Recent Posts

Common Flammable Household Liquids

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

You may be aware that there is an abundance of combustible liquids in our homes but you may not know that more than 43,000 home fires are caused by these everyday items each year, resulting in 200 deaths, 2,500 injuries and $469 million in property damage. Here are some of the most common flammable liquids you probably have in your home.

Do not panic – there is little chance you will set your house on fire with these items as long as proper precautions are followed.

Nail Polish Remover

This every day liquid used by most women is composed of a highly flammable liquid: acetone. A woman in Cypress, Texas was burned when a nearby candle ignited her nail polish remover.

However, this is a rare occurrence. Be mindful of having open flames nearby while doing your nails.

Rubbing Alcohol

We all have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in our medicine cabinets and we do not see this item as hazardous. If rubbing alcohol is used correctly it poses no harm to you our your house although it is very flammable and vaporizes quickly. Although some have used rubbing alcohol to kill bedbugs by pouring it over the affected fabrics, this is not a good idea! The alcohol then can easily catch fire, especially once placed into the washer or dryer.

Gasoline, Paint thinner & Turpentine

While it is a good idea to store gasoline in case of an emergency it must be stored properly to avoid fire hazards, along with paint thinner or turpentine.

Approximately 8,000 home fires are started annually due to the improper storage of these flammable materials. Gasoline needs to be stored in an UL-approved container at room temperature away from any heat sources such as a water heater or furnace. Paint thinners and turpentine should be in a tightly sealed container away from heat source.

Lighter Fluid

Most grill masters are aware of the dangers of lighter fluids and take safety precautions to maintain a controlled burn for the perfect burgers or ribs. So shouldn’t you do the same while storing these items?

Aerosol Cans

It’s common knowledge that aerosol cans contain flammable propellant. As seen in many movies, a flame mixed with any common aerosol can be turned into a weapon. While this is an exaggeration, it is unwise to leave any aerosol cans near an open flame or in an area where they can overheat, which can lead to the can exploding.

The Water You Don't See - Leering Danger

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

The key to avoiding costly repairs or restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of East Riverside City has the experience to find and dry unseen water before additional damage occurs. Here are just a few things we utilize in our water mitigation process:

  • Moisture Sensors – detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls to find the water you can't see.
  • Moisture Meters – determine the actual moisture content of materials. This also provides accurate readings to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohydrometers- Measure temperature and relative humidity of the material. This allows our team to calculate and create a plan that is most conducive to drying the affected areas properly and efficiently. 

When dealing with any water loss, it is not only important to dry but to also disinfect and deodorize the structure. There is no need to worry, however, as we have that covered too!

  • Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers- atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor causing residues may accumulate. This can also inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers- dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. This fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attaches to and neutralizes all odor causing particles. 

With these tools, IICRC training and experience SERVPRO of East Riverside City is the team to find and dry out any-size water loss. Don’t panic, call SERVPRO.

Disaster Preparedness

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

We know that living in California comes with the threat of earthquakes that can happen at anytime. However, only about 20% of all earthquakes are strong enough to be felt by humans. Is your family prepared for a large earthquake? What about flooding? Depending on where you live, you may not think flooding is a real danger. Did you know it only takes 6 inches of fast moving water to knock down an adult? Think of what it could do to your home.

We have all heard time and time again that it is a necessity to prepare an emergency kit for everyone within a given household. Have you taken the time to prepare one? When was the last time you went through your kit? Due to the unpredictability of disasters it is recommended that you have a kit: in your house; in each vehicle; and even one at your place of employment.

What should you put in an emergency kit?

1. At least 3 days’ supply of food and water

  • 1 gallon of water per person
  • Can opener and basic utensils
  • Canned and packaged or freeze dried foods

2. Health and Medical supplies

  • Minimum of 3 day supply of all medications/prescriptions
  •  Basic first-aid supplies

3. Toiletries and personal care items

  •  Soap, shampoo and sun block
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Baby wipes, toilet paper and paper towels
  • Contact lenses or spare eyeglasses

4. Safety Items

  • Whistle
  • Flashlight
  • Multipurpose tool (Swiss army knife)
  • Emergency blanket (or extra blankets)
  •  Radio – if battery operated includes extra batteries. Preferred to get a solar or hand-crank radio

5. Documents and Identification

  •  Insurance cards, Social Security cards (or copy of these documents)
  • Medical records and immunization cards
  • Family emergency contact information (recommended having a contact outside of the area as phone lines usually will be tied up during a disaster)

6. Extra

  • Cash – electronics may be down so don’t plan on being able to go to the bank or use an ATM or credit cards
  • Batteries
  • Spare car and house keys
  • Regional maps – everything is electronic these days but a paper map won’t lose its battery & doesn’t require and internet connection

Check your home for potential Hazards

Just put up your new flat screen? Have some artwork on the wall that you’ve had since college? A family portrait over the fire places? These are great items that turn your house into a home but in the event of an earthquake they can turn into flying weapons if not properly installed or secured to the wall. Here are a few things to double check, perhaps while doing your spring-cleaning this year.

1. Pictures and mirrors: ensure they are firmly anchored to the wall, avoid hanging anything over beds

2. Bookcase and shelves: bolt shelves to studs and strap bookcases to walls

3. Breakables: store in cabinets that have a latch to prevent these items from flying out

4. Curtains and blinds: good to keep closed at night in avoid flying glass in the event that the windows shatter

5. Appliances: retain with straps and hooks

6. Outdoors: secure furniture and accessories. It is a good habit to close any outdoor umbrellas when not in use.

7. Landscaping: regularly remove any dry debris and create a perimeter around your home in case of a fire.

Even though we hope that a major disaster will never strike we would hate for something to happen and not be prepared. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.  You may have to put some time and effort into preparing now, but you’ll be glad you did. 

New Construction in Riverside

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

A new commercial building is being built off Van Buren Blvd in Riverside, CA. Before the roof could be put on the heavy rains came. A tarp was put on to prevent further damage which also allowed work to continue. Before drywall was installed the owners of the building and the site manager called SERVPRO of East Riverside City to check the building for moisture caused by the rain. 

This process is called Moisture Mapping, in which various tools are used to check the moisture levels in various materials as well as find moisture that cannot be seen. If the wood is not dried to a reasonable safe level before drywall and other material is placed over it this could lead to damage in the future in the form of mold or dry-rot which could compromise the structure of the building. 

This process of moisture mapping is also done for all water damage jobs. First  to locate the water damage and help determine which dry out method is best. Then throughout the dry out process to ensure all the affected material is being property dried. These readings are compiled in a Drying Report. 

For more information about moisture mapping see our video why-SERVPRO/Moisture-Mapping

Science Behind Drying

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

The first reaction to any-size water loss is to grab a mop or as many towels as you can to mitigate the amount of water present. You may think that  placing a fan in the affected area will also help get it dry. The professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City are trained in the science of drying and follow the strict, industry approved standards that help lower the chances of any secondary damage, like mold. When the expert water technicians enter your home after a water loss, we have two very important questions that we must answer before drying can begin.

What is Wet?

 The question sounds simple enough but the answer is often more complicated.  Standing water is obvious but it almost always means that hidden cavities of water exist that must also be located.  These hidden areas can be found under cabinets or laminated flooring.  Water can also seep under tile floors or hardwoods.  Beyond the floors, water often rests inside walls and insulation which can cause it to move to adjoining rooms.  Our technicians will inspect the building to locate every component that is wet.

How Wet Is It?

Water found under cabinets or inside walls can cause extensive damage if left untreated.  Wood will warp, wet sheet-rock will lose its strength and insulation can absorb large amounts of water.  To answer the question we use sophisticated metering equipment that can measure moisture levels in areas that are out of site.  We may also use a special camera, called a FLIR, that is capable of reading temperature variations within walls, ceilings and even the foundation, to answer this critical questions. 

Our equipment allows us to know if the material can be restored, can be dried out with our drying equipment or needs to be replaced. These tools also help our trained technicians monitor whether the materials are drying properly.

Speed up Mother Nature

What does that mean? Moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the wet material. This can only happen if the air in the affected area has lower moisture levels than that of the affected material. Nature can take a much longer time to dry the affected materials without mitigation which can allow for secondary damage, such as that from mold growth, to set in. Thus, SERVPRO of East Riverside City uses specialized equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach places inside walls as well as dry the air in and around the affected area. 

Do You Have A Plan

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a  fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all types of emergencies. The following are some basic measures that business owners and managers can to be better prepared.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage

Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary: check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruptions. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools you use.

Practice The Emergency Plan

Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment

Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in all of the appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security

Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don’t open emails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords and change them regularly. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Backup your computer data by using a secure cloud-based service and download security protection updates, known as patches, regularly.

Need help creating an emergency plan for your business? Don’t panic! Call SERVPRO of East Riverside City and we’ll help you set up an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) to meet all of your business needs. The call and ERP are free (951)222-2224

Suffered a loss, now what?

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a  fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all types of emergencies. The following are some basic measures that business owners and managers can to be better prepared.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage

Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary: check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruptions. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools you use.

Practice The Emergency Plan

Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment

Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in all of the appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security

Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don’t open emails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords and change them regularly. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Backup your computer data by using a secure cloud-based service and download security protection updates, known as patches, regularly.

Need help creating an emergency plan for your business? Don’t panic! Call SERVPRO of East Riverside City and we’ll help you set up an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) to meet all of your business needs. The call and ERP are free (951)222-2224

Kitchen Fire

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Having a kitchen full of friends and family adds to the joy of any dinner party, yet it can also be a distraction leading to disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) there were 1,730 home cooking fires started in 2014 on Thanksgiving Day. Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy says, “People are preparing multiple dishes for many guests and there can be plenty of distractions in the home, which can make it all too easy to forget what’s on the stove. That’s when cooking mishaps are most likely to occur.”

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stove top.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly. Using a timer may help you to do this more often. Remain in the kitchen while food is cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove top.

What To Do If A Fire Starts

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path to exit your residence. 
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Safety considerations for cooking with oil

Oil is a key ingredient found in the majority of today’s kitchens. Whether a recipe calls for frying or sauteing, we include oil in almost all of our daily cooking. When using any of the many oils to prepare your meals--like olive, canola, corn or soybean-- consider the following safety tips when cooking: 

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stove top.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sauteing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside. 

Holiday Hazards

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Candles and lights add a simple yet elegant touch to your home or dinner table during the holidays. However, without the proper precautions this season can go from festive to frightening in an instant.

Did you know December is the peak time of year for home candle fires? Reduce the risk of home fires with the following tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

  1. Keep candles 12" away from anything flammable. Flame-less candles are a great alternative in achieving the same look without the dangers of an open flame.
  2. Use sturdy candle holders that don't easily tip over. Follow the "Three's" rule to have a clean uncluttered look while keeping things safe. The 'Three's' rule is to pair or group your decorations in three's of varying heights, shapes and sizes. This adds interest without cluttering the surface.
  3. Keep your tree, if you have one, 3 ft away from any heat source such as the fireplace, radiator, space heaters, candles or air vents.
  4. Not all holiday lights are for indoor use; double check the instructions for the lights you have before putting them up.
  5. Do not use lights that are worn, have broken cords or have loose bulbs. Yes, it can get expensive buying new lights each year but it's worth your family's safety!
  6. When your tree is dry it's time to get rid of it. Do not leave old trees inside your home, garage or outside leaning against your home or any structure. Check with your local community for safe tree disposal.
  7. Designate one person to properly ensure all candles and lights are properly extinguished and turned off after guests leave or before going to bed.

If disaster does strike during this holiday season, Don't Panic as SERVPRO of East Riverside City is here for you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Most Common Problem during the holiday season - it may surprise you

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that the most common holiday problem is sewage backup? With the fuss over planning for family and out of town guests visiting, not all homeowners take into consideration the condition of their plumbing.

Ask yourself, when was the last time I checked the plumbing? How old are the pipes under your home?

The average cost for a home inspection by a professional plumber is about $300 (according to Home Adviser). When you consider how much it could cost you to clean up after a sewage backup, it's definitely worth the cost.

Sewage clean up can cost you thousands of dollars and can be harmful to your families' health if not taken care of properly and swiftly! Not to mention the inconvenience of potentially having to relocate while repairs are made and clean up is finished. It's not the same spending the holidays in a hotel. 

If you find yourself in a smelly situation, don't panic - call SERVPRO of East Riverside City.  We are here to help 24/7, 365 days a year!