Recent Fire Damage Posts

The Proper Ways To Put Out a Grease Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

grease fire Prevent a grease fire in your home

Things to Do When you Encounter a Grease Fire

A grease fire is one of the most dangerous fires you will encounter, and not for the reasons you might think. Grease fires are extremely difficult to put out, as they thrive off of oxygen (as all other types of fire do) and they become worse with water. You read that right, grease fires become worse with water. If you should encounter a fire caused by grease and an open flame, here's what you need to know:

  • Turn off the source of the heat.
  • Do NOT put water on the fire.
  • Cover the flame with a pot, pan or other non-flammable device to stop the flow of oxygen.
  • If you can't cover it, dump baking soda or salt on it.

If all of the above fail to get the fire under control, find a fire extinguisher and spray the fire until it is out.

What To Do If You Cannot Get the Grease Fire Under Control

If you fail to get the fire under control on your own, get out of the house ASAP. Do not continue to attempt to battle the inferno on your own, as you may only make matters worse and put yourself in grave danger. Instead, contact your Santa Maria, CA, fire department to help battle the flames. Once the fire crew has done its job, a fire cleanup crew can help with the restoration process.
It's important to note that once you leave your home, close the door and make sure all windows are closed. Again, grease fires thrive off of oxygen, so you want to make sure there is as little airflow as possible in your home. Do not reenter your home until the fire damage team has officially put out the flames.

Preventing Grease Fires

There are steps you can take to prevent grease fires, the most obvious of which is to keep anything flammable away from the stovetop. You should also always be in the kitchen when you're cooking and make sure children stay away from the heated stovetop. When heating oil, do so slowly, and never raise its temperature above that recommended by the manufacturer.
If you can't prevent a grease fire, try the above tips. A fire damage cleanup crew can then help with the restoration.

What To Do About Smoke-Damaged Commercial Property

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Ozone machines work by releasing O3, ozone molecules, into the air

Ways to Remove Smoke Odor from Your Place of Business

If your Santa Maria, CA, business is ever affected by fire, you will certainly be worried about the visible damage, such as charring, water damage and soot. However, after all that is cleared away, you may still be left with smoke damage. The odor can linger long after the fire is extinguished if not treated properly. That's where smoke cleaning comes in. There are several ways to remove smoke odor from your place of business so that you and your customers can breathe easy.

1. Ozone Machines

Ozone machines work by releasing O3, ozone molecules, into the air. The O3 then binds to the other molecules in the area through a process known as oxidation. This creates new oxygen molecules that do not emit a smoke odor.

2. Air Filtration Devices

Commercial air filtration devices used for smoke cleaning and removal work the same way as smaller residential air purifiers. They suck in the dirty air in the area, trap the smoke particles and other pollutants and irritants in a filter (or multiple filters), and return the cleaned air to the room.

3. Thermal Fogging

Thermal fogging recreates one crucial element of fire — heat — to thoroughly deodorize all affected areas. Heat causes most materials to expand. Because of this, smoke may get into areas during a fire that are not easily accessible after the area has cooled. Thermal fogging works by releasing a heated deodorizing fog into the area. The heat causes the surrounding material to expand, allowing the deodorizing agent to get into all of the places the smoke penetrated during the fire.

Which smoke cleanup method to use depends both on the type of smoke and the object or materials being cleaned. A professional restoration company can select the best method of smoke cleaning for your Santa Maria, CA, business and make sure the job is done thoroughly, safely and quickly, so you can get back to business.

3 Things Not To Do When Extinguishing a Fire

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial and residential fire damage services

Three Things to Avoid Doing When Attempting to Extinguish a Fire

A fire extinguisher is not difficult to use. Fire safety experts generally recommend the P.A.S.S. technique. Pull the pin and break the tamper seal before aiming the dispenser at the base of a fire. Squeeze the handle and sweep the spray from side to side. There are also three things to avoid doing when attempting to extinguish a fire.

1. Allow the Fire To Block Your Exit

You must be able to get away from a fire if an extinguishing effort is not successful. Monitor the movement of the flames and do not allow them to spread between you and the nearest exterior door. If this occurs, you should pursue a secondary escape route.

2. Spray Suppressant Directly at a Grease Fire

Fire extinguishers contain pressurized suppressants. If you aim an extinguisher hose, horn or nozzle directly at flaming grease, the fat or oil may spatter and carry flames. Using a fire extinguisher may actually spread a grease fire. You may have better results by dousing a kitchen fire with baking soda and salt before smothering the flames with a metal baking sheet, lid or another pan.

3. Neglect a Recently Extinguished Fire

A fire may seem to be out and then suddenly reignite or a hidden fire may be present. It is important to monitor the area of a fire, even if you step outside for a moment. It may be a good idea to contact the fire department to make sure that the fire is out.

You may be able to extinguish a small to moderately-sized fire by using proper fire extinguisher technique. If a fire is too large, try to close doors and seal off the affected area before evacuating the premises and calling the fire department. Any structural damage can be handled by a company that specializes in fire damage mitigation and restoration in Santa Maria, CA.

Fire Damage Prevention Tips

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

As far as disasters go, fires have to be among the worst. They can devastate homes and natural areas very quickly and can be tough to contain. They are especially horrific in areas that are often very hot, like it is in Nipomo, California and surrounding towns. To try help you ensure your home is safe from fires, SERVPRO of Santa Maria have released a report on how to prevent fire damage in Nipomo or wherever you are located.

SERVPRO of Santa Maria has been helping with damage restoration and cleaning in the Santa Maria area for decades, and should be your first call if you experience fire damage in Nipomo. On top of fire damage, they can help with water damage, smoke damage, storm damage, mold and much more. Head to their website if you want to learn more and be sure to call them at 805-922-5457 if you have any questions.

How to Prevent Fire Damage in Your Home

Fires can run rampant and cause some major damages to homes. They can move fast and can be tough to deal with and can leave your house damaged, or worse, completely burned to the ground. With that in mind, here are some good things to do to make your chances of every experiencing a house fire extremely low.

The first line of defense for preventing any house fire getting out of control is a smoke detector. You should be making sure your smoke detector is working and in the correct location.

Once you have the smoke detector installed and ensure it is working, the next thing you should do is make sure you are careful when you using household appliances. Leaving the oven or stove on, or letting them get too full of grease, is a common way of starting a house fire. Also, be careful not to overheat cords for electronics, as they can get quite hot and could potentially start a fire.

Of course, you should also make sure open flames in your house are contained. If people are smoking, a fireplace is going or a candle is lit, make sure you don’t let them come in direct contact with anything that could catch on fire.

Basically, if you are vigilant about what you and others in your home are doing around heat, fire, grease and smoke, your chances of starting a house fire should be quite low.

If you ever have the misfortune of experiencing fire damage in Nipomo or other areas near Santa Maria, be sure to give SERVPRO a call at 805-922-5457 and they will be sure to help.

Press release by San Luis Obispo SEO company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446. (805) 226-9890.

Taking Care of Smoke Damage in Your California Home

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

One of the common side effects of a house fire or even a fire near your house, is the presence of smoke. Smoke damage in Nipomo and other warm climates can occur more frequently due to the weather. The damage from smoke to your house can be large and can linger for well after the fire is done. With that in mind, SERVPRO of Santa Maria have released a report on why it is so important to take care of smoke damage in your home.

SERVPRO has been helping clients with residential and commercial cleaning and restoration for years. Smoke damage in Nipomo and surrounding areas can be a huge issue and should be dealt with, thankfully, SERVPRO is there to help. Be sure to visit their website or give them a call at 805-922-5457 if you have any questions.

Reasons Why Taking Care of Smoke Damage is So Important

Even long after a fire has occurred in or around your house, it is likely still suffering from the effects of smoke damage. Just because the smoke damage may not be as visible as fire or water damage, doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Here are some reasons why taking care of smoke damage is very important.

First of all, smoke damage simply makes your home look gross. The walls and ceiling of your home will be blackened by soot, which is the residue left by smoke. If you don’t get this looked at soon after the smoke damage creeps into your home, you may never be able to clean it off and may have to completely replace the walls.

In addition to looking gross, the air in your home will suffer greatly from the smoke residue in the walls, ceiling, floor and air. The air will smell gross and could also lead to health issues if the smoke damage isn’t taken care of.

Also, the structure of your home can actually be damaged too. So if you don’t call someone like SERVPRO to fix the issue, you could be putting you and your family at risk as the house could slowly deteriorate, which can easily lead to accidents.

If your house of place of business is suffering from smoke damage, the team over at SERVPRO should be at the top of your list of companies to call. They have been in the business for 50 years and can help get your home back to the way it was before the disaster.

Press release by San Luis Obispo SEO company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446. (805) 226-9890.

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher in your home in Santa Maria, CA can keep you and your home safe

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher in your home in Santa Maria, CA, can be an effective way to keep you and your home safe. However, there are a variety of things that are helpful to know about extinguishers to ensure they can be used quickly and effectively.

1. The Type of Extinguishers in Your Home

Different types of extinguishers exist, and it’s helpful to do some research before placing one in a location within your home. For example, Type B extinguisher would help in the event of a kitchen fire caused by grease, whereas a Class A extinguisher can stifle fires that use wood as fuel. Often, you can purchase combination extinguisher that will effectively put out different types of fires.

2. The Location of the Extinguishers

Just having a fire extinguisher in your home isn’t enough to prevent a fire if the location of the extinguisher is not convenient. It’s often important to place extinguishers in areas such as kitchens and laundry rooms since these areas are common places for fires to occur. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the extinguishers are within reach so you can access them quickly if needed.

3. How To Use the Extinguisher

In the event of a fire, it’s often helpful to know how to use an extinguisher quickly and correctly. Though extinguishers are labeled clearly with directions, it can save you time if you already know the appropriate steps to take. The term P.A.S.S. (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) is a common acronym that is used to give people an easy way to remember the key steps to take when using an extinguisher.

Making sure you have the right types of fire extinguisher in your home, putting extinguishers in convenient locations and knowing how to use an extinguisher can incredibly help if a fire occurs. If your home has been impacted by a fire, you may want to consider working with fire damage restoration experts.

How the Experts Use Ozone To Get Rid Of Cigarette Odors

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

An ozone machine can get the smell of cigarette out of your Santa Maria,CA home

When people use cigarettes in your home in Santa Maria, CA, the smell gets everywhere. All the surfaces take on the telltale cigarette odor. Even if the surfaces are disinfected thoroughly, you will likely still smell smoke when you walk in the room because it seeps into crevices. Fortunately, in a few steps, smoke remediation experts have home deodorization methods such as ozone machines that extract the molecules out of even the tiniest of cracks to rid your home of the stench for good.

1. Close Off the Area

Before the ozone machine can be effective, it is important to establish the area where it will be used. To isolate the room, technicians close off vents and may use plastic sheets to block air flow. This allows the ozone to be concentrated in the space that needs it most.

2. Place Machine in Area

For home deodorization to occur, the ozone machine must be placed in the area and turned on. The machine produces ozone and releases it into the room. As the ozone spreads, it attacks the cigarette smoke and neutralizes the odor. Ozone can enter any area that smoke can, so this method allows technicians to completely permeate all the spaces the smoke goes. After the ozone has done its job, it reverts back to oxygen.

3. Leave Machine On

The amount of time it takes to get rid of the odor depends on how densely concentrated the smoke damage is. It can take a couple of hours, or it can take two or three days. Once all the smell is gone, the machine can be turned off and taken out of the area. Because ozone destroys the molecules that cause the odor, it won’t return.

It may seem like you will never get the smell of cigarette smoke out of your home, but an ozone machine can fix the problem. Experts in home deodorization trust ozone treatments as a safe, effective smoke neutralization technique.

Furnace Maintenance Tips

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your furnace clean

Like many homeowners, you may wonder what you can do to keep your furnace well-maintained and when you should perform such maintenance. After all, a functioning furnace reduces the chance of a fire and related fire cleaning in your Santa Maria, CA, home.

Here are three tips for keeping your furnace in top shape throughout the year

1. Keep It Clean

Dirt is a troublesome yet common nuisance that can lead to furnace-related fires. The blower, motor and system itself all need regular cleaning to remove troublesome dirt and debris. Research how to clean your particular unit, or get help from a Santa Maria, CA, professional. Leaving dirt to sit can cause your unit to malfunction and cause a fire-related issue.

2. Replace Filters

Your furnace filters should be replaced regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change them once before cold weather hits, and then once a month during the times that the furnace is in heavy use. Dirty filters can lead to situations that require fire cleaning, much like with other furnace components, and will also not function properly when you are relying on them to keep you and your family warm.

3. Perform Maintenance Early

One of the most important things to remember is that any repairs or other maintenance tasks need to be completed before the cold comes. Otherwise, you will risk using the furnace while it is not in top shape, possibly causing a fire and leading to smoke cleaning. You also will likely have an under-performing furnace that does not quite do its job.

Furnace maintenance is not exactly fun, but neither is a fire. You owe it to yourself and your wallet to take precautions against having a furnace malfunction at home. You will not only avoid fire cleaning in the future - you will also have better peace-of-mind knowing your furnace is ready to keep you heated.

Nipomo Fire Damage Restoration Company Explains Each Step For Cleaning Up Fire Damage

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

Entering a home or business and seeing the fire damage for the first time adds dismay to the shock of the fire. SERVPRO, the fire damage company serving Nipomo answers the question, “How is this mess every getting cleaned up?” by explaining how the company restores homes and commercial buildings after a fire.

“Fire damage is more than just burned walls and possessions,” said Mark Powers, owner of the SERVPRO franchise that serves Nipomo. “There is soot, ashes, water and smoke damage in the aftermath of any fire. Even a small kitchen fire that was put out before it spread can leave smoke residue that spread to other parts of the house. We work closely with people to help them through the process of restoring their homes and businesses after a fire.”

It can be very disheartening and discouraging the first time someone sees their home and possessions reduced to piles of burned rubble, but many times a surprising number of possessions can be saved. For some peace of mine, it’s good idea to enter your home or business for the first time in the company of a Nipomo fire damage professional who comes prepared with advice, recommendations and a plan based on experience.

The professionals from SERVPRO inspect and test the damage to determine the extent of fire, smoke, soot, and water damage then help you customize a plan of action. The plan includes things such as taking a inventory of everything that was damaged, sorting through possessions to save what can be saved, suggestions for renting storage, where to take clothing and linens for cleaning, demolition of components of a building that are too damaged to save, such as water soaked drywall and insulation, or vinyl flooring. SERVPRO works hand-in-hand with you and your insurance company at every step.

Other remediation actions SERVPRO performs include:

  • Covering and protecting windows, walls, and roofs to maintain security and prevent further damage from the weather.
  • Removing water, smoke and soot. SERVPRO uses dehumidifiers and air movers to remove water and dry out wet areas. The company has specialized equipment and techniques for removing smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces.
  • Cleaning everything that can be restored and all structures that were damaged by the fire using state-of-the-art techniques to restore belongings to pre-fire condition and removing odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
  • The final step is restoring your home or business to its condition before the fire. This step can range from minor repairs such as replacing kitchen tile, drywall, painting and cleaning carpets to major repairs and reconstruction.

Smoke and fire damage situations are all different and each requires unique solutions for the specific conditions. No family or individual should have to take on the added burden of worrying about how to rebuild from a fire. Just getting the daily routine back to as normal as possible is enough strain. SERVPRO as a company specializes in taking a large part of the recovery off the shoulders of families, and the local Nipomo fire restoration franchise brings the added benefit of local experience.

For as much peace of mind under the circumstances, contact SERVPRO of Santa Maria for restoring fire damage in Nipomo or elsewhere on California’s Central Coast.

SERVPRO of Santa Maria

1279 W. Stowell Road, Suite C

Santa Maria, CA 93458

(805) 922-5457

This press release is by San Luis Obispo SEO company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805) 226-9890.

Items You Should Throw Away After a Home Fire

12/16/2017 (Permalink)

Items You Should Throw Away After a Home Fire

A home fire in Santa Maria, California is a frightening event that can change your life. Standing in your home among your damaged belongings, you probably ask yourself which items you need to throw away. The fact is that high heat and fire damage render some of your personal belongings useless and can even cause them to be dangerous if used.


Food that got damaged by heat, smoke, water, toxic fumes or chemicals is not safe to use. Exercise caution and discard if in doubt.

It’s recommended to throw away these items:

Fresh food, such as produce, meat, poultry, cheese, eggs and milk
Food in cardboard boxes or foil wrap
Food in canisters, such as spices, flour, and seasonings
Canned food
Open packages

Check your refrigerator to see if it was able to keep your food cold and if soot was able to penetrate it. If your fridge was turned off for more than four hours or if you can detect soot, discard all food. Frozen food can be safe to use if it still has crystals on it; however, the safe bet is to toss it.

Medicine and Cosmetics

Inspect medicines and cosmetics that were near high heat for soot, dust, chemicals and signs of damage. If anything is warped due to the exposure to heat, don’t even think about keeping it. You’re on the safe side if you simply get rid of all medicine and cosmetic items.

Clothes and Textiles

Some of your clothes and textiles might be able to be cleaned and disinfected by an experienced fire restoration company that has the proper tools and knowledge. Anything that is burnt needs to be thrown away, though. Baby and children clothing need some extra care and attention as you don’t want to risk your little one’s health.

Exercise caution with the aforementioned items. It might be smart to just throw away food, medicine and cosmetics for the sake of your health. Always bear in mind that high heat and fire damage are dangerous, and even if any of these items seem to be in good condition, your eyes might be tricking you.
Visit for more information on fire damage.

Santa Maria Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke- wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Santa Maria will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke - Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue - Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today at 805-922-5457

SERVPRO Releases Report for Homeowners Experiencing Nipomo Fire Damage

7/21/2017 (Permalink)

Nipomo Fire Damage

Professional fire damage experts, SERVPRO, this week outline the five things homeowners should avoid doing after a fire has damaged their home.

Nipomo, CA —The cleanup and restoration specialists at SERVPRO have released a recent report detailing five things one should not do if their home has seen Nipomo fire damage. Homeowners can avoid excessive fire damage by following tips listed in the report.

To view the report, click here (link), or see below:

5 Things Homeowners Should Avoid if Fire Damage Occurs

After fire damage has occurred in the home, everything can quickly become hectic. Here’s five things to avoid amidst the chaos to prevent further damage to one’s property:

Don’t clean up

It is best to wait until a repair and restoration specialist, such as SERVPRO, has assessed the damage. Avoid cleaning walls, carpets or upholstery before a professional arrives.

Don’t use electrical appliances

Fire and smoke can damage electrical appliances and make them dangerous to use if affected by the fire. Consult a repair service to asses any damage before putting the affected appliances back into regular use.

Don’t eat food that has been near the fire

Avoid eating any food that has seen fire damage or was located near the fire, excessive heat or water. This includes canned or packaged foods and beverages. Foods may have risen to an unsafe temperature during the fire and become spoiled.

Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures

Ceiling fixtures include lighting and ceiling fans. If water has come into contact with any of these fixtures the wiring may be damaged and pose an electrical hazard if turned on.

Don’t send damaged clothing to an inexperienced dry cleaner

Smoke damage to clothing can greatly damage a garment. Ask the dry cleaner if they specialize in cleaning clothing which has come in contact with heavy smoke. If incorrectly laundered, smoke odor may permanently set into the material.

Following these suggestions can save time, money and stress after fire damage has occurred in the home. The professionals at SERVPRO have responded to Nipomo fire damage in the past and are available 24/7 to lend a helping hand.

SERVPRO in Nipomo

260 N Mallagh St., Nipomo, CA 93444

(805) 922-5457

Fire and Smoke Damage Santa Maria-based company releases report on Smoke Damage Tips

7/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Ca. – When a fire hits, there’s not much that can be done to prevent damage. However, today, fire and smoke damage Santa Maria-based Company, SERVPRO, have released a report detailing tips to prevent fires.

Fire and smoke can cause severe damage to a home or business. Even a small fire can produce large volumes of smoke and cause unwanted and often unseen damage. Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with smoke damage.

  1. After a fire, one may be anxious to begin cleaning one’s house and attempting to restore it. The very first thing to be done is contact an insurance agency to check for coverage, and then contact a restoration company, like SERVPRO, to begin restoration
  2. Make sure to gain permission from the Fire Marshall before reentering the property. It’s critical to make sure that the property in question is safe to enter before setting foot inside. If entering, be sure to wear a protective device over the mouth and nose to prevent inhaling toxins left from the fire. If a professional restoration company has yet to be contacted, who knows what kinds of toxins may be in the air?
  3. Do not attempt to clean any household carpets, textiles, draperies, or upholstered furniture. Smoke is oily and must be cleaned in a very specific way, so attempting to clean may cause additional and possibly irreparable damage.
  4. Remember to change the furnace filter at least once a day. If the property has an operating filter, replace daily until no soot is visible.
  5. Smoke odors can remain in clothing, furniture, draperies, and carpets after any retail sprays evaporate. To eliminate the odor entirely, it is crucial to deodorize it with a highly-effective ozone treatment. Without one, the odor may never be diminished.
  6. Smoke will enter and remain in and between walls of the living space. If not properly removed, during damp periods the odor will return.
  7. Cover clean items with plastic. While repairs are being carried out in the property, cover unaffected items to prevent additional tarnishing.
  8. Carpets should be dealt with by professional cleaners. It may take a few cleaning, or may need to be replaced entirely.
  9. Do not attempt to wipe down walls. Professionals use chemical sponges to effectively clean smoke and soot from varied surfaces, attempting to wipe walls down may only result in further damage.

Fire and Smoke Damage Santa Maria

SERVPRO offers 24/7 restoration services to customers experiencing difficulties with water, fire, smoke, or mold damage! They’re always readily available to take care of any emergency restoration needs in a timely and professional manner possible to restore any property to pre-damage conditions and quickly make it “Like it never even happened.” Give them a call at (805)922-5457.

SERVPRO of Santa Maria

260 N. Blosser Road

Santa Maria, CA 93458


Press release by San Luis Obispo SEO company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 226-9890.

Holiday Fire Risk Increases After Christmas Day

7/15/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage from a Christmas Tree catching fire.

Homeowners Take Note! Holiday Fire Risk Increases After Christmas Day

Local SERVPRO® restoration specialist cautions Santa Maria homeowners to take common sense precautions throughout the holiday season Santa Maria, CA (Grassroots Newswire). Most homeowners are aware holiday decorations should be used with care. Each year, statistics tell the story of the fire danger resulting from frayed wires, proximity to heat sources, and lights left on unattended. But Mark Powers of SERVPRO of Santa Maria wants local homeowners to know that the danger of fire caused by holiday decorating, and by Christmas trees specifically, actually increases after the holiday. Citing research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)*, Powers says while four out of five Christmas tree fires happen in December and January, the 10 days with the highest average number of fires were all after Christmas Day.

“For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time,” said Powers. “Come December 26, it’s tempting to relax and stop watering the Christmas tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights and tucking indoor garlands back into place. Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday.”

The American Christmas Tree Association** quotes Nielsen research that says Americans purchased 21.6 million live Christmas trees in 2011. That number is significant because, according to the NFPA, Christmas trees remain the number one culprit in holiday fires. Forty-three percent of Christmas tree fires happen in December, but January is close behind, claiming 39 percent—numbers that demonstrate the danger of allowing Christmas trees to dry out during and after the holiday season. Tragically, Christmas tree fires are particularly deadly, claiming on average one life in every 40 fires compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.

Powers encourages Santa Maria homeowners who choose to decorate with live Christmas trees to be diligent about watering their trees both before and after the holidays. “When a Christmas tree dries out, it takes only a single spark from the fireplace, a draft that blows a candle flame too near, or a carelessly held cigarette to turn your holiday celebration into a tragedy,” says Powers. “Beyond the damage from the fire itself, a Christmas tree fire, like any fire, can result in extensive smoke and water damage throughout your home, and can even be deadly.”

As the holiday season moves into full swing, Powers reminds homeowners to take common sense precautions based on a clear understanding of the potential danger to help prevent holiday traditions from turning into a holiday nightmare. For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit

Christmas Tree Fact Sheet
Christmas Tree Tips

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network ofnearly 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi million dollar losses. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.