Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts
Kitchen Fire in Santee
Level of soot damage cause by a small cooking fire
A small cooking fire can make a HUGE mess. This is a kitchen fire the SERVPRO of Santee / Lakeside responded to earlier this month. Even though the fire was contained to the kitchen stove, the smoke spread to every room in a 3 bedroom home.
The soot from these fires gets in to EVERYTHING. Clothes, furniture, walls, and anything else you can imagine all need to be properly cleaned and treated. If any of the soot is left behind you may still experience unpleasant smells long after the fire occurred. Luckily, SERVPRO of Santee / Lakeside's IICRC certified technicians know exactly what to do. After a few days of delicate cleaning by our crew we were able to get this family back in their home like it never even happened.
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your San Diego Home
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing 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 from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types 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. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
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.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
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 and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 858-752-1078
Fire Evacuation Preparation
Fire season is approaching in Southern California and many homeowners in high risk areas are thinking about putting together their evacuation plan.
Supplies such as 3-days worth of non-perishable foods, first aid kit, sturdy shoes, clothing, and blankets for everyone in your household, important documents (passports, birth certificates, etc.), cash and credit cards, and any prescription medication or eyeglasses/contact lenses. In addition to this, you will want to have a pre-marked map with at least two evacuation routes.
As fire season progresses, those in high risk areas will want to keep a close eye on the wildfire location by subscribing to text alerts through CalFire (see link below). If the fire is getting close, you’ll want to take time to collect important photos, hard drives, electronics, and portable valuables. Setting these items aside next to your supplies kit will make it easy and quick to grab and go in case of evacuation.
It is all of our responsibility to do our part to prevent wildfires for everyone's safety, but it is also our familial responsibility to have a plan set in place if you live in a high-risk location.
The active wildfires here in Southern California are increasing their impact as growing Santa Ana winds add fuel to these devastating blazes that are encroaching in our area. According to the New York Times, new fires broke out in Malibu on December 7, with at least 96,000 acres already burned in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations have closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 of our neighbors to seek safety. The “Thomas Fire” in the Ventura area continues to burn with the aid of strong winds. This fire has caused the closure of the 101 freeway and a boil-water advisory was issued for Ventura County. Santa Ana winds The Santa Ana winds that are enabling the fires to rapidly increase their reach can have speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. They are not expected to diminish until Friday into Saturday at the earliest. The National Weather Service has warned of “very rapid fire growth” in this area. SERVPRO Meteorologist Lela Davis said that the Santa Ana winds were already very dry when they reached the Southern California valley, allowing them to quickly pull moisture out of vegetation, increasing the risk for wildfires. For the first time ever, a purple wind warning was issued for today under the color-coded system used to advise about high winds. This purple warning pushed wind expectations from the “high” category to “extreme”. Ready to help Here at SERVPRO of Santee we are monitoring this wildfire situation closely. Our thoughts are with those neighbors who may be put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside is Here to Help®.
About SERVPRO of Santee
SERVPRO of Santee specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Fire or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help
Fire Season is Approaching!
As we enter fire season in Southern California, property owners in high risk areas must take additional precautions to prevent bushfires. These simple tasks can potentially save lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of damage.
Perform regular yard maintenance such as mowing the grass, cleaning out dried leaves and weeds (don’t forget the gutters & roofs!), and trimming low branches from any surrounding trees. In addition, you’ll need to be sure to dispose of this natural material waste properly. During fire season, you’ll also want to relocate any flammable items away from your home. This includes wood piles, wooden crates, and outdoor garden furniture.
In addition to taking physical precautions, it is also vital that everyone in the household knows fire safety and children are taught to call 911 to report a large fire.
Our team here at SERVPRO of Santee & Lakeside is always here to help in fire and smoke damage, but it’s up to us all to take preventative action. Call us at (619) 258-7200 if you have any fire or smoke damage.
Burning Christmas Tree
Many families celebrate the holidays with a Christmas tree and, while they are beautiful and festive, they can also be a huge fire hazard! Fire departments across the country respond to hundreds of Christmas tree related calls each year. Follow these next few tips to prevent a Christmas tree bonfire in your living room!
Keeping your live Christmas tree well watered can prevent it from drying out and easily catching fire. A dried-out tree can fully ignite in a matter of minutes, giving the fire enough mass to easily spread to nearby curtains and walls in your home. Simply by ensuring your tree’s water pot is always full can make it far less flammable and prevent a very destructive and potentially life-threatening fire this holiday season.
Some fires are caused by too many strands of Christmas lights being plugged together, thus overloading the electrical outlet. Before plugging in your Christmas lights, be sure to check the voltage maximum on your outlet and refer to the lights manufacturer for other recommendations. Having your lights on a timer can save electricity and prevent these lights from overheating and starting a fire while unattended.
SERVPRO of Santee & Lakeside is always available to assist with fire and smoke damage, but following these easy safety tips can prevent thousands of dollars in damage and potentially save lives!
As winter approaches in San Diego, many of us will start gathering around the fireplace in the evenings. While this is an excellent way to bond with family members, there are steps we need to take to ensure our safety.
Although San Diegans generally don’t use their fireplaces as regularly as other cities do, it’s important to have the ventilation system swept regularly and inspect the flue lining for cracks. If there are any cracks wider than 2cm, you should have it repaired before housing a fire.
While gas fireplaces are very efficient, they also pose safety concerns. If you have a gas fireplace be sure to double-check that the gas is turned off before going to bed. The gas control key should always be stored in another location to prevent the key from accidentally getting opened and releasing gas into your home. If you have young children, be sure the control key is out of reach or install a lock on the knob.
Finally, while the crackling of the fireplace is half of its charm, it’s important that you take precautions to protect your home against popping embers. Installing a hanging or standing wire mesh screen provides a barrier between the embers and potentially flammable items in your living room. In addition, you may want to place a non-flammable rug in front of your fireplace hearth to prevent any stray embers from singing your carpet or hardwood floors.
Thanksgiving Cooking Safety
Each November, families across the country gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast. Without practicing these very important cooking safety habits, this fun holiday can quickly cause a lot of damage and become very hazardous. The National Fire Protection Association has named cooking as the main cause for home fires and injuries with Thanksgiving Day as the highest. In the chaos of preparing such a large dinner, distractions can often cause accidents like these to occur. Keep the following safe habits in mind as you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year.
In preparation for Thanksgiving Day, install a smoke detector in the kitchen or, if you already have one, be sure to use the test function to ensure it is still working properly and regularly replace batteries. You can also purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen and, if you’ve owned the same fire extinguisher for many years, check to make sure that it is not expired. If you have kids in your household (or kids that will be at your home on the day of cooking) it is a good idea to explain to the children in advance that they are to stay out of the kitchen (or at least three feet away from the stove) to prevent any burn accidents. Communicating this in advance is always best since on Thanksgiving Day they will likely be excited, and distracted, by the company.
When it comes to cooking, be sure that you are not wearing any loose clothing or dangling sleeves that can easily catch fire. Also be sure that cooking food is never left unattended. It only takes a few minutes for a small kitchen fire to grow out of control. If you must step away, turn off the stove to prevent any accidents. Finally, if you plan on deep-drying your turkey dinner, be sure to do this outside and not in your garage. Deep-frying is often very messy and can easily catch nearby things in a garage on fire.
SERVPRO of Santee & Lakeside is always here to help with fire & smoke damage, but this is often quite costly and inconvenient. Follow these safe cooking habits to prevent fire damage as much as possible
With fire damage, often comes water damage!
Fire, Smoke & Water Damage due to Sprinkler System
One of the biggest causes of fires is smoking. Many people don’t pay attention when smoking and let the ambers fall anywhere they please. Or sometimes they just carelessly leave a burning cigarette someplace while they go run and do something real quick.
In this photo, you see the result of someone leaving their cigarette unoccupied for just one moment. This caused sprinklers to go off in 14 rooms on the top floor and water leaking down to the 1st floor in 7 rooms, the hallways, and the lobby. The headboard of the bed was destroyed because of a moment of inattention that could have been a lot worse than it was. SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside was there to help start the drying process of the aftermath. We are here 24/7 to help assist, just call us at (619) 258-7200.
Residential fires can happen anytime!
Microwave fire causes kitchen damage
“Honey….do you smell something burning?” Sometimes we all get preoccupied with chasing the dog or the kids around and we forget that we put food in the microwave. It happens to the best of us, but usually we can catch it before anything really bad happens. Unfortunately for this homeowner, it was too late and the microwave went up in flames.
In this picture you can see that some of the microwave melted and parts of the cupboard above the microwave were affected. As always, SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside was quick to respond to this distressed homeowner’s house to work on restoring the damaged areas. If you also have distractions that end in your home having fire damage, call the fire restoration experts at (619) 258-7200.
Too hot to handle - Literally!!
As the evenings cool down we all want to gather with friends and family to roast s'mores in a backyard bonfire! While this is a fantastic summertime tradition, it’s incredibly important to exercise great caution when building a fire in such close proximity to your home. These few tips below will ensure you have the safest backyard bonfire possible!
Building a fire pit with old bricks, stone, or cinder blocks is one precaution to keep the fire contained in a specified area. It’s also important to choose your fire pit location very carefully. You do not want this area to be close to your home, dry trees, brush, or dry fences. Although it’s quite tempting to pile on lots of wood to create a huge, roaring fire, this greatly increases your chances of losing control of your bonfire. Finally, always be alert when handling your bonfire and never leave children or intoxicated adults responsible for tending to the fire.
However, in case of an accident, you can rest assured that SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside can repair your fire and smoke damage. Give us a call at (619) 258-7200 and let us help make it "Like it never even happened."
Faulty Wiring Causes Fire & Smoke Damage
Fire Damaged Air Vent
When a fire breaks out, smoke penetrates into the walls, ceilings, furniture, and even clothes. Unfortunately, the smell of smoke can remain in your home for months and sometimes even for many years if not treated properly. A homeowner in Chula Vista had faulty electrical wiring located in a bathroom air vent which caused a fire. Fortunately, the owner heard the melted air vent drop and quickly put the fire out with an extinguisher.
Although minor damage manifested, our team got called in to clean and deodorize the bathroom and surrounding rooms. SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside technicians are experts regarding techniques and equipment to get the job done in the most efficient and quickest way possible.
Call SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside for assistance with your fire & smoke damage (619) 258-7200.
Fire Damage - Call SERVPRO of Santee / Lakeside!
Garage door torn down by firefighters to get inside burning home.
Sometimes the fire itself isn’t the only thing to cause damage. Oftentimes, firefighters have to make quick decisions in order to save the house and end up inflicting damage on the house as well. In the picture above, firefighters at this San Diego home’s fire had to tear out most of the garage door in order to quickly and safely get their team of firefighters in the building and, ultimately, prevent as much structural damage as possible! Thankfully, there were no injuries or lives lost in this particular house fire, but the damage wasn’t what you’d expect.
SERVPRO of Santee / Lakeside works closely with homeowners or property managers and the insurance company to help restore the property to its original condition. Call us today for any fire, smoke, or soot damage needs at (619) 258-7200
Protect Valuables with a Fireproof Document Safe
SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside will always be here to repair fire and smoke damage, but sadly we cannot repair or replace valuable and irreplaceable documents and belongings. You’ve installed smoke detectors and trained your children to call 911 and “Stop, Drop, Roll”, but have you considered storing your important documents and other valuable belongings in fireproof storage?
It is recommended to keep insurance policy documentation, bank account information, and other certificates such as passports or social security cards which may be difficult to replace if damaged. You may also choose to store bank safety deposit box keys, hard drives, family keepsakes, cash, or jewelry in your home or business’s fireproof storage.
If you have fire or smoke damage call SERVPRO of Santee/Lakeside at (619) 258-7200. We’ll make it "Like it never even happened."
Fire Prevention - Santee Fire Station 4 - In training.
SERVPRO’s support through the Disaster Responder program demonstrates our commitment to help families prevent, prepare for and recover from disasters. This October we will recognize the two-year anniversary of an important initiative to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires, the disaster Red Cross responds to most frequently every year. As the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign reaches this significant milestone, the Red Cross and the community partners have already saved at least 111 lives, and have made at-risk communities from coast-to-coast stronger and safer by installing more than 473,000 smoke alarms, replacing more than 32,000 batteries and creating nearly 170,000 escape plans.
The crew the picture was in training, some insurance carriers no longer write home policies in Santee and Lakaside due to previous devastating fires. These guys are ready, just like our crew!!
Fire Prevention - Santee Fire Station 4 - In training.