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Cooking: The #1 Cause of Home Fires

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cooking: The #1 Cause of Home Fires Practice safety to avoid kitchen 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. 

Holiday cooking  

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

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

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

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Timeline Know what to do when this happens to you.

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

Within Minutes

  • 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

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Do’s and Don’ts Know how to respond to a fire


  • 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

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

General Serving Schools in Emergencies Safeguard your school

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!


10/31/2017 (Permalink)

General EMERGENCY Supply List Make a Check List

  • Prescription medication & glasses
  • Infant formula & diapers
  • Pet food & extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification & bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler’s checks & change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants & sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach & medicine dropper - When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies & personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates & plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper & pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Golfing for a great cause!

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Community Golfing for a great cause! 37th Annual Fiesta on the Fairways to benefit the Safe Surrender Scholarship Fund
Join us for the 37th Annual Fiesta on the Fairways Golf Classic - Monday, May 1, 2017
About the Tournament
The Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Los Cerritos Foundation are proud to announce the 2017 Fiesta on the Fairways Golf Classic. This annual golf tournament is an opportunity to enjoy a day of golf and fun while networking with business and community leaders.
About the Safe Surrender Scholarship Fund
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law was initiated by former L.A. Co. Supervisor Don Knabe and signed into state law in 2006. The law gives parents a chance to surrender a baby three days old or younger with an employee at any L.A. Co. hospital or fire station. Current L.A. Co. Supervisor Janice Hahn continues to support and raise awareness for this life saving law by announcing that the 151st baby was safely surrendered in January 2017. The Safe Surrender Scholarship Fund is administered by the Long Beach Community Foundation. Youths adopted as a Safely Surrendered Baby are eligible for the scholarship at age 17. The scholarship may be used for any purpose toward higher education. A portion of the proceeds from the golf tournament will benefit the Safe Surrender Scholarship Fund.
About the Foundation
The Los Cerritos Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of the Los Cerritos Foundation is to develop and promote business and educational partnerships in the areas of career readiness, workforce exposure, and entrepreneurism for K-12 students.
Monday, May 1, 2017
Held at the Los Coyotes Country Club Golf Course
8888 Los Coyotes Drive
Buena Park, CA 90621
Registration: 10:00am – 11:30am
Putting Contest: 10:30am – 11:45am
Lunch: 10:30am- 11:30am
Shot-Gun Start: 12:00pm
Banquet & Raffle: 5:00pm
Click here to download Registration form:
Fax, email or mail back to the Chamber... & see you there!

Disaster Preparedness Business Conference

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

Community Disaster Preparedness Business Conference Learn how to protect your business, customers & employees from disasters.
9:00 AM TO 1:30PM
Presented by the City of Cerritos & the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
Sierra Room
12700 Center Court Drive
Cerritos, CA 90703
presented by Jane Dean, RN
American Red Cross
  • Essential supplies needed for emergency kits
  • Prevention & preparedness tips
presented by Cassie Trost
American Red Cross
  • Development & implementation of a disaster business plan
  • Employee & customer protection
“Earthquakes – Shake it Up”
presented by Mark Chung, MD
American Red Cross & Local Physician
  • The local threat, both big and small
  • Latest local fault line information
“Recovering – What You Need to Know”
presented by Ryan Ramirez & Briana Gonzales
SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens
  • What to do and not do while waiting for disaster recovery assistance
  • Tips for recovering quickly after property damage from water, fire & biohazardous material
$10/Person for Cerritos residents, businesses & Chamber members
Includes Continental Breakfast & Lunch
Sponsor Display Exhibitors Available – $100
RSVP Required- Conference registration is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
RSVP to the Chamber at:
(562) 467-0800

Crime Prevention: Eliminate the Opportunity

3/8/2017 (Permalink)

Community Crime Prevention: Eliminate the Opportunity Crime Prevention Triangle
SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens had the privilege of sponsoring the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Sheriff’s Crime Update presented by Captain Joseph Nunez & Lieutenant Edward Wells. There were some important crime prevention tips we wanted to share with you.


Upstanding citizens cannot remove a criminal’s desire or ability to commit a crime, but they can help prevent crime by removing the opportunity. Here’s how:

  • Always lock your vehicle - even if it’s parked in your driveway.

  • Close your garage door.

  • Leave valuables at home.

  • Never leave valuables in a vehicle or even locked in a trunk as criminals may be watching.

  • When in doubt, call the Police. They would rather have a false alarm then have anyone become a victim because they didn’t feel comfortable calling 911.

Business Owners:

  • Leave cash register draws empty & open overnight so criminals looking in can see there is no money to steal.

  • Keep your safe & merchandise away from view of those looking in overnight.

  • Change your access codes & passwords frequently - especially if you’ve disclosed them to anyone else.

  • Use unmarked bags for bank drops & do them at different times of day, different days of the week. Criminals will observe your habits & can strike if they see a pattern.

  • Great customer service helps deter crime. No one wants to steal with people watching.

For more helpful tips visit the official Safer Cerritos page:

Be safe Cerritos citizens & friends & family!

Cerritos Taste of The Region & Business Expo

9/29/2016 (Permalink)

Community Cerritos Taste of The Region & Business Expo SERVPRO of Cerritos / Hawaiian Gardens Photo Booth at Taste of the Region & Business Expo

Last night SERVPRO of Cerritos / Hawaiian Gardens joined the city for the Taste of the Region & Business Expo at the beautiful Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. It was an evening to meet local business owners, visit with other Cerritos community members & enjoy the delicious food and drinks sampled by some of the city's most recognized names and town favorites.

Thanks to Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event! We look forward to next year and hope you join us!

Special thanks to the restaurant sponsors: 85c Bakery, Blaze Pizza, Bowls by 39 Degrees, Cafe Bistro at Nordstrom, Chick-fil-A, Edible Arrangements, Kabab Crush, King Shabu Shabu, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Leelin Bakery & Cafe, Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, Luna Grill, Moby's Original Fish Sandwich, Polly's Pies Restaurant, Red Robin, Rosewood's Restaurant, Rubio's Samabazon, Sanchez Restaurant & Catering, Scooter's Italian Ice, Stacked, Starbucks, StoneFire Grill, Teatro Martini, TGI Fridays, The Halal Guys.