Keeping Your SoCal Business Disaster Ready
You may have an effective plan at home in case of an emergency, but what about your business and those employed? Due to the recent tremors impacting the Southern California areas, our team felt it pertinent to provide some useful information. Specifically, two components businesses may use to reduce risks and prevent damage to essential workflow factors.
The first component of this plan involves the safety of employees. Has contact information been updated and an evacuation route tested? Confirming employee information will prevent unnecessary stress in such an event. In addition, testing the evacuation plan before a disaster ensures all on the team clearly understand the measures that will be taken and where to go.
- Planning Part 2 - The Internal Components of Your Business
A successful commercial emergency plan also involves identifying vital components of the workflow. Which departments need to be up and running as quickly as possible to resume business operations. Has essential data been backed up and protected? One aspect that has proved to maximize production with our team is using cloud based services to transfer data. This has made the SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens workflow more efficient and saved notable costs.
When a disaster strikes, it is essential to know what you will do. Having an effective commercial disaster plan will ensure your business and those employed will be prepared should such an event occur. After the disaster, the team at SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens will be ready to help you in making it "Like it never even happened."
SoCal Due for Atmospheric River-Fueled Storm This Week
- What is an Atmospheric River Storm?
Just like a river on the ground, an atmospheric river is a river-sized water pocket in the sky carrying "as much as 15 Mississippi Rivers" of concentrated water vapor. Through this last week of February 2019, Southern California is expected to see significant moisture from such a phenomenon.
Depending on where you reside, SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens recommends avoiding unnecessary travel and staying safe during this wet week ahead.
Moisture levels are likely to reach above two inches in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange counties while residents in higher elevations are expected to see as much as ten inches.
For more regularly updated information, please visit the LA Times here.
If you should find a leak or extensive water damage in your home or business, don't hesitate to give the SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens team a call!
We recognize the impact sudden water damage can have and our crews are ready to assist you in making it "Like it never even happened."
First Time Cerritos Homeowners Safety Tips
First time Southern California homeowners can experience mixed feelings when moving in. At first it may be exciting to make the space feel like home. Very close if not at the top of the priority list though, is keeping all in the residence safe. These few vital steps are key to increasing safety for any resident and eliminating opportunity for crime.
Alarm systems are configured so that, when set off, representatives from the alarm service can notify local authorities as swiftly as possible. In addition, most alarms come with a sign to post in front of your home. This alone is an effective deterrent to thieves.
'Ok time to go, shut the lights off...right?' Saving energy is recommended, however, some interior lighting is another vital factor to notifying any individuals with ill intent that the home is active. Realtor.com recommends using different lights at different times and staying away from leaving the same light on often.
- TV Watchers - The Real Heroes
Finally, with the TV on at a suitable volume the noise it emits is another sign of an occupied and safe home. So don't forget to set the DVR and have an extra batch of popcorn ready!
While owning a home for the first time can be an exciting experience, these steps will help keep all in your home safe.
Understanding Southern California Mold Occurrence
The SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens staff would like to share several crucial points in understanding mold growth.
If signs of mold are occurring in your home or business, don't hesitate to give the SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens team a call! (562)-916-7646
What is Mold?
Mold is often spread when a surface or area is especially damp. The microorganism does occur in various forms and some of these forms prove to be helpful to the environment. One of its functions is to break down dead plant and animal organisms. Other forms of the fungi however, can be a threat to your family's health. How can you tell the difference?
Symptoms of Mold Presence
Because mold is a naturally occurring environmental agent, it is not possible to remove all mold from a structure or quickly tell if it is harmful. However, the following signs of mold growth can help you tell whether it may have an impact on your health:
- A noticeably musty odor
- Water stained and especially saturated surfaces over a long period
- Warped flooring and/or rotting wood
Our Mold Remediation Process
Each mold occurrence varies in its form and areas it has spread. Thus, our skilled technicians individually assess each situation in order to properly treat and remediate the spread of it. Based on the amount of coverage, specially designed equipment may be placed to halt its spreading while a contained cleaning process takes place.
For more safety and health information, please visit the California Department of Public Health website here .
Record-Breaking Storms Impact Southern California
As storms hit the California Coast, road closures and areas recently affected by wildfires become a risk. The information below will help you stay up to date as this week of rain continues.
People living in areas recently affected by wild fires should be ready for possibilities of mudslides and flashflooding.
Los Angeles and Orange Counties are expected to start with 1-2 inches of rain while valleys and the Inland Empire areas are expecting more.
In addition, mountain regions are projected to have 6-12 inches of snow.
Multiple road closures have caused severe traffic delays, these include:
- I-5 shutdown at Grapevine
- Pacific Coast Highway shutdown in Malibu Mudslide
Two more storms are forecasted to pass through. The first being expected to move swiftly starting late Tuesday. In addition, the heaviest storm will impact the west coast Wednesday and Thursday.
We ask all to remain alert when commuting and take all necessary precautions to have a safe week!
Cooking: The #1 Cause of Home Fires
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
What you should know
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire
- 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 way out.
- 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 stovetop. 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 sautéing, 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 stovetop.
- 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 sautéing.
- 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.
In 2013, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Date Fires Percent above average number of fires per day
November 28 (Thanksgiving) 1,550 (230%)
December 25 (Christmas) 740 (58%)
December 24 (Christmas Eve) 720 (54%)
Source: Statistics from Liberty Mutual Get safety tips from Liberty Mutual.
Forty-Two percent of surveyed consumers say they have left the kitchen to talk or text on the phone, and 35 percent to use the computer to check email while food is cooking. If you tend to do a lot of cooking, invest in a second or third timer. They're an inexpensive way to stay safe while ensuring that your holiday dishes do not overcook.
Nearly half (45 percent) of consumers say they have left the room to watch television or listen to music. Multi-tasking during the busy holiday season is tempting. If you succumb, it's important not to leave the stove or oven unattended
Nearly one third (29 percent) of consumers reported that they have intentionally disabled smoke alarms while cooking.
More than half (56 percent) of surveyed consumers said they plan to cook for family or friends during the holidays this year - with 42 percent of those cooking for groups of 11 or more.
Survey Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance, 2013. Ketchum Global Research & Analytics designed and analyzed this nationwide phone survey (with 35 percent cell sample) of 1,005 adults ages 18-65+. ORC International fielded the survey from October 10-13, 2013, and the survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
Source: “Safety Messages About Cooking”, National Fire Protection Association
Water Emergency Do's and Don'ts
From Clean Water Source
- Shut off the source of the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical hazards may exist.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water.
- Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
From Contaminated Water Source
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
From Harmful Waste
Sewage, Blood-borne Pathogens, etc.
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
- Treat all body fluids as if they are contaminated.
- Attempt cleanup of any kind.
- Touch or handle items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids.
Water Damage Timeline
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Cerritos / Hawaiian Gardens provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home or business and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Cerritos / Hawaiian Gardens arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Cerritos / Hawaiian Gardens SERVPRO of Cerritos / Hawaiian Gardens 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. Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – SERVPRO of Cerritos / Hawaiian Gardens 562-916-7646
Fire Do’s and Don’ts
- Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely, and prop doors open to help prevent odors.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances. Then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
- Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs if heat is off during freezing season.
- Gently wash both sides of leaves on indoor plants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until checked by trained professional.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service person.
- Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Serving Schools in Emergencies
Timely mitigation is the key to controlling damage and reducing downtime and recovery costs, minimizing academic interruption. Your students, staff and everyone who depends on your facility will appreciate the rapid response, detailed communication process and professional service. The training of your local SERVPRO® of Cerritos will help limit damage and get your school back in operation quickly.
SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your school providing you with the critical facility information needed for emergency preparation.
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.
SERVPRO® of Cerritos can provide free valuable resources for you to share with your students and staff. Some of the items we offer include:
- Emergency and Safety Tips
- Kids Activity Books
- Home Emergency Booklets
- Family Communication Plans
- Emergency Contact Wallet Cards
- Emergency Supply Checklists
- Coloring Pages and Word Searches
- Contact us to schedule your Emergency Preparedness Planning Profile today!