Recent Fire Damage Posts

Reduce the Impact of Smoke & Fire Damage

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Soot and ash covering a bedroom The longer you allow the smoke damage to set in, the more damage you will see.

When your property is subjected to a fire; smoke, ash, and even water from the firefighters will cause damage. However, learning more about how smoke damage progresses as well as where you can obtain restoration services can prevent these issues from becoming problematic for you. Get the information you need to reduce the lasting impact that fire damage can have.

How Smoke or Ash Damage Progresses

  • During the first few minutes of smoke damage, the soot’s acidic nature will start to yellow several types of plastics, including your small appliances. If not restored quickly, porous materials such as marble or alabaster can become permanently discolored.
  • Several hours later, the acid from the soot will stain the grout in your kitchen or bathroom. It can also tarnish metal, yellow your fiberglass, discolor your furniture, or damage your major appliances.
  • Within several days, your painted surfaces will be subjected to acidic soot. They will then start to yellow. Additional forms of deterioration include the corrosion, rusting, and pitting of metals. Your wood may also be in need of refinishing. Finally, you may have to replace your vinyl floors.
  • Within a few weeks, the damage deepens. For example, your carpets can be permanently discolored. Additionally, your silver-plated possessions can be subjected to irreversible corrosion. Also, items like glass and china may become etched in the soot’s acid.

Seek Professional Smoke Damage Restoration Services

Smoke and fire damage can have a profoundly adverse impact on your property, time is of the essence. The longer you allow the smoke damage to set in, the more complications and deterioration you will see. For this reason, finding a high-quality fire and smoke damage restoration company is important. To ensure that you attain the excellent, expedient services you need, look for a restoration company that possesses the following attributes:

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

If you’re looking for a disaster restoration company SERVPRO of Downey should be your first stop. After years of serving our community, we have the skills and experience to respond quickly to any smoke or fire incident. In fact, our technicians are skilled in cleaning soot and smoke damage from most surfaces and belongings. Call us today at (562) 392-3007!

Restaurant Fire Protection Tips

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

A restaurant kitchen fire. Is your restaurant protected from a Fire threat?

The restaurant industry is what we'd call 'High Risk,' specifically for Fires. Think about it... Cooking oils, grilling equipment, cleaning equipment, paper products, and a single open flame can spark a massive fire. That can lead to damaged property, loss of revenue, or possibly closure of the restaurant.

How can Restaurants Protect themselves from the Threat of Fire?

Fire Suppression System

This automatic system can be installed to dispense chemicals to suppress flames before they spread. Once it's activated, fuel or electricity that is powering the cooking equipment is automatically turn off.

Fire Extinguishers

Protect your restaurant by strategically placing fire extinguishers both in the restaurant and in the kitchen. Class K extinguishers work best within kitchens to fight off grease, oil, and fat fires. Class A, B, & C extinguishers can ensure fires don't spread to the sitting area.

Fire Alarm System

A fire alarm system will monitor your restaurant environment for the presence of fire. The system will not only alert those in the building, but may also activate a Fire Suppression System.

Maintenance Checkups

Regular maintenance checkups of your cooking equipment, pipes, and fire protection systems will ensure your restaurant will be protected from fires.

What to Pack During an Emergency Evacuation

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

During the last few weeks we've seen Wild Fires over take various parts of California. From Sonoma County to LA County these fires continue to displace people from their homes. With all the stress, we may not know what we need (besides our Go-Bag) during an emergency evacuation.

The LA City Emergency Service Department gave some sound advice to help those who need to evacuate. These tips also apply to whatever emergency situation you're in, including Wild Fires, a Hurricane, Black Outs, or Earthquakes.

Keep the six “P’s” ready:

  • People and pets
  • Papers, phone numbers, and important documents
  • Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses
  • Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
  • Personal computers
  • “Plastic” and cash

These tips can easily fit to your needs and type of emergency.

Of course, you'll always want to have a Go-Bag on hand if you'll be displaced for a lengthy amount of time. These tips give us a great overview for what we need to grab when the evacuation alert goes off.

For more evacuation or emergency tips, visit FEMA or our other blog articles.

Practice Safe Cooking Habits this Holiday Season

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

A cooked turkey is on a table with other food items. The text reads "lets' talk turkey safety" Kitchen & Cooking Safety

According to the US Fire Administration, over 51% of home fires resulted from cooking. No doubt the risk of a fire goes up during the holiday season where cooking plays a prominent part in the festivities. Practicing safe cooking habits in the kitchen can help lower that percentage.

Protect Your Family with These Safe Cooking Tips:

  • Keep children out of the kitchen. Many hot foods & liquids create a high risk area for burns.
  • Don't leave cooking unattended. Items can overheat or spillover, this is especially dangerous with gas stoves.    
  • Use caution when using fryers and working with hot oil. Operate at a safe distance in case oil catches fire.
  • Keep flammable items away from heat sources. These can include, Pot Holders, Wooden/Plastic Utensils, Towels, or Food Packaging.
  • Make sure smoke alarms have batteries and are working.
  • If possible, keep a fire extinguisher in kitchen area.

Above all, use common sense to avoid injuries or fires in your kitchen. Keep you and your family safe this holiday season by practicing safe kitchen habits.

Follow @SERVPROdowney for regular updates on safety in the home and workplace.

Fire Prevention Week: October 2019

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Have you thought about what you will do in a fire? Our actions before and during a fire can influence the outcome, whether good or bad.

Each year 1 week in October is dedicated to Fire Prevention. Why? Because fires occur everyday and put people's lives at risk. 

The theme for this year is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!" The theme will teach children, teens, and elderly ones important actions that will help keep ourselves and those around us safe. Everyone needs to take these safety measures.

Did you know?: You may have as little as 1 to 2 minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

We can see the need to plan and practice if we're to successfully make it out in time. Be the hero of your family, and make a plan & practice it. Stay updated with Fire Prevention Week by following @NFPA & @SERVPROdowney on social media for tips all week long.

Wildfire Season: 2019

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Last year's fire season was one for the records. The Camp Fire, in Butte County, was one of the most expensive and deadliest fires to date. Then there was the Mendocino Complex Fire, one of the largest of the many fires of 2018. 

This year, our hopes are for the 2019 fire season to be nonexistent really. However, recent data shows how it's possible that 2019 will be much worse than 2018.

The real heat of the fire season is August-September. Due to the lack of rain and increased heat and drought, the circumstances are perfect for the fires to flair up again. If these conditions continue, it's possible that these wildfire prone areas can double in size as time goes on.

The real heroes of any fire season are the firefighters. Due to the recent prolonged government shut down and recruitment issues, there is a real shortage of firefighters this wildfire season.

Now let's go around the globe, California isn't the only place wildfire season strikes. Wildfires are now raging in Siberia/Russia, Greenland, Alaska, and Canada. These fires are so great the smoke can even be seen from space.

It's not looking good for 2019. What can you do? Follow your counties direction on wildfire preparation and evacuation. We can fight these fires together.

Pet Safety During Fire Evacuation

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Practice the evacuation plan several times with your pet.

If a fire occurs in your home in Downey or the surrounding LA area, your first priority is to get yourself and your family members out safely. While you should leave belongings behind until a fire restoration company can retrieve them, you will likely not want to leave your pets behind. It is important you have a plan in place to evacuate your pets in case a fire emergency should occur. Start by including your pets into your home escape plan.

5 Tasks to Prepare Your Pet

Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your pets in a fire. In case your pets are in an unsafe location that you or your other family members can’t get to, there are several steps you can take to better the chance of their rescue:

1. Keep your pet in rooms or areas that are easily accessible to fire fighters. 

2. Update your pet alert window cling on the front window of your home. 

3. Set aside a disaster supply kit just for your pet. Include any medication or dog supplies you may need. 

4. Place important pet ownership documents and proof of vaccinations in a fire box that you can easily retrieve.  

5. Teach your pets the “Come” command so you can easily direct them towards you in an emergency. 

Creating Your Pet Evacuation Plan 

In addition to these important pet safety tasks, you will need to create a pet evacuation plan. Assign an individual or two to be in charge of retrieving the pets. If your pets are located in a specific part of the house during the night, identify several different routes to that location. Practice the evacuation plan several times with your pet. 

In the event of an evacuation due to a wildfire, have arrangements in place for your pet to stay. 


Keep your pets and family members safe by having a well thought out plan if a fire emergency does occur. Never risk your safety or the safety of a family member to save your house pet. While your pets might be able to escape safely on their own, you can increase the chance of their rescue with these tips!

Document Restoration

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Disasters can take allot from your home. Your belongings, family heirlooms, your furniture, piece of mind, and even your important documents. Our job is to make your house a home again and restore back to you what's possible. 

Many don't realize just because their documents are water damaged doesn't mean they can't be restored. Aside from restoring your documents, we can help you prepare for a disaster by backing your documents up. Whether big or small, we help hospitals, schools, and government agencies to make sure they are protected no matter what disaster may come their way.

Contact SERVPRO® of Downey for more information.

Tip: Store all your important documents in a fire proof file cabinet. Doing so can save you allot headaches.

Prevent Home Fires: Dryer Vents

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Clogged Vent

For most of us, convenience is everything. This is especially true in our homes. Imagine where we would be without the air conditioner, dishwasher, or microwave. You may remember the days of collecting all your quarters and going down to the Laundromat to do laundry. However, there was a benefit to that.

The benefit: not having to clean your dryer vents. Hardly any of us think about cleaning our vents or even know we should be. The fact of it is Lint accumulates in our dryer vents overtime. We can see a sample of this when we reload our dryer and clean out the small vent trap. Now imagine that on a larger scale. Say you've lived in the same home for 10-15 years+ and never had the vents cleaned...They'd be clogged!  

The truth of the matter is we sometimes take convenience for granted. That mistake could cost us our home, or even our life. Around 2,900 Dryer Fires are reported each year. How can we bring this statistic down? Clean our dryer vents.

How do you know if you need your vents cleaned?

  • Your laundry may take longer to dry. 
  • The dryer may be hotter to the touch than usual. 
  • A burning smell may be present when the dryer is running. 

Where do you start? Professionals. Although DIY kits are sold, nothing beats the expertise and assured safety of a professional. Find out more dryer vent information here: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html

How Clean is Your Air After a Fire?

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

You know that nasty sting you feel in your nose when walking by a building that has recently burned down? It's unpleasant & hazardous. The odor is sulfer mixed with smoke. It's called Acrid. What’s the best way to get rid of it?

Keep in mind, smoke contains the residue of all the burned materials and it can be caustic. It usually requires special equipment to completely clean the air. Ozone Machines and Air Scrubbers are designed specifically for this work.

Ozone Machines destroy the Molecules, Bacteria, and Spores that cause unpleasant smells. Air Scrubbers clean the air by repeatedly moving it through HEPA filters which help reduce the smell.

What else is involved? Other necessary steps involve: (1) Clean all the hard surfaces (2) Wash or treat clothes, drapes, carpets, and upholstery.

A fire doesn’t always destroy a building, smoke however, can ruin everything it contacts. Make sure you do all that’s needed to “clear the air.”

Smoke Damage

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Every year in the U.S. there are about 80,000 commercial fires. Fire damage is Bad. The damage caused by Smoke is Worse!!!

  The actual fire may be contained to one room or a section of a building, but smoke goes everywhere. It carries the chemical breakdown of what’s been burned. The resulting damage and odor can be costly to remove.

  This article highlights the toxic dangers of fire & smoke.  If there's a fire on your site, call a professional. This is something you shouldn't attempt on your own. The long term effects of the smoke can be fatal.

  After the Fire trucks leave, the real work is just getting started.  Don’t quickly sign an agreement with first company who hands you a card. Take your time and do your research. A fire in your workplace is devastating.  Find the right people to guide you thru the restoration process.

Top 3 Causes for House Fires

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

There isn't a single person who wants to experience a house fire. Their home ends up getting damaged or destroyed, along with most of their belongings. Yet, even though no one wants to experience a home fire, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes more than 360,000 homes fires a year.

A majority of fires are preventable. Are you taking the proper steps to prevent a fire in your home? Note the 3 common causes of home fires:

3) Electrical Equipment & Lighting
Wires, Extension Cords, & Heaters are in almost every home. Malfunctions can cause this equipment to go up in flames. One of the most common is decorative Christmas lights. When left on or unattended for a long period of time, these lights can overheat and cause serious damage.

Keep in Mind...
Unplug electrical equipment that's not in use.
Check any decorative lights periodically to avoiding overheating.

2) Dryers
Dryers are commonly known for starting fires, yet many don't take the time to properly maintain their dryer.

Keep in Mind...
Clean out the lint tray after every use.
Never run your dryer without the lint tray in place.

1) Cooking
According to the NFPA, 46% of home fires start in the kitchen with cooking. Cooking can easily be distracting, especially when making large meals.

Keep in Mind...
Never leave your stove top unattended.
Keep children away from hot areas in the kitchen.

This information will help you to minimize your risks of a home fire like never before. Aside from this information, Smoke Alarms need to be replaced and tested to help keep your household aware of any potential fire danger. Review and share this information to keep you and your loved ones safe from a home fire.

Home Fire Sprinkler Day

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

The great majority of fire deaths in America happen in a home. What's the solution to this nationwide problem?

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition-Canada are initiating Home Fire Sprinkler Day.

The goal is to have safety advocates host at least one sprinkler-related event in all 50 states and in some Canadian provinces and territories.

These events will focus on the benefits of having home fire sprinkler systems. The results are amazing to see what sprinklers can do for you and how they work to save lives.

Taking action is easy. Join the conversation online by following the hashtag or attend one of these events nearest to you. Visit the NFPA's website for more info on #HomeFireSprinklerDay