.

  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke

    out.

  • If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again and tell them

    exactly where you are.

  • If the door is cold slowly open it and ensure that fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape

route. If your escape route is blocked, shut the door and use another escape route.

• If clear, leave immediately and close the door behind you. Be prepared to crawl.AFTER A FIRE

  • Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.

  • If you are with a burn victim or are a burn victim yourself call 911, cool and cover your burns until

    emergency units arrive.

  • If you are a tenant contact the landlord.

  • Tell the fire department if you know of anyone trapped in the building.

  • Only enter when the fire department tells you it is safe to do so.

Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Homes & Businesses

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Devastating California wildfires

2018 was a year of major firestorms in many parts of California -- from Southern California to Northern California. Some of these fires, particularly the Paradise Fire in California, have devastated entire communities.

Damage caused by a fire is life-changing for home and business owners. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need caring fire restoration experts to guide you through this crisis, from beginning to end. The professional restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Palo Alto will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always handle your home or business with great care. We can recover many of your belongings that you may have thought lost forever. 

Home or business owners can be caught off guard with a sudden fire emergency. It’s important not to delay and discuss available coverage with your insurance company, in addition to taking the appropriate steps to limit the losses you might experience in case of an emergency situation. SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you deal with your insurance company, and assist you with the paperwork involved in your claim, making the process as stress-free as possible.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire damage to help you through this tough time. We can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. SERVPRO uses the latest technology, including water extractors, moisture detectors, and air moving equipment to effectively dry areas affected by firefighting efforts.

Rely on SERVPRO of Palo Alto for fire damaging events to your property. We are available 24/7, including holidays. Call us at 650-800-3448 for fire restoration in the Bay Area today!

Holiday Fire Prevention Tips

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Holiday Fire Hazard in Palo Alto, California

Holiday Safety Tips


It's the happiest time of the year! During this time of the year, there are carolers singing, egg nog, bright lights, tasty food, chilly weather, and shopping for presents.

With all these fun and festive things going on, it is easy to forget that this time of year lends itself to some very real fire hazards. Surprisingly, statistics show that residential fires are more costly and property loss is 34% greater during the holidays rather than any other time of the year. As a gift from your local neighborhood SERVPRO, here are a few tips to make sure your holiday is the merriest and safest it can be.

Kitchen

  • Keep a multi-grade fire extinguisher handy for a variety of fires.
  • Check the smoke detectors for operable batteries.
  • If you are going to deep fry your turkey, make sure it is on a flat surface and at least 10 feet away outside from your home.
  • If you are multitasking while you are cooking, make sure you have a cooking utensil in hand to remind you that something is on the stove.

Candles

  • Maintain at least a foot between the candle and anything flammable in all directions.
  • Before going to bed, make sure all candles are put out and never leave a flame unattended. However, if you prefer a low light setting, rather than use candles, switch to LED powered candles.

Christmas Trees

  • Try to purchase a fresh cut tree with one that has all of its pine needles intact.
  • Purchase a tree base that has room for you to water your tree every day.
  • Watered trees will last longer and will typically dry out after 4 weeks.
  • Remember to take your tree out as soon as possible after the holidays to prevent unwanted accidents. Dry trees are the easiest to catch on fire.

Decorative Lights

  • Inspect light strings for cracks and/or fraying.
  • Inspect light sockets for broken and exposed filaments.
  • Do not run three strings from end to end, but instead, stack them because it is safer.
  • Do not use nails or staples to hang your lights. Instead, use UL-Rated clips and hangers.
  • Take lights down after the holidays to prevent squirrels from chewing on your cables and environmental damage.

The Fireplace

  • Have your chimney inspected for collected soot that hardens after every use of your fireplace. If it needs to be cleaned, do so before you use it.
  • Do not start a fire for your fireplace with wrapping paper or liquids; only use seasonal firewood.
  • Set a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent the embers from your cozy fire does not damage or spark a fire to your items such as a rug or other flammables.
  • Set extinguished embers in a metal container outside for at least 24 hours before throwing away.

If you have any questions, concerns, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448!

Most importantly, we are available for emergency services of any accidents or inconvenient mishaps 24/7.

From our family here at SERVPRO of Palo Alto to yours, we wish you a safe happy holidays!

Has Your Property Suffered Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto takes care of fire restoration needs quickly and professionally!

Many homeowners in the Bay Area who experience a fire damage event don't know what to do, where to begin, or how to rebuild or recuperate from such a loss. Many will be displaced for months while their homes are being completely rebuilt, and some will be facing partial reconstruction and major cleanup.

The first thing you should do after such a loss is speak with your insurance company. Clarify your policy, and hopefully your loss will be covered. Something to think about while writing up a policy (and prior to a natural disaster) is documenting your contents before such a loss can ravage your home. Taking pictures of your furniture, electronics, major belongings and creating lists of your valuables can literally save you thousands when you are trying to recoup your losses and make an insurance claim of what has been damaged or burnt.

If you are one of the lucky ones where the fire didn't completely consume your home, your insurance company will suggest calling a professional fire cleanup and restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Palo Alto. For homeowners in Palo Alto, Stanford, Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and North Fair Oaks, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you throughout the entire process. We work closely with you and your insurance claims representatives to clean up your home and contents, salvage what is salvageable, and inventory what is determined to be a total loss. We will remove the heavy smoke odor from your property and belongings and coordinate dry cleaners and other relevant contractors who can help repair your home. We will treat you and your property with great care and respect throughout the process. Our fire services include:

  • Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  • Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  • Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  • Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  • Cleaning and Repair
  • Fire Restoration

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire, water and mold damage. 

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we treat our customers with empathy and respect. Call us at 650-800-3448 today!

Fire Prevention Tips for Palo Alto Residents

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Create your emergency response plan today!

Having an emergency response plan (ERP) in case of a fire is important in order to protect your residence or business in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, Atherton, and Redwood City. The first 48 hours after a fire can make a difference in determining whether to restore, rather than to 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.

  • Do not leave your cooking unattended specially when frying, grilling or broiling food. The stove should be turn off if you must leave, even for a short period of time
  • Portable heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Inspect electrical cord and replace any that are cracked, damage or broken.
  • Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn.
  • Have an escape plan.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we believe in 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 today!

Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Homes

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto restores fire damage in Bay Area cities like Palo Alto.

Damage caused by a fire is devastating for home and business owners in the Bay Area, particularly in Palo Alto, Stanford, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need caring experts to guide you through this crisis, from beginning to end. Our damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always handle your home and belongings with great care. We can recover many of your belongings that you may have thought lost forever. 

Home or business owners can be caught off guard by a sudden fire emergency. It’s important not to delay and discuss available coverage with your insurance company, in addition to taking the appropriate steps to limit the losses you might experience in case of an emergency situation. SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you deal with your insurance company, and assist you with the paperwork involved in your claim, making the process as stress-free and efficient as possible.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire damage to help you through this tough time. We can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition, so you can enjoy your home again. SERVPRO uses the latest damage restoration technology, including water extractors, moisture detectors, and air moving equipment to effectively dry areas affected by firefighting efforts.

Rely on SERVPRO of Palo Alto for fire damaging events to your property. We are available 24/7, including holidays. Call us at 650-800-3448 today!

Football Season Fire Safety

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire safety during football season

Football season is here!

Benny, our SERVPRO office mascot, is ready for tailgating parties, and BBQs. But before you get started, he has some important tips for you.

Benny’s fire safety tips during this football season:

  • Make sure to have a fire extinguishers handy when grilling.
  • If at home, make sure all fire detectors are properly installed.
  • Using a charcoal grill? Make sure the coals are cool before disposing.
  • Make sure there are no flammable items nearby when cooking or grilling.
  • Never leave the grill or stove unattended.

If your home does suffer from a fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will be there for you. Once firefighters have cleared the premises, your property might have suffered water damage from their firefighting efforts as well as smoke and soot damage.

For fire restoration services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the training needed to restore your home and property to pre-fire condition. Do not wait to call us at 650-800-3448.

Benny and our SERVPRO of Palo Alto team, wish your favorite team the best of luck this season!

Wildfire Safety Tips for California Residents Part 2

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Northern California Fire Damage

The new year has started, and with it should be taking proactive steps to help prevent fires - both in the home from kitchen accidents and electrical shorts to threats from outside the home that result in wildfires. The end of 2017 saw massive wildfires in  Napa Valley and Sonoma counties, Ventura county, and  Los Angeles as we wrote about in Part 1 of this blog post. Let’s learn our lesson and do what we can to prevent and minimize fire damage where we live and where SERVPRO of Palo Alto serves: Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City in Santa Clara County, California.

Because weather conditions are drier and hotter every year, and because many people are careless with their cigarettes and bonfires, fire damage in California becomes a reality for many California residents of Santa Clara county. Almost 70,000 wildfires occurred in the United States just in the last two years, destroying over 4,000 standing structures, including businesses and homes.  You can’t necessarily fight back an out-of-control wildfire that’s threatening your home or business, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your property.

In addition to the top 7 ways to prep for a home fire - which includes installing the correct number of smoke alarms, teaching children about smoke alarm protocol, having at least two escape routes from your home in the case of a fire, and practicing escaping at least twice a year - the Red Cross gives you these wildfire-specific tips that you can use in the case of wildfires in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City in Santa Clara County, California.

These are important steps you can take to help reduce the risk of fire damage and smoke or soot damage to your home from a wildfire, such as those that have recently burned in both Northern California and Southern California.

Before a Wildfire

Defend your property in the case of a wildfire. One of the first steps you limiting the fire fuel sources around your home or business.

30 Feet or less from your property

  • Clear combustible materials such as dried leaves and pine needles.
  • Cut down any tree limbs that are 15 feet or closer to the ground. This helps prevent the fire from spreading into your property’s tree line.
  • Remove any vines or vegetation that is on the side of your structure or property.
  • Store any flammable lawn furniture during the off season.
  • Choose non-flammable decor for your landscaping, such as gravel instead of wood chips.

Within 100 to 30 feet from your property

  • Create “fuel breaks” in your property. Fuel breaks can help stop the spread of a fire. Examples are gravel pathways or driveways.
  • Cut any trees branches that are 8 feet or closer to the ground.
  • Clear combustible vegetation.

Within 200 to 100 feet from your home

  • Place stacked firewood or scrap wood no closer to your property line.
  • Continue to clear combustible vegetation.
  • Plant trees far enough apart so their branches do not touch, and trim branches that do touch.
  • Prepare your home or business for a wildfire. If possible, use Class A roofing material. This includes tile, slate, or asphalt. You can also use Class B pressure-treated shingles or shakes.
  • Consider installing fire sprinklers. In some areas, fire sprinklers are mandatory for businesses.

Outside your home, make sure your garden hose is long enough have enough to reach any part of your property. Make sure that the fire department can access water sources such as swimming pools, ponds, lakes, wells, and fire hydrants.

Create an emergency escape plan. Speak to city or county officials to learn what the evacuation route is for your area, and discuss this evacuation route with everyone in your family and your employees. Ensure family members who live nearby know the route and have means of transportation. Also, sign up for emergency text or alert messages from your city or neighborhood. And importantly, don’t forget to create an emergency kit.

During a Wildfire

  • Prepare to evacuate.
  • Listen to emergency channels or follow your city’s social media to keep up on the status of the fire.
  • Keep your emergency kit handy so you can evacuate quickly.

After a Wildfire

  • Return to your home or business only when it is safe, and when officials declare it safe to do so.
  • Watch out for ash pits and hot spots. These are holes filled with hot ashes left by burned trees. Even after a fire is extinguished, small fires can flare up without warning.
  • Check your house and surrounding property for hot spots and extinguish them immediately. Also, be on the lookout for ash pits.
  • Document the damage. Take photos and video and make a written list documenting your damaged property. Contact your insurance company immediately to report the damage.
  • Call a respected restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto to help mitigate fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage quickly, professionally, and efficiently.

Wildfires are some of the most destructive forces of nature. There isn’t much that can be done to deter a wildfire’s path. But luckily, there are ways to help mitigate fire damage, smoke and soot damage, and water damage from fire-fighting efforts to keep your loved ones and employees safe.

If you already have suffered fire damage and need fire restoration or smoke and soot restoration, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 for a free estimate. Our highly trained technicians use advanced equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Safety Tips for California Residents

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips

With the fires that raged in Napa Valley and Sonoma county, and the ones that are currently active in Ventura county and in Los Angeles, fire safety, both from wildfires and accidental home fires, is a real concern for millions of California residents, including those in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City in Santa Clara County, California.

Due to a combination of reasons, including weather conditions (including lack of rain and lack of humidity), increasing temperatures (global warming), and simple human error or carelessness (tossed cigarettes, illegal bonfires, intentional fire-setting), wildfires have been increasing in number and intensity in recent years. This means that experiencing fire damage is a real possibility for many Californians, including those in many parts of Santa Clara County, California.

There’s also the danger of fires starting in your home from electrical shorts or kitchen fires (the most common cause of in-home fires). According to The Red Cross, “If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.” Two minutes! That’s barely enough time to grab your pets and a couple of beloved belongings and escape. Not to mention dealing with the worry about your home due to fire damage because of fires in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton or Redwood City.

Here are the top 7 ways to prepare for a home fire from redcross.org:

  • Install the correct number of smoke alarms. Install a smoke detector inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. Test your smoke alarm or smoke detector once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like, and teach them what to do when they hear one. Practice with them twice-yearly.
  • Ensure that all household members know at least two ways to escape from every room of your home, and that you determine a family meeting spot outside of your home in the case of a fire.
  • Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another or cannot meet at the predetermined family meeting spot.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year, and at random times. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1, no matter how young.
  • Teach family members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

The Red Cross also recommends you follow these fire-safe habits:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire, like flammable clothing, paper, toys, etc. at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking paraphernalia is the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. Please do not smoke. If you have to smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside, choose fire-safe cigarettes, don’t smoke in bed, don’t smoke when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • 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.

Following these fire-safe habits won’t protect you against wildfires, but there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of fire damage to your home from a wildfire, such as those that have recently been burning in both Northern California and Southern California.

In the last two years, over 67,000 wildfires have been reported across the country each year, many in California. Yearly, wildfires destroy over 4,000 structures, with 3,000 of them residential. As real estate development expands into forests and grasslands, the chances of wildfire related property damage goes up.  

You can’t fight back a wildfire that is encroaching on your home or business, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your property. Learn how you can help protect your home or business from a wildfire.  Keep you and your family safe and know how and when to evacuate. Learn more in the second part of this blog post, to be continued next week.

If you already have suffered fire damage and need fire restoration, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 for a free estimate. Our highly trained technicians use advanced equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Planning Halloween the SERVPRO way!

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

From all of us at SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we wish you a SPOOK-TACULAR and SAFE Halloween!

October is here, and department stores are stocking up on pumpkins, costumes, and candy to prepare for Halloween on October 31st. Halloween is an exciting holiday for most families—even pets join in for the clever costumes and trick-or-treating excitement. At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we urge our customers who celebrate this holiday to take the necessary precautions to make it safe. Every year, Halloween fires occur, affecting hundreds of home structures due to candles, decorations, or unsafe costumes, and causing fire damage and smoke damage, requiring extensive fire restoration. Most holiday fire hazards can be avoided by taking safety precautions, and by a little extra planning to ensure this year’s Halloween remains fire-free and enjoyable for all.

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) statistics show that from 2009-2013, an average of 860 home structure fires occurred, causing an average of one death, 41 injuries, and $13 million in direct property damage per year. These fires usually occur from flammable decoration being placed too close to a heat source. Forty-one percent of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den.

Below are some Halloween safety tips provided by the NFPA to ensure that this year’s trick-or-treating does not turn into a horror story.

  • When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long, trailing fabric. If you’re making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
  • Provide children with flashlights to light their paths, or give them glow sticks as part of their costume.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a Jack-o-lantern. If you insist on using a real candle, practice extreme caution. Make sure children are supervised at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside Jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  • If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
  • If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
  • Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult.
  • Remind children to stay together as a group when walking from house to house.
  • Review how to safely cross a street with your child. Look left, right, and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street.
  • Make (and enforce) the rule that children not eat any treat until it has been brought home and examined by an adult.

Pre-planning

As part of your Halloween pre-planning, download our Emergency Ready APP to your phone or tablet to create a personalized plan in case of an emergency. The app is free and easy to use. If you have any questions or damage to your property, please feel free to call us at (650) 800-3448.

Download the app today! 

SERVPRO of Palo Alto

2625 Middlefield Road #557 Palo Alto, CA 94306(650) 800-3448

Select SERVPRO of Palo Alto as your preferred franchise.

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

Protect Your Home from a Wildfire

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

As Californians, we know the real threat of wildfires. California residents need to be more aware on how best to protect their homes from wildfires. Our wildfire risk is extremely high, especially with the severe drought conditions our state can face. According to the Federal Emergency  Management Agency (FEMA), here are some top ways to protect your property in Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and North Fair Oaks and other Bay Area cities:  

Have you thinned out and maintained the vegetation around the house?

 All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire, therefore the greater the distance between your home and the vegetation, the greater the protection. Create a 30-foot safety zone around the house, if possible. At a minimum, create a defensible space of 0-5 feet, and use noncombustible materials, such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home. Remove vines from the walls of the house, prune branches and shrubs within 15 feet of chimneys.

Create a second zone of 100 feet reducing or replacing as much of the most flammable vegetation as possible. If you live on a hill, you may need to extend the zone for several hundred feet. 

Are combustible materials away from the house? Identify all combustible materials outside the house, stack firewood 100 feet away and uphill from the house. Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15feet away from the house and place a mesh screen over the grill. 

Is the roof made of noncombustible materials? Materials that are fire resistant include single ply membranes, fiberglass shingles, slate, metal, clay, and concrete tile. Clean debris from roof since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.

Are sundecks and porches enclosed underneath? Are eaves and overhangs enclosed? Clear leaves, trash and other fire hazards away from decks and porches, extend 1/2 inch mesh screen from all overhands down to the ground. Enclose all eaves to reduce the hazard.­

Clean out gutters regularly. Keep debris out of gutters, since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be non-combustible.

Are house vents covered with wire mesh? Any attic vent, soffit vent, or other opening can allow embers and flaming debris to enter a home and ignite it. Cover all openings with a 1/4 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. Are chimneys and stovepipes covered with spark arrestors? Use 12-gauge spark arrestors or woven wire mesh to prevent this hazard.

Is the house siding fire resistant? Stucco, metal, brick and cement, concrete and rock are all fire resistant and should be used. You can treat wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals but these treatments are not permanent.

Have windows been treated to reduce the risk? Dual or triple-paned thermal glass and fire resistant shutters or drapes, help reduce wildfire risk. Tempered glass windows and noncombustible awnings can also help reduce your risk

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire event can be a frustrating journey. SERVPRO of Palo Alto stands by ready to help you make the fire restoration process as painless as possible. If you need us, dial 650-800-3448.

Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Home

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

Damage caused by a fire is devastating for home and business owners. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need caring experts to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always handle your home and belongings with great care. We can recover many of your belongings that you may have thought lost forever. 

Home or business owners can be caught off guard with a sudden fire emergency. It’s important not to delay and discuss available coverage with your insurance company, in addition to taking the appropriate steps to limit the losses you might experience in case of an emergency situation. SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you deal with your insurance company, and assist you with the paperwork involved in your claim, making the process as stress-free as possible.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire damage to help you through this tough time. We can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. SERVPRO uses the latest technology, including water extractors, moisture detectors, and air moving equipment to effectively dry areas affected by firefighting efforts.

Rely on SERVPRO of Palo Alto for fire damaging events to your property. We are available 24/7, including holidays. Call us at 650-800-3448.

Cooking Fires & Safety

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause is leaving cooking unattended. Fires can happen very quickly, even if you walk away for just a moment. When cooking, it’s important to stay in the kitchen, and keep anything that can catch fire away from stovetops. Oven mitts, wooden utensil, food packaging, and towels are all prone to be caught on fire, even by a spark. If a stove fire were to inevitably occur, and you are unable to contain the fire with a fire extinguisher, quickly get everyone out of the house, and call 911 or your local emergency number! Don’t forget to take your pets with you, and close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Use Caution with Fire Extinguishers

Remember the word PASS when using a fire extinguisher:
1. Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you. 
2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
3. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. 
4. Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire has been extinguished.

How to Recover after a Fire

  • Wash small wounds with soap and water to help prevent infections. Use bandages and replace them if they become soiled or damaged. If you have suffered from any injuries, have them treated by a medical professional immediately.
  • Remain calm and patiently deal with urgent situations first. Take care of yourself and your family. If necessary contact your local disaster relieve service, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army for shelter assistance, clothing, medicine, and other important things.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter.
  • When entering your damaged home, be sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt, closed toed shoes, safety googles, and a hard hat (if necessary) to avoid injuries from falling particles of damaged ceilings and structure.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto when the fire department clears your property and it is safe to enter. Our advanced training enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. For any emergencies, call us 24/7 for prompt service at 650-800-3448.

Protecting Your Pets During a Disaster or Emergency Event

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

In the event of fire emergency or storm disaster, most people consider the safety of their family, but many may forget to consider the safety of their pets. According to the Unites States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires alone. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by homeowners' pets.

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames- Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs- Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless Candles- These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - Keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home, such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Emergency Pet Safety

Sadly enough, many forget to include their pets in their plan in case of an emergency. It’s important to practice your emergency plan with your family, while including your pets as part of the practice. This includes taking emergency pet supplies with you, if you are forced to evacuate. Also, make sure your pets are micro-chipped and wearing collars with updated contact information.

Comforting your Pet

A fire event can be frightening to your pet, especially with the loud sounds of fire alarms. Scared animals often react by biting or scratching. If you have pets, find them and comfort them. Handle them carefully, calmly, and gently. If you were to be separated from your pet during an emergency event, proper identifications tags or microchips will increase your chances of being reunited.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto stands ready to assist after tragedy strikes. Contact us at 650-800-3448 for any questions regarding Emergency Planning and/or Damage Restoration for your home or business.

Football Season Is Here!

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Football season is here!

Benny, our office mascot, is ready for tailgating parties and BBQs.

Benny’s safety tips during this football season:

  • Make sure to have a fire extinguishers handy when grilling.
  • If at home, make sure all fire detectors are properly installed.
  • Using a charcoal grill? Make sure the coals are cool before disposing
  • Make sure there are no flammable items nearby when cooking or grilling.
  • Never leave the grill or stove unattended.

If your home does suffers from a fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will be there for you. Once firefighters have cleared the premises, your property might have suffered water damage from their firefighting efforts as well as smoke and soot damage.

For fire restoration services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the training needed to restore your home and property to pre-fire condition. Do not wait to call us at 650-800-3448.

Benny and our SERVPRO of Palo Alto team, wish your favorite team the best of luck this season!

Fire Prevention Tips For Palo Alto Residents

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Create your ERP today!

Fire Prevention

Having an emergency plan in case of a fire is important in order to protect your residence or business. The first 48 hours after a fire can make a difference in determining whether to restore, rather than to 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.

  • Do not leave your cooking unattended specially when frying, grilling or broiling food. The stove should be turn off if you must leave, even for a short period of time
  • Portable heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Inspect electrical cord and replace any that are cracked, damage or broken.
  • Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn.
  • Have an escape plan.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we believe in 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

Holiday Fire Safety tips

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

Easy Holiday Safety tips

It is that time of year again, everyone! During this time of the year, there are carolers singing, egg nog, bright lights, tasty food, chilly weather, and shopping for presents. With all these fun and festive things going on, it is easy to forget some of the easiest ways to prevent fire accidents. Surprisingly, statistics show that residential fires are more costly and property loss is 34% greater during the holidays rather than any other time of the year.  As a gift from your local neighborhood SERVPRO, here are a few tips to make sure your holiday is the merriest and safest it can be.

Kitchen

  • Keep a multi-grade fire extinguisher handy for a variety of fires.
  • Check the smoke detectors for operable batteries.
  • If you are going to deep fry your turkey, make sure it is on a flat surface and at least 10 feet away outside from your home.
  • If you are multitasking while you are cooking, make sure you have a cooking utensil in hand to remind you that something is on the stove.

Candles

  • Maintain at least a foot between the candle and anything flammable in all directions.
  • Before going to bed, make sure all candles are put out and never leave a flame unattended. However, if you prefer a low light setting, rather than use candles, switch to LED powered candles. 

Christmas trees

  • Try to purchase a fresh cut tree with one that has all of its pine needles intact.
  • Purchase a tree base that has room for you to water your tree every day.
  • Watered trees will last longer and will typically dry out after 4 weeks.
  • Remember to take your tree out as soon as possible after the holidays to prevent unwanted accidents. Dry trees are the easiest to catch on fire.

Decorative Lights

  • Inspect light strings for cracks and/or fraying.
  • Inspect light sockets for broken and exposed filaments.
  • Do not run three strings from end to end, but instead, stack them because it is safer.
  • Do not use nails or staples to hang your lights. Instead, use UL-Rated clips and hangers.
  • Take lights down after the holidays to prevent squirrels from chewing on your cables and environmental damage.

The Fireplace

  • Have your chimney inspected for collected soot that hardens after every use of your fireplace. If it needs to be cleaned, do so before you use it. 
  • Do not start a fire for your fireplace with wrapping paper or liquids; only use seasonal firewood.
  • Set a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent the embers from your cozy fire does not damage or spark a fire to your items such as a rug or other flammables.
  • Set extinguished embers in a metal container outside for at least 24 hours before throwing away.

If you have any questions, concerns, you may contact us at 1 (650) 800-3448.

Most importantly, we are available for emergency services of any accidents or inconvenient mishaps 24/7.

From our family here at SERVPRO of Palo Alto to yours, we wish you a safe happy holidays!

 

Summer is Almost Here, as Fire Season is also Approaching Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Portola Valley

9/23/2015 (Permalink)

Credit: qctimes.com

As Californians, we know the real threat of wildfires. California residents need to be more aware than ever on how best to protect their homes from wildfires.


According to FEMA here are some top ways to protect your property in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and other bay area cities:  


Have you thinned out and maintained the vegetation around the house? All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire-therefore the greater the distance between your home and the vegetation, the greater the protection. Create a 30-foot safety zone around the house if possible. At a minimum, create a defensible space of (0-5ft): use noncombustible materials, such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home. Remove vines from the walls of the house, prune branches and shrubs within 15 ft of chimneys.


Create a second zone of 100 feet reducing or replacing as much of the most flammable vegetation as possible.If you live on a hill, you may need to extend the zone for several hundred feet. 


Are combustibe materials away from the house? Identify all combustible materials outside the house, stack firewood 100ft away and uphill from the house. Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15 ft from the house and place a mesh screen over the grill. 


Is the roof made of non combustible materials? Materials that are fire resistant include single ply membranes, fiberglass shingles, slate, metal, clay and concrete tile. Clean debris from roof since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.


Are sundecks and porches enclosed underneath? Are eaves and overhangs enclosed? Clear leaves, trash and other fire hazards away from decks and porches, extend 1/2 inch mesh screen from all overhands down to the ground. Enclose all eaves to reduce the hazard.


Clean out gutters regularly: keep debris ouf of gutters since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be non-combustible.


Are house vents covered with wire mesh? Any attic vent, soffit vent, or other opening can allow embers and flaming debris to enter a home and ignite it. Cover all openings with an 1/4 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. Are chimneys and stovepipes covered with spark arrestors? Use 12-gauge spark arrestors or woven wire mesh to prevent this hazard.


Is the house siding fire resistant? Stucco, metal, brick and cement, concrete and rock are all fire resistant and should be used. You can treate wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals but these treatments are not permanent.


Have windows been treated to reduce the risk? Dual or triple-paned thermal glass and fire resistant shutters or drapes, help reduce wildfire risk. Tempered glass windos and noncombustible awnings can also help reduce your risk.

Northern California Wildfires Rage--Leaving a Path of Destruction and Pain

9/15/2015 (Permalink)

Fires raging in California. Photo credit: Together.com.

As the fires in Lake County, Valley, Napa and Butte are ravaging thousands of acres and burning hundreds of homes and buildings to the ground. Neighboring homes are still being threatened and facing severe smoke, soot and property damage. The drought-stricken conditions and dry brush are making conditions for fire fighters impossible. The outlook looks harsh, according to California's emergency services director, "...we don't see an end in the fire season." 

Many homeowners in this devastated aftermath don't know what to do, where to begin and how to rebuild or recuperate from such a loss. Many will be displaced for months while their homes are being completely rebuilt and some will be facing partial reconstruction and major cleanup.

First thing you should do after such a loss is speak to your insurance company. Clarify your policy and hopefully your loss will be covered. One thing to think about while writing up a policy and prior to a natural disaster, is documenting your contents before such a loss can ravage your home. Taking pictures of your furniture, electronics, major belongings and creating lists of your valuables can literally save you when you are trying to recoup your losses and make an insurance claim of what has been damaged or burnt.

If you are one of the lucky ones where the fire didn't completely consume your home, your insurance company will suggest calling a professional fire cleanup and restoration company, such as SERVPRO. For homeowners in Palo Alto, we will help you throughout the entire process. We will work closely with you and your insurance claims representatives to clean up your home and contents, salvage what is salvageable, and inventory what is a total loss. We will remove the heavy smoke odor from your property and belongings and coordinate dry cleaners and other relevant contractors who can help repair your home. We will treat you and your property with great care and respect throughout the process. Our fire services include:

Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Cleaning and Repair
Restoration

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your water, or fire damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Whether your water/fire emergency occurs in a big-box store or a small office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.