Recent Posts

Preventing Kitchen Fire Damage

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damaged ceiling after a kitchen fire. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Prevent kitchen fire damage with these tips. And call SERVPRO if you need fire damage restoration service!

In the midst of a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus known as COVID-19, we're all staying home at much as possible. Social distancing mandates require restaurants to shut down their dining rooms. And while we want to support local businesses, we can only afford so much takeout (#GreatAmericanTakeout).

So we're also cooking at home a lot more. And the more we use our kitchens, the greater the risk for sparking a kitchen fire. In fact, cooking is the leading cause of home fires according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

So here are a few tips to ensure you don't compound the challenges of a quarantine with a fire damaged kitchen!

Pay Attention

The most obvious and important thing we can do to prevent kitchen fire damage is to pay attention to our cooking.

That can be easier said than done. We live in a multitasking world. While we're cooking, we're probably wrangling children, cleaning up messes and dealing with the constant draw of TV and smartphone screens.

And a lot can go wrong when our attention is divided. We might leave a burner on too long. A pot can boil over. We can accidentally bump a misplaced pan handle. Oven contents can burn.

According to the NFPA, two-thirds (66%) of cooking fires begin with food or other cooking materials igniting. Unattended cooking is a contributing factor in 31% of home cooking fires.

And don't forget to take care that flammable materials stay clear of the burners. Bathrobes, long hair or pot holders can all catch fire if they get to close to the heat.

So stay close and stay focused to minimize accidents and give yourself a chance to quickly recover from those that do happen.

Know Your Fire ABCs

Water and fire extinguishers are both vital tools for mitigating fire damage. But which one you should use depends on the fire's fuel, and using the wrong one can spark bigger problems.

For example, you should never use water to put out a grease or electrical fire. Splashing water can actually spread the grease and ignite other surfaces. And water is a conduit, so pouring water on an electrical fire can conduct the electricity to other surfaces or even yourself.

Best bet to put out a small grease fire is to smother it. You can use the lid of a pan, a baking sheet or baking soda. Baking soda also works for electrical fires. And if you can safely unplug the source, do so to cut off the current.

Keeping a fire extinguisher on had is also a good idea, especially for larger fires. You'll want a multipurpose extinguisher labeled ABC to cover a variety of types, including paper, cloth, grease and electrical fires.

Test Smoke Detectors

While the flames themselves consume and destroy, fire damage isn't confined to the fire itself. Smoke and soot from the chemicals expelled by a fire can also cause significant property damage.

To prevent smoke damage, test and ensure your home's smoke detectors are in good working order. At least one smoke detector should be positioned near, but outside, your kitchen. Consider it a sort of early warning system for preventing more extensive kitchen fire damage.

It's important to have smoke odors and soot damage quickly and properly cleaned. Soot is acidic and corrosive and can result in far worse damage if left unaddressed.

Fine particulates from smoke can be sucked into HVAC systems and spread throughout your property. Those particulates can cause mild to severe breathing difficulties if they're not properly cleaned.

Kitchen Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO!

If the worst happens and your property suffers damage from a kitchen fire, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away. We're here to help, 24/7. Our highly-trained and certified fire damage restoration technicians clean up, deodorize and restore your property "Like it never even happened."

P.S. Rest assured our technicians are following the CDC's guidelines. We use personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect ourselves and you while working on your property. Learn more about our proactive cleaning and disinfection services here.

SERVPRO is Here to Help During This Time of Need

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Man wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). All SERVPRO cleaning specialists will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while proactively cleaning your property during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Cleaning Services

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Cleaning Products

May Los Angeles are homes and businesses are currently seeking out "deep cleaning" services. The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus.

Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Safety First

Please note: for your safety and ours, all of our on-site cleaning technicians wear approved personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes, but is not limited to, masks, gloves and coveralls suitable for handling hazardous materials.

In addition, employees who are not feeling well or exhibiting symptoms of infection will not participate in cleaning tasks and will be sent home until they are fully recovered.

Call today for a proactive cleaning.

SERVPRO professionals can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building. 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of North Hollywood, (818) 754-0050.

What Are the Categories of Water Damage?

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

A clogged kitchen sink. Black water? Gray water? Not sure? Call SERVPRO for fast water extraction, drying and clean up. Restore your property "like it never even happened."

You should never ignore water damage to your home or business for long. But some categories of water damage require immediate attention from a certified water damage restoration technician.

Category 3 Water Damage

Also called "black water," water damage classified as Category 3 is considered highly contaminated and unsafe. Caused by a backed up sewer line, toilet or storm flood water, Category 3 water damage requires specialized handling and clean up.

SERVPRO technicians have the protective gear and appropriate cleaning products to mitigate biohazard contamination. Black water contaminated by bacteria, fungi or feces can cause serious illness and you shouldn't handle it without proper training and equipment.

Pathogens can linger undetected even if the affected areas appear dry. Removal of damaged property, like carpets, baseboards or furniture, may be necessary. Application of approved biocides disinfect and prevent subsequent microbial growth.

Category 2 Water Damage

Category 2 water is also known as "gray water." It's caused by leaky appliances like washing machines and dishwashers or backed up waste water from sinks and tubs. While not as dirty as "black water," Category 2 water damage is contaminated and may require specialized treatment.

If gray water remains standing, it can become black water, so you'll want to take mitigation steps quickly before the damage deteriorates. As with any water damage event, removal, drying and cleaning is necessary to prevent mold growth.

Category 1 Water Damage

This is considered "clean water," such as water supply line or pipe leaks or an overflowing bathtub or sink. While clean water may not require disinfection, fast water extraction and drying of the affected areas can prevent microbial growth.

You should deal with any category of water damage quickly and thoroughly so the damage doesn't degrade or spread. SERVPRO of North Hollywood is available 24/7 to respond to any size or category of water damage disaster.

Call us day or night to clean and restore your property from water, fire or mold "Like it never even happened."

3 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO for Water Damage Restoration

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO water restoration tech checks for moisture hidden in the floor of a Los Angeles home. SERVPRO certified water damage restoration technicians have the training and equipment to thoroughly dry, clean and repair water damage.

When you want a cup of coffee, you might have a preferred coffee shop. If your car needs maintenance or repairs, you likely have a trusted mechanic. Water damage restoration is, hopefully, a service you seldom need. So you may not feel as certain about whom to turn to clean up and restore your property. For over 50 years, SERVPRO has been a trusted name in damage restoration. SERVPRO of North Hollywood is proud to uphold the highest standards in training, technology and customer service associated with the name SERVPRO. But if you're wondering why you should choose SERVPRO of North Hollywood for water damage restoration, we're here to help!

Certified Water Damage Restoration Specialists

Our team of water damage restoration technicians is highly-trained and certified to IICRC standards for cleanup and restoration. Property owners can be confident the technicians restoring the affected areas are trained in the industry standard best practices, skills and techniques. Certification must be renewed every year and requires technicians to attend accredited continuing education classes to maintain certification. The titles Doctor or Registered Nurse speak to a level of education in the field of medicine. IICRC certified speaks to our level of expertise in the field of water damage restoration.

Advanced Restoration Technology

From industrial strength air movers to sensitive moisture detectors, SERVPRO of North Hollywood has the cutting-edge restoration equipment to handle any size water damage disaster. Property owners can rent and use some similar sounding equipment in attempting to clean up water damage themselves. But water damage restoration is a risky DIY job. For example, water from a burst pipe or overflowing toilet can seep into floors and behind walls. Even if the surface is dried, that moisture can linger and cause mold growth beneath the surface. Without moisture detection equipment and OSHA-approved cleaning agents, a small amount of moisture could spread and grow into a huge headache in the future. Certified water damage restoration technicians have the training and commercial grade equipment to rapidly and reliably restore your property to it's preloss condition. When you call SERVPRO of North Hollywood, you can be certain we'll make a water damage loss "Like it never even happened."

Locally Owned With National Resources

SERVPRO of North Hollywood stands ready to dry, clean and restore your property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because we're local, we can respond faster to any size disaster. We've been a part of the community of greater Los Angeles for over a decade. We understand how our unique climate impacts our cleanup and restoration work. We're also a part of a nationwide team of SERVPRO restoration specialists. Which means we can respond to larger scale commercial losses or natural disasters with the support of our Disaster Response Team. So when we say "faster to any size disaster," we mean it. But don't take our word for it. Listen to what our customers have to say about working with SERVPRO of North Hollywood. Should disaster strike, make us your first call as your trusted water damage restoration specialists.

Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO water restoration specialists discuss water damage with homeowners. If you find water damage in your home, call SERVPRO right away. Water restoration specialists are here 24/7 to help you clean up and recover fast!

Let's face it. Cleaning up and restoring your property from water damage is expensive. It can be a major disruption to your household while the cleaning and restoration team works to fix affected areas. If given a choice, no homeowner would choose to find water damage in their home.

Yet many homeowners ignore the simple things you can do to prevent this from happening to your home. The team here at SERVPRO of North Hollywood is certified, highly-trained and friendly. But if you'd prefer to avoid a visit from our water damage restoration specialists, here are a few ways you can protect your home and property.

Clean Gutters & Downspouts

Rain storms are rare events in Los Angeles. So rare that cleaning up from wildfires is a more frequent concern for many who live and work in the Southland.

Which makes preparing for rain all the more important for LA property owners who want to avoid a water removal emergency. If your gutters and downspouts can't drain storm water away from your home, water can pool near your foundation and seep into crawl spaces.

First, you'll want to clean the leaves, dirt and other debris out of your gutters. Do this annually in advance of Los Angeles' rainy season, which begins during Autumn and can extend through the Winter and into Spring.

Second, clean out the downspouts and make sure they are positioned to direct water away from your home. You may want to consider adding a downspout extension, which is flexible to allow you to redirect runoff in the preferred direction.

Check For Plumbing Leaks

Some plumbing leaks are easy to spot. Look and feel around sinks, tubs, toilets and appliances like refrigerators and washing machines. If you spot any damp areas, call a licensed plumber and have the leak fixed immediately.

Other plumbing leaks aren't as obvious. A leaky HVAC unit or water heater may not present signs of a leak to the naked eye. A burst pipe might be behind walls or buried underground.

You may have a hidden plumbing leak if you experience a sudden or surprising increase in your water bill. A drop in your water pressure is also a sign of leaks. A plumber that specializes in plumbing leak detection can test and find hidden water leaks so you can get them repaired.

Want to decrease the risk for plumbing leaks or overflows? Keep drain catchers in sinks and tubs to prevent hair and other larger debris from clogging pipes. And avoid pouring cooking grease into drains because the grease can solidify and create a blockage.

Seal Cracks & Store Keepsakes

Cracks around windows and doors allow drafts to flow in and out of your home, which raises your energy bill. They can also allow water to seep inside your house. Seal those up with caulk and replace the weather stripping to keep pests, pollution and storm water out.

You should similarly inspect the seals around tubs, toilets and sinks and fill those cracks too.

Last, but not least, consider storing important documents and mementos in water proof containers. That way, should the worst happen, you hopefully won't have to worry about losing something that's irreplaceable.

What to Do if You Find Water Damage

Of course, if water damage does strike you home, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help. You can call on us 24/7. It is important to clean and dry the affected area quickly to mitigate the damage and prevent mold growth. We'll get to work extracting and drying the water, cleaning up the mess and repairing and restoring your property "Like it never even happened."

P.S. Bonus tip: find your water main shutoff valve and make sure you know how to use it. It's usually in a basement or crawl space or on the outside of the building. Shutting off the source is one of the first and best things a homeowner can do to mitigate damage from water to your home.

Specialty Cleaning Services for Property Management

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Graffiti damaged garage door Some graffiti may be art. Some is just an eyesore and upsetting to tenants and customers alike. Call SERVPRO for fast graffiti & vandalism cleanup.

Managing a large commercial property is a lot of work and responsibility. And whether you're dealing with tenants, such as with an apartment complex, or business owners such as with multi-unit retail locations, it can also be a pressure packed and thankless job for a property manager. Not to mention one that requires fast turnaround times to address problems and minimize disruption to someone's home or business.

That's why SERVPRO of North Hollywood takes pride in providing you with our certified cleaning and restoration expertise with top notch customer service. When you call us to fix damage to your commercial property, you can rest assured that we will respond quickly, work directly with your insurance provider and communicate clearly with you during every step of the damage restoration process.

And in addition to a loss from water, fire or mold, we also provide specialty commercial cleaning services that help you get up and running again as quickly as possible.

Sewage Cleanup

When a toilet overflows or your sewer lines back up, it's not only gross but also very dangerous. The water is contaminated and highly unsanitary and could cause serious illness if not properly and thoroughly cleaned up. Fortunately, you can call SERVPRO of North Hollywood anytime, 24/7, to respond to a sewage backup problem.

Once we're on the scene, we'll inspect the damage, determine the category of contaminated water and take the immediate and appropriate steps necessary to mitigate the issue.

In addition, we are equipped to handle other types of biohazard cleanup, such as chemical spills, animal waste or trauma / crime scenes. In all such cases, cleanup should be handled by our properly trained and equipped specialists to ensure the health and safety of your property's occupants.

Graffiti Cleanup

For better or worse, living in a city like Los Angeles means dealing with graffiti and vandalism. And while graffiti is considered an art form by some, it can also be an eyesore and upsetting to tenants and customers alike. If accompanied by other forms of vandalism, such as smashed up windows or strewn trash and debris, such damage can also pose a real hazard.

Our team of certified technicians has the advanced restoration technology to clean the affected surfaces, whatever the material, and can also provide building and reconstruction services to repair, repaint and restore the damage "Like it never even happened."

Deodorization

Sometimes the source of unpleasant or offensive odors is obvious and simply requires the removal of the source. Other times, it can be difficult to determine the source of a problem. And even if the source of the odor is found and removed, some smells can linger if the affected area is not fully cleansed and deodorized. The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be tricky, so don't be afraid to call in the deodorization specialists to investigate and resolve a stinky situation.

As a property manager, you've got enough on your hands already. So let SERVPRO of North Hollywood take on the job of cleaning up and restoring property damage from hazardous materials, vandalism or other crimes.

One call to us at (818) 754-0050 and we'll make certain a damage loss to your commercial property is one less thing you'll have to worry about.

How Fire Damage Can Cause Water Damage (and Vice Versa)

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke triggering fire alarm sprinkler system When fire & smoke trigger sprinkler systems, you may need water damage restoration as well as smoke & soot cleanup. Call SERVPRO for a fast response.

Fire and water. Water and fire. They are natural enemies, the yin to the other's yang. Yet when your residential or commercial property suffers either water damage or fire damage, you should know that one can actually increase the likelihood of damage from the other.

Fire Causes Water Damage

There are two ways fire damage can cause water damage to your home or business: directly and indirectly.

First, and perhaps most obviously, if the fire department extinguishes the fire with a hose, it soaks your belongings with water. Likewise, if a fire alarm triggers the activation of a sprinkler system, your floors, carpets, walls and furniture are dowsed with gallons of water.

Less obvious is how nearby wildfires can also increase the risk of water damage to your property. Even if your home is spared by flames, a wildfire can burn out so much vegetation that the land is unable to soak up the water from subsequent rain storms. Large amounts of water from rain runoff can seep into your basement, crawl space and foundation, causing water damage and also increasing the risk of mold growth.

Following a fire, it is important to have a certified water damage specialist thoroughly inspect your property. Left unaddressed, water damage can spread and become both a bigger safety risk as well as more expensive to repair. Further, mold thrives in damp areas that are not properly dried and disinfected.

If you find water damage following a fire, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away to inspect your property, extract the water and expertly dry, clean and disinfect the affected areas of your home or business.

Water Causes Fire Damage

When it comes to the risk of wildfires, it's the lack of water that creates the dry conditions that can lead to a fire sparking and rapidly spreading. On the other hand, water itself can actually spark a fire in your home, often completely unaware to the homeowner. How?

Both plumbing pipes and electrical wires usually run in close proximity to each other inside your walls. So a leaky or burst pipe can drip water on those wires. A leaky roof can send water flowing towards light fixtures. The water in a flooded room might rise dangerously close to live electrical outlets.

When water comes in contact with exposed wires or sockets, it can cause a short circuit. If the affected appliance or fixture is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker, it will protect against overheating by "blowing," e.g. breaking the circuit. However, if there is no fuse or circuit breaker to stop the electrical current, the wiring or appliance will continue to heat up and, if it comes in contact with combustible materials like wood or carpet, could start a fire.

To prevent this, have a licensed plumber check your plumbing system for leaks. Likewise, clear your roof of debris and inspect for damage before the rainy season. And make sure that blown fuses are replaced, older appliances are upgraded and circuit breakers are working as specified.

And if your property suffers fire, smoke or soot damage, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood anytime, 24/7. Our highly-trained restoration technicians will help you clean up, deodorize and restore your home or business "Like it never even happened."

Why Los Angeles Homeowners Need Flood Insurance

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Flood water damage to a staircase Just one inch of water can cause over $10,000 of damage to your home. Having flood insurance is vital to protect against a serious flood damage loss.

Following a dry and hot summer, most Los Angeles homeowners have one eye on the handful of wildfires burning nearby, and the other on Red Flag Warnings that portend increased wildfire risk.

But believe it or not, now is also a good time to get ready for wet weather, because, when rain storms do arrive following wildfires, they'll carry an increased risk for flooding and mudslides.

Every rainy season, yes, even in Los Angeles, brings the threat of flood damage to your home or business along with it. But following our spate of wildfires, the risk of flooding grows greater as the fires burn away vegetation that would normally soak up the rain.

Of course, most homeowners, and some renters, do carry insurance to protect themselves against property losses. However, flooding is one natural disaster that is not typically covered in an insurance policy.

This is in spite of the fact that flooding is, historically, the most common natural disaster in the world, surpassed only recently by wildfires across the U.S. And in California, the frequency of both wildfires and floods is only expected to increase.

Enter the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Established in 1968, the FEMA administered program "aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations."

You can purchasing an NFIP policy through an affiliated insurance agent, though they are only available if you live within a participating community (which appears to include most, if not all, cities in Los Angeles County).

Keep in mind that most flood disaster policies only cover flooding damage from a natural event. If the flooding was caused by a sewer back up or an overflowing toilet, it may not be covered by this particular type of policy.

There are also private flood insurance options, which can be less expensive and may provide higher levels of coverage. However, as private flooding insurance plans were rare prior to 2014, they are also somewhat untested in their response to a flooding disaster.

While Los Angeles and the surrounding area is not considered a high-risk flood zone, FEMA notes that "more than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones." Further, repairing flood damaged property is quite expensive. A single inch of water can cause upwards of $10,000 worth of damage.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help! Our certified restoration specialists respond faster, 24/7, to any size flooding disaster with the training and technology necessary to quickly mitigate a flood damage emergency. We not only dry, clean and deodorize your water damaged property, we also rebuild and restore damaged areas to make a flooding disaster "Like it never even happened." And we also work directly with your insurance company, reducing stressful bottlenecks and bringing you much needed peace of mind.

Signs You May Have Water Damage (And Don't Even Know It)

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Technician using an infrared moisture detector SERVPRO technicians have advanced technology, like infrared moisture detectors, to determine how far water has traveled within a damaged structure.

Some signs of home water damage are obvious. If you notice discoloration on your ceiling or walls or feel damp spots under sinks, near washing machines, water heaters or air conditioners, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away. We're available 24/7 to inspect, repair and restore any size water damage emergency.

Some signs of water damage, however, are more subtle. So here are a few signs you may have water damage in your home and don't even know it.

What's That Smell?

When water seeps into a permeable surface, such as carpeting, drywall or wood, it creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew growth. If you smell musty, earthy odors upon entering your bathroom, kitchen, basement or any room that's often warm and damp, there's a good chance you have water damage and, likely, mold.

However, the source of the smell may be difficult to spot with the naked eye. SERVPRO of North Hollywood has specialized technology, like infrared moisture sensors, to help us detect damp areas that may be hidden in walls, ceilings and floors, even when there's no visible damage.

If you do discover mold, don't try and clean it up yourself or, worse, paint over it. If not cleaned properly, you may accidentally spread mold spores to other rooms in your house. It's also important that the source of the moisture be addressed as part of the mold remediation process. Otherwise you may find you've only temporarily addressed the symptoms without a more permanent cure.

We Used How Much Water Last Month?

Another potential sign of water damage is a spike in your utility bill. It's normal to see an increase during the hotter, drier months when you might be watering your lawn or running the air conditioning more frequently. But if you notice a sudden jump, or the increase doesn't have an obvious explanation, you may have a leak in your plumbing system.

Plumbing leaks can be found around fixtures like sinks, showers, bathtubs and toilets. There could also be a burst or leaky pipe in your walls or irrigation systems. A licensed plumber with leak detection technology can help you find and repair plumbing leaks, while our restoration specialists can help you fix the water damage they cause.

Brr! Is it Cold in Here?

It's not often that Los Angeles homeowners feel the urge to kick on the heat. But if you find yourself struggling to warm up a room, even with the heater running, that could be another sign of water damage. Water absorbs heat better than air, so if you feel a chill, particularly near walls but away from drafty doors or windows, there could be moisture build up inside the walls, damaging your insulation.

In fact, a significant difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures can cause condensation to build up on the barriers between them. Condensation is, of course, water, which can then damage window and door frames, walls, ceilings and floors. So if you're noticing condensation on any of these areas, or your walls or floors are unusually cold to the touch, have us inspect your insulation for rot, mold and water damage. Because even a little water can cause a lot of damage.

Do You Hear That?

Obviously if you hear the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet or shower head, you should have it repaired or replaced by a plumber near you.

But sometimes you can also hear less obvious sources of water leaks. Maybe your faucets are fine but you still hear a dripping sound that you just can't find. It could also be a hissing or rushing sound coming from your pipes. Or, still less obvious, it could be the creaky floorboards you've been meaning to fix.

Whether the signs are visible or not, if you suspect your home has water damage, don't wait, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood any time, day or night, for a thorough home water damage inspection. And if we do find damage or mold, you can count on our team of certified restoration specialists to repair and restore your water damaged property "like it never even happened."

What is a Red Flag Warning?

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Palm tree on a windy day Sustained high winds, coupled with dry heat, increase the risk for wildfires in LA. Help prevent fire damage to your property with these tips.

As wildfires burn across California, several areas, including Los Angeles County, have also been given a Red Flag Warning. But what does that really mean for LA residents and property owners? And are there things you can do to help prevent fires from spreading in your area?

What Does a Red Flag Warning Mean?

A Red Flag Warning means take action. They are issued by the National Weather Service when the potential for fires in a given area is at its peak. Typically, that means sustained winds, high temperatures and low humidity.

Dry heat is, of course, a pretty typical Los Angeles day, which is why the threat of wildfires has become a constant. The winds are the primary variable, and when the Santa Ana winds are blowing (as they are now, thanks in part to El Niño), small sparks can easily ignite into a blaze.

What is a Fire Weather Watch?

A Fire Weather Watch means that there is the potential for wildfire conditions, but that weather is not considered "imminent or occurring." Property owners should still be prepared and vigilant.

How to Prevent Fires During Red Flag Warnings & Watches

When your area is under a Red Flag Warning or Fire Weather Watch, it is vital to prepare your property for wildfires.

Important steps include:

  • Having an evacuation plan

  • Cleaning gutters, roofs and yards of debris such as dry leaves, twigs and branches

  • Moving flammable liquids like gas cans and tanks of propane away from your home

  • Checking that garden hoses, pressure washers and fire extinguishers are functional and accessible

Be extremely vigilant with heat and open flames from BBQs, fire pits and cigarettes and never leave a fire unattended.

If wildfires are burning in your general vicinity, keep windows and doors closed and, if possible, reduce the use of HVAC systems like central A/C and heat to prevent smoke and soot from entering your home.

Ultimately, the most important thing is the safety of you and your family. Head mandatory evacuation orders and stay up to date on the latest conditions by subscribing to alerts or following the Los Angeles Fire Department on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Once the flames are out, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood anytime, 24/7, to assist with fire damage cleanup and restoration. We're here to help!

P.S. Don't forget! After a wildfire the risk of storm damage increases. Be prepared for a disaster by creating a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile today.