Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Spreads Quick

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Fire is one of the most dangerous type of disasters for many reasons but mainly how fires start and spread. The reasons fire starts is not always human error but more often than not is the case with a reported majority of fires being caused by human error and negligence outside of arson. The essential ingredients of a house fire is an ignition source and flammable/combustible material. The ignition source in a fire is usually something like a spark or lit cigarette which must be hot enough to ignite a material. Other than that the materials that are ignited have different ignition temperatures such as paper which has an ignition temp of paper is very low at about 140 degrees F. Depending on what materials are near an ignition source fires can start more easily but once a fire is started, most materials will burn so always be cautious with potentially flammable things.

Avoiding Data Loss

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

If a business you’re responsible for relies on backing up large amounts of electronic information, you’ll probably want to make sure there’s a way to preserve it in the case of an accident. To be more specific, you’ll want to have a contingency plan set up to deal with the possibility of fire damage. A fire in the server room can do more than simply damage infrastructure. It can also set a business back months while you replace ruined equipment, and—perhaps worst of all—it can obliterate large quantities of data that the company needs on a daily basis. Data could include everything from financial records to client databases, so you should only ignore the risk of fir eat the peril of losing some very important assets. If you’re a contractor working on behalf of one of these businesses, it also represents a significant challenge.

That said, there are a few things you can do to help avoid irreparable data loss in the event of a fire. From preventative measures to restorative treatments, here are a few ideas to help you soldier on when the sparks literally start flying:

Protect your data using cloud based backups

If you’re worried about losing data when physical servers and computers are threatened, there’s one simple solution: house it somewhere else (or at least house a copy there). Using a cloud based backup lets you store an extra version of your most important information using servers that you won’t be responsible for. Since many of the largest cloud based backup solutions (like Backblaze and Crashplan) take special care to preserve their users’ info, it’s a pretty safe bet that nothing will happen to your stash once you entrust it to them for safekeeping. Of course, this won’t save your equipment or facilities themselves, but it’s better than nothing.

Electronic restoration

In the unfortunate event that damage occurs to your servers and you haven’t stored backups of your information elsewhere, electronic restoration might be the only effective route to take. Many highly sensitive technologies can be restored—at least to some extent—including computers, telecommunications technology, manufacturing machinery and medical instruments. By removing corrosion and deposits, it’s often very possible to get these units working like new again for as little as 10-30% of the cost of replacing them entirely. Once a skilled technician removes contaminants such as soot, dust, and deposits from chemical vapors, he should be able to take the equipment apart, clean the individual pieces, reassemble them, adjust the machinery and return it to service.

Proactive planning for fire (and water) disasters

Of course, one of the best ways to deal with damage is to avoid it completely. You can save yourself from the inconvenience of having to restore your equipment by making sure it’s not an easy place for a fire to start or a flood to break out. Avoid storing flammable materials near sensitive equipment, and make sure electronics aren’t stored under your sprinkler system or near water pipes. It’s also a good idea to have maintenance briefed on the nature of the technology in the area so that they use safe and appropriate methods when cleaning or tidying up around it.

Have insurance

Finally, you want to make you have cover if a disaster does happen to strike. Restoring your electronics can save them, but it can also be time-consuming—and you want to make sure you can afford the downtime. That’s why having comprehensive fire and accident insurance is key to keeping you in business when the unexpected occurs. Make sure you understand your policy and keep an up to date copy with you always, just in case.

Fireplace Safety Tips

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that the leading cause of accidental fires in American homes comes from fuel burning appliances? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, solid fuel burning appliances account for 5 to 10 percent of all household fires, and cause major damage for homeowners. The main causes of fire include: inadequate clearance between the wood burner and walls, floors and furniture; creosote buildup in the chimney; poorly or improperly installed chimneys and improper installation of the wood burner itself. These wood burning and fireplace safety tips can help keep you and your family safe this winter.

Fireplace Safety Tips

  • Read the instructions for your wood burning stove and follow them carefully
  • Do not use flammable or combustible liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire
  • Do not burn plastics, wood or garbage that has been painted or treated with chemicals. These materials can create toxic gases and can cause corrosion in the vent, chimney and heater
  • Burn wood recommended by the manufacturer only
  • Put ashes in a metal container with a metal lid. Then place this container onto a concrete surface away from combustible materials outside. These embers may still be hot for several days, so always dispose of them with caution
  • Place both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, and test these units regularly.
  • Place a multi-purpose fire extinguisher near your wood burner. The extinguisher should be UL listed or Factory Manual (FM) approved and have a rating of 2A-10B: C at minimum
  • Inspect the firebrick liner in your stove, if you have one. Should the liner show signs of wear, replace it immediately and do not use the unit until the liner is replaced
  • Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will allow the fire to heat up which will, in turn, force toxic carbon monoxide into your house.
  • Solid fuel units tend to require a lot more maintenance than other heating systems. Therefore, regular inspections and care are needed to protect your home and family against fire and carbon monoxide poisoning

SERVPRO 24/7 Fire Damage Restoration

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Wilshire Center answers the call and immediately moves into action 24/7. When the fire is out, timing is critical. Fire damage repairs must begin quickly to maximize effectiveness.

Recognizing the trauma and emotional upset that occupants suffer, we work quickly and considerately to mitigate damage on salvageable property, such as household items, fixtures, metals and other contents. Our state-of-the science techniques and cleaning processes often prevent replacement costs, thereby reducing costs. Fire and smoke damage restoration require knowledge and skill; our SERVPRO of Wilshire Center professionals have the expertise to do the job right.  

Within hours after a fire, metal fixtures including door handles and faucets can suffer permanent damage if not properly treated immediately. With knowledge and compassion, each independently owned and operated SERVPRO office has a team of licensed technicians who are fully trained and certified in fire and smoke damage.

Average Cost

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Even a small fire within a home can result in extensive damage from smoke and the water used to extinguish the fire. Prompt professional repair and restoration is essential in order to prevent additional damage and problems such as mold growth and wood rot. Before making a call to a professional, here are some things you should know first.

The average cost of repair and restoration services after fire and smoke damage is $2,950. The total cost that a homeowner pays for such repairs will depend on the location and extent of the damage. For example, fire damage to a kitchen may cost more to repair than damage to a closet due to the expense of replacing costly cabinets and appliances. The out of pocket amount that a homeowner pays to have fire and smoke damage repairs might be reduced by homeowner's insurance coverage. 

Water used to extinguish a fire can saturate the walls and floors of the home. The water can quickly cause mold growth and wood rot if the water isn't removed and the home thoroughly dried. Soot from the fire can saturate and stain anything upholstered. Professional restoration is needed in order to salvage the furnishings as well as linens, draperies and carpet. Smoke discoloration and odors can pervade almost everything in a home, including furnishings, carpets and rugs, linens and clothing. Professional restoration is essential in order to save those items. The smoke can also damage the home's air ducts, resulting in foul odors each time the furnace or air conditioner turns on. Restoration and repair services are needed to clean the ducts before the HVAC system is used again.

The larger the area of a home damaged by smoke and fire, the higher the cost in terms of both time and money to repair and restore the damage. It's important to start the repair and restoration process as soon as possible after a fire, as the longer the damage is left untreated, the worse it can become. Because proper repair and restoration may require the use of professional grade chemicals and equipment, the entire process should be left to experienced professionals.

Understanding Different Types of Smoke

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows the SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals to focus on saving your precious items.

The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different types of Smoke

  • Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber) - Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean
  • Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood) – Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) – While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
  • Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) – Special loss situations require special care.

The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses.

Smoke And Soot Clean Up

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can indulge it's self in various cavities within your home. which causes hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and Soot Facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different types of smoke:

  • Wet Smoke

-Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

  • Dry Smoke

-Fast burning, High temperature, Heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services:

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Common Causes of Fires

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can start unexpectedly, but taking precautionary measures can decrease the risks of a fire on your property. Some of the most common causes of fires include; cooking, candles, heating equipment, fire places, electrical appliances, smoking, flammable liquids, Christmas trees, etc. to name a few.  The number one leading causes of fires are related to cooking. Following is a list of some helpful tips that may assist in the prevention of fires on your property;

  • Never leave a stove top in use unattended
  • Use a cooking timer
  • Keep any & all kitchen surfaces (including ceiling) free from grease build up
  • Place heaters at a safe distance away from flammable materials & disconnect when not in use
  • Avoid plugging in too many electrical appliances into one extension cord
  • Keep candles away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles, and make sure candle holders are stable or simply use battery operated candles
  • If possible, smoke outside. If you smoke inside, avoid doing so when tired/sleepy, and use large and deep ashtrays
  • Keep flammable liquids in approved containers and away from electrical and heat sources. If possible, store them outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use decorative lights that have been inspected by an independent testing laboratory. In addition, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections
  • Install smoke alarms
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Install a fire sprinkler system
  • Install a fire extinguisher

We urge you to take all of these tips into consideration in order to prevent fires on your property. For professional fire and restoration services, please contact SERVPRO of Wilshire Center

Invisible Fire Damage

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

In almost every case, fire damage is devastating, but what you may not know is that fires can cause damage that you can’t see. This “invisible” damage is caused mostly by soot and smoke which can stain multiple types of housing materials and personal possessions and even leaves an odor in certain materials like clothes  which is nearly irremovable. This type of damage although may not be visible can ruin materials in your home, destroying them. What’s interesting is that this type of damage can be caused by small fires in enclosed spaces or homes, not only large scale fires. Be sure to know your fire safety, ensure your fire/carbon monoxide alarms are in working order, and stay safe! Call SERVPRO today!

Carelessness Causes Fires

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

When people think of fire in someone’s home or property, they usually assume it was some sort of freak accident or “act of god” but in reality most fires are caused by human error and carelessness which causes most fires in the US. The most common of these human errors are when people forget to turn off kitchen appliances like ovens and stoves, also people not properly disposing of flammable items such as cigarettes and matches. Left over gasoline in your garage will go bad eventually. If not properly stored they will spill. All it takes to light gas is a cigarette or an electrical spark from plugging something in to a wall socket. If you have any questions about the safety of your home please don't hesitate to call SERVPRO today.

What Fire is

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Many people know what fire looks like and what fire does to things, but not many know what fire is really comprised of.  Fire is composed of mostly plasma, which is a substance that is most like a gas but kind of in between types of matter interestingly enough. Fire is created when a substance ignites and the molecules of that substance heat up and move very rapidly causing the flame. That’s precisely why fire is hot. Another interesting fact is that fire is not the direct cause of smoke, rather smoke is something that happens when a fire does not burn a substance very efficiently because of a lack of oxygen. These are the mechanics of why and how a fire burns and the smoke/soot it emits, these culminate to burn homes and rain forests alike, and remember, if you ever have an issue with fire, soot, or smoke on your property you can always call SERVPRO for help!

A Tip for Renters

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Many people, especially in big cities rent apartments or homes to live in and most of the time reside with no issues over the course of renting a property, but on the off chance that the property you live in experiences a disaster such as a fire, it’s always best to have your assets and personal items covered. A surprising amount of people who rent the properties they live in don’t have renters insurance and may lose all their belongings without compensation in case of a disaster such as a fire or other type of loss. This was just a friendly tip from SERVPRO, if you have any questions or concerns about the types of insurance you need to be covered in a loss or any questions in general, don’t hesitate to contact us with the info above!

SoCal Fires

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Home on fire SoCal residents beware rampant fires in the area!

California, especially Southern California is well known as being an area that is very susceptible to fires. In the last year alone (2019) there have been 5980 fires in CA which burned over 177,000 acres of land even causing 3 fatalities including the tens of millions of dollars worth of damage they have caused to property and buildings in the affected areas. These numbers are some of the highest they have ever been and really show that in SoCal, residents must be prepared for this type of disaster. SERVPRO of Wilshire Center is prepared to help anyone in need whether if your home or property has been affected or you just would like to be prepared with an emergency plan to face a disaster head on when it comes.

How to Prevent Fire in Your Home

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

House on Fire Use these tips to make sure your home is safe.

Fire as we all know can be one of the most devastating types  of disasters to hit your home, but most house fires in the US are caused by simple human error or carelessness which can be easily prevented. Use these tips to ensure you and your family can rest safely in your home, and protect all your belongings. 

Tips on fire safety:

  • Make sure your smoke alarms work and have new batteries.
  • Inspect all your heating sources including AC and water boilers.
  • Keep your oven and stove clean and clear of unnecessary debris.
  • Ensure your washer and dryer are in working order
  • Safely store and use flammable materials or products.
  • Ensure all electrical outlets and cords are properly functioning.
  • practice caution with candles and open flames.

Proactive Planning in case of Fire and Water Disaster

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Proactive Planning in case of Fire and Water Disaster

Fire and water disasters can strike any home or business, and if the owners happen to have sensitive electronic data or machinery, then damage can cost them dearly. If you happen to be a fire and water damage contractor working on behalf of one of these people, it may be in all your best interests to implement some preventative measures, rather than face the challenge of restoring or replacing valuable information or expensive machinery. To that effect, here are a few handy strategies to help keep valuable goods safe during a fire, flood, or other water disaster. Take notes:

Protecting Data by using cloud based backups

Because fire and water can destroy servers or drives stored on site, it’s a good idea to keep backups of important information elsewhere. Use a cloud based backup such as iDrive or Carbonite to store your financial records, contact databases, and other sensitive data. If something does happen to your on-site information storage, you’ll be glad that you did.

Having insurance paperwork

You’ll want to make sure that an insurance policy is in place for the information and equipment you’re responsible for, but you’ll also want to ensure the records of that policy are safe too—just to keep your bases covered. Without your paperwork, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to cash in on your policy, even if it does cover the damages. That’s why having extra copies—physical ones—is vital. Don’t just keep copies in your desk, either. Make sure they’re somewhere that won’t be affected if the emergency they’re supposed to cover strikes. Maintaining a copy in a separate location like your car or a safety deposit box helps to make sure your insurance paperwork isn’t destroyed in the same fire or flood that damages the items it’s meant to protect.

Having warranties on critical equipment

Insurance is fantastic, but you can double your protection if you’re sure to buy equipment that comes with a warranty. Warranties often cover fire and flood damage, and in many cases, you can opt to purchase extended warranties at the time of purchase that protects your equipment for extended periods. Make sure to read the information in your warranty agreements carefully, you don’t want to spend extra money on a warranty just to find out that you don’t have cover for fires and floods. Keeping a sharp eye on the fine print is always a good idea.

Next, the equipment is disassembled, and each component cleaned. Highly trained electronics professionals are used for this step since this part is the most detail oriented and requires considerable knowledge of how to clean each part. Optical and chemical quality testing follows, after which the device is reassembled, adjusted, and returned to service.

Having up to date software

Finally, make sure always to update your software to the latest versions. Keeping your software updated often results in the data you store in various applications being saved and backed up to the parent company’s servers (for more detail on this, read the user agreements for your software carefully). A simple example is iTunes—if you’re using a recent version of the app, your purchases will be kept track of via the App Store, and you’ll be able to download them again, even if something happens to your device.

No matter what you do, disasters can still occur—and there’s always the possibility that they’ll take out equipment or valuable data. On July 11, 2012, a fire at an IBM data center in Calgary, Alberta temporarily brought down several government services (including 911), and similar incidents have occurred around the world from time to time in recent years. Of course, electronic restoration can often be used to handle these kinds of situations, but it’s better to prevent than cure. Stay vigilant—you’ll find it’s worth your while.

Have Questions about Fire and Water Disaster?


Call Us Today – 
(213) 263-2292

Tips to avoid Data Loss in the Event of a Fire

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Tips to avoid Data Loss in the Event of a Fire

If a business you’re responsible for relies on backing up large amounts of electronic information, you’ll probably want to make sure there’s a way to preserve it in the case of an accident. To be more specific, you’ll want to have a contingency plan set up to deal with the possibility of fire damage. A fire in the server room can do more than simply damage infrastructure. It can also set a business back months while you replace ruined equipment, and—perhaps worst of all—it can obliterate large quantities of data that the company needs on a daily basis. Data could include everything from financial records to client databases, so you should only ignore the risk of fir eat the peril of losing some very important assets. If you’re a contractor working on behalf of one of these businesses, it also represents a significant challenge.

That said, there are a few things you can do to help avoid irreparable data loss in the event of a fire. From preventative measures to restorative treatments, here are a few ideas to help you soldier on when the sparks literally start flying:

Protect your data using cloud based backups

If you’re worried about losing data when physical servers and computers are threatened, there’s one simple solution: house it somewhere else (or at least house a copy there). Using a cloud based backup lets you store an extra version of your most important information using servers that you won’t be responsible for. Since many of the largest cloud based backup solutions (like Backblaze and Crashplan) take special care to preserve their users’ info, it’s a pretty safe bet that nothing will happen to your stash once you entrust it to them for safekeeping. Of course, this won’t save your equipment or facilities themselves, but it’s better than nothing.

Electronic restoration

In the unfortunate event that damage occurs to your servers and you haven’t stored backups of your information elsewhere, electronic restoration might be the only effective route to take. Many highly sensitive technologies can be restored—at least to some extent—including computers, telecommunications technology, manufacturing machinery and medical instruments. By removing corrosion and deposits, it’s often very possible to get these units working like new again for as little as 10-30% of the cost of replacing them entirely. Once a skilled technician removes contaminants such as soot, dust, and deposits from chemical vapors, he should be able to take the equipment apart, clean the individual pieces, reassemble them, adjust the machinery and return it to service.

Proactive planning for fire (and water) disasters

Of course, one of the best ways to deal with damage is to avoid it completely. You can save yourself from the inconvenience of having to restore your equipment by making sure it’s not an easy place for a fire to start or a flood to break out. Avoid storing flammable materials near sensitive equipment, and make sure electronics aren’t stored under your sprinkler system or near water pipes. It’s also a good idea to have maintenance briefed on the nature of the technology in the area so that they use safe and appropriate methods when cleaning or tidying up around it.

Have insurance

Finally, you want to make you have cover if a disaster does happen to strike. Restoring your electronics can save them, but it can also be time-consuming—and you want to make sure you can afford the downtime. That’s why having comprehensive fire and accident insurance is key to keeping you in business when the unexpected occurs. Make sure you understand your policy and keep an up to date copy with you always, just in case.

Have Questions about Data Loss?


Call Us Today – 
(213) 263-2292