Recent Fire Damage Posts

Smoke Detectors: The 411 on the Device Protecting Your Home

9/8/2023 (Permalink)

Smoke Detectors: The 411 on the Device Protecting Your Home

As you may know, California law requires that smoke detectors, also known as smoke alarms, are to be installed in every dwelling intended for human occupancy. This is a safety precaution that has saved countless lives and will continue to save the lives of countless others. But, do you know what a smoke detector does? How it works? Or if they expire? These are common questions you may find yourself asking, and we are here to help keep you informed on the devices that are saving lives every day!

What is a smoke detector?

According to Wikipedia, a smoke detector is “A device that senses smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. Household smoke detectors generally issue an audible or visual alarm from the detector itself.” Smoke detectors can be battery operated or wired directly into your home.   

How Do Smoke Detectors Work?

Smoke detectors are designed to sense the presence of smoke and alert you to the potential danger of a fire. Smoke detectors use a small sensitive sensor called an Ionization chamber. When smoke particles enter the chamber, they disrupt the flow of ions which trigger the alarm. Thus, causing the detector to give an audible or visual warning, such as consecutive beeping or consecutive flashing lights. However, these devices can malfunction, some detectors can be triggered by a variety of factors. A few examples of non-emergency triggers are dust, insects, steam, or sudden change of temperature.

What Can Falsely Set Off a Smoke Detector?

There are several things that can cause your smoke detector to go off by accident. A sudden change of temperature can disrupt the ionization process and trigger an alarm. This is common in homes with central heating and air conditioning where the temperature fluctuates suddenly.

Malfunctioning sensors or other components can also cause a false alarm. The age of the smoke detector plays a huge factor in its efficiency. Smoke detectors have a lifespan of 10 years and will need to be replaced by that time. The older your smoke detector is the more prone to false alarms they may be.

A smoke detector sensitivity can also be a contributing factor to an overly zealous alarm. Some models are designed to be extremely sensitive to smoke, which can be lifesaving in an emergency, but can also lead to frequent false alarms. Thankfully, sensitivity settings can be changed on most smoke detectors. However, if the problem persists you may consider replacing them with a less sensitive model.

Why is my Smoke Detector Chirping?  

There is no need to worry when you hear a single chirp from your smoke detector sounding off in your home. That is just your smoke detector alerting you that it’s time for a battery replacement. The smoke detector will emit a single high-pitched chirp every minute or so signaling that the batteries are running low. The solution is quite simple you will just need to bring the device down from the wall and change out the batteries.

Are there different types of Smoke Detectors?

The National Fire Protection Association, otherwise known as the NFPA, indicates there are six primary types of smoke detectors:

Ionization Detectors- This type of smoke detector is typically more responsive to flaming fires. This detector uses an electrical current created by ionized air molecules, that is triggered by smoke. The smoke will reduce the amount of electrical current in the alarm and cause it to sound. These are typically the least expensive option.

Photoelectric- This type of smoke detector uses a photosensitive cell. When smoke enters the chamber, light scatters and is picked up by the photosensitive cell causing the alarm to sound.  This kind of sensor is most responsive to smoldering fires.

Combination Ionization and Photoelectric- This type of alarm is equipped with dual sensors. It is equally effective in detecting actual flames as it is in detecting smoldering fires. These alarms have both ionization sensors as well as photoelectric sensors that will cause the alarm to sound. This sensor provides the best protection and is highly recommended.

Intelligent Multicriteria Alarms- This type of smoke detector uses multicriteria to detect fires, they are known as intelligent alarms.  This alarm uses ionization, photoelectric, and heat along with an algorithm to detect fire. The multiple sensors used make this alarm highly effective, allowing for a significantly lower number of false alarms. However, this does not mean that this alarm detects fires sooner.

Voice Smoke Alarms- This type of alarm produces two different audio signals to alert occupants of a fire. One signal is the temporal 3 pattern, known to many as the three loud consecutive beeps. The second signal is a voice announcement that can identify the location of the fire or if the alarm is experiencing issues or malfunctioning.  

Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm- This type of alarm is multifunctioning, it is equipped with multiple sensors, that can alert to the detection of both smoke and carbon monoxide. This alarm’s appearance is like a smoke detector and should be mounted on the ceiling or a wall near the ceiling in your home. If fuel burning equipment such as oil or gas water heaters, oil or gas furnaces, or oil or gas broilers are present in your home you should have a carbon monoxide detector.     

How Many Smoke Detectors Do I Need? 

The National Fire Protection Association requires that smoke detectors be installed outside of all sleeping areas, in every bedroom, and on every level in the home. For additional coverage it is recommended smoke detectors be placed in the basement where the temperature normally remains between 40° F and 100° F, in any storage areas, as well as finished attics.

These are just a few frequently asked questions pertaining to the smoke detectors protecting homes nationwide. These are essential tools used to protect not only your home, but your loved ones who reside within. It is of great importance to keep yourself informed on the safety precautions in place to keep you safe.

Fire Tips for your Santa Maria, CA Home

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

Our team knows what it feels like to lose a home.

It can leave someone with so many emotions and just the thought can be scary. Our team wants you to understand that there is a lot you can do to prevent fires from starting. Accidents can happen, but you can learn how to avoid a fire from starting and spreading through your home. Before the Fire

  • Install smoke alarms that combine flashing lights on every level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries every six months.
  • Keep grills, cookers, and fryers at least 3 feet away from your house and shrubs or bushes.
  • Always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Service your chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves, and central furnace once a year.
  • Store a fire extinguisher on every level of your home.
  • If an electric appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately, then have it serviced before using it again.
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Always stay near cooking to monitor it closely. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles, and wear clothes with short, rolled-up, or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.
  • Use only child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters up high, where kids can't see or reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended
  • Look for frayed wires and damaged cords. If you see any exposed wires, unplug the electronics, and replace them immediately.

Make sure you talk with your family, talk through situations and what you can to prevent these tips we have listed. Always remember it is the best practice to create an escape plan and practice them with your family. Do it together!

Where Should Home Fire Alarms Go?

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

While many homes in Santa Maria come already installed with all the smoke alarms you need to make sure you are keeping your family safe. As more research has been conducted over the years on fires and how they spread, requirements have changed. Many older homes do not meet these standards which can be dangerous in the case a fire does occur. Keep your family safe by ensuring a fire alarm is located in the following four locations! Bedrooms - The National Fire Protection Association suggests the placement of a fire alarm in every bedroom of the house. This ensures that if a fire occurs while your family is asleep, the alarms will wake quickly wake up everyone. Outside Every Sleeping Area - Not only should alarms be inside every bedroom, but there should also be a smoke alarm right outside the room or any other sleeping areas as well. This is so you can react and start to escape before any fire or smoke even enters your room. 10 Feet From Your Kitchen - Kitchen fires result in approximately 50 percent of all home fires, many of which result in serious fire damage to your home. Make sure a fire alarm is located 10 feet from your kitchen rather than inside it since smoke or steam from cooking can easily trigger it. Every Level of Your Home - Ensure that there is as least one smoke alarm on every level of your home. Don’t forget your basement! Serious fire and smoke damage can occur from an undetected fire that starts in the basement. It doesn’t take long for a house fire to quickly get out of hand! That’s why it is so important to have all the required fire alarms installed so you can quickly get everyone out of your house and get in contact with the fire department and a fire restoration company to minimize the fire damage to your home.

What to Avoid After a Flood

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Keeping Yourself Safe During a Flood

In the midst of a storm, water can invade your home and cause considerable damage to your property in the form of flooding. However, your main priority should always be to keep yourself, your family members, and your pets to safety. Let the storm pass and when conditions are safe, you can return to assess the damage, and then begin the cleanup process. Below are some things you should not do when returning to the site of a flood:

Do Not Make Contact With the Water-

Floodwater can contain many different types of contaminants including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and debris. Help protect your skin from harmful water by wearing rubber boots and gloves and keeping your hands and face from making contact with the water. If contact occurs despite your best efforts, wash immediately with soap and clean water.

Do Not Enter Standing Water-

After a flood, homes, yards, streets, and other areas can be covered in standing water. Powerful winds often accompany heavy storms, so it is not uncommon to find downed powerlines after a storm. Since water from a flood is usually murky, you cannot always tell what lies beneath the surface. If the water has been electrically charged, you could experience an electric shock if you enter a flooded home. Rubber boots will help protect against the risk of electrocution.

Do Not Let the Water Sit

The longer water sits, the more time bacteria have to multiply. When items are left to sit in water for long periods of time, the structural integrity of those items can begin to break down. The water should be safely extracted as soon as possible. By cleaning the water faster, you can help to lessen any water damage to your home. Since mold can begin forming in as little as 24 to 48 hours, it is important to begin the drying process as soon as the water has been extracted.

By following a few precautions, you can help keep yourself safe from the dangers of floodwater.

If you ever experience a flood or some type of water damage in Santa Maria, a professional restoration company like SERVPRO can help get your home back to its original condition- or better. Call us 24/7 at 805-922-5457 for a free assessment and quick help!

How to Prevent Fires within your Home

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

According to the American Red Cross, house fires cause over $7 billion in property damage each year. Being prepared and conducting regular safety checks can help keep you from adding to that number.

Here are a few tips in trying to prevent a fire in your home:

Test your smoke alarms.

Test the batteries once a month. If they’re not working, replace them immediately.

Inspect heating sources.

An annual inspection will reduce your risk of fire.

  • Change filters regularly to avoid build-up of dust and lint that can easily catch fire.

Keep the stove and oven clear.

Don’t leave anything flammable near the stove or oven. Make sure curtains don’t hang over the stove, and never rest towels or a cookbook on the stove.

Stay in the kitchen.

Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you have to leave the room, take the pot off the stove or turn off the griddle first.

Check the dryer.

  • Have it inspected once a year to make sure all connections are secure.
  • Always clean out the lint trap after a load is finished.
  • Regularly check behind and around the dryer for pockets of lint or items of laundry that have fallen under or behind.

Maintain cords.

Regularly check the condition of cords and watch out for frayed wires: repair or replace cords with frayed wires immediately.

Be careful with candles.

Never leave candles unattended and always keep them away from flammable items like blankets and curtains. 

Keep fire extinguishers handy.

Keep fire  extinguishers on hand and easily accessible. At the very least, keep one in the kitchen and others near high-risk areas like a fireplace. 

  • Remember R.A.C.E

Fire damage is devastating, stressful, and scary. Let SERVPRO of Santa Maria assist with your fire damage needs by calling (805)922-5457

We are the best at fire

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

We know many of us have had issues with small appliance in their homes in the past. We get calls about fry daddy’s, toaster ovens, toasters, microwaves, and pressure cookers. Recently, we received a call about soot damage which isn’t unusual. We get calls about soot damages fairly frequent. The soot damage was caused by the microwave. It seems the homeowner was heating up dinner in the microwave and it malfunctioned causing smoke and soot to fill the home. The smoke and soot left behind so much residue. That’s when the homeowner knew she needed to call someone and why not call the best.

The customer called us and we were able to come out and clean the residue from the walls to the ceilings to the floors and cabinets. If you ever find yourself in a predicament that you need fire clean up, call the best in the business and that is us.

4 Hidden Causes of a Cigarette Fire

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Hidden Causes of a Cigarette Fire

Although everyone knows a cigarette fire can cause considerable damage to a home, exactly how this type of fire happens may be less obvious. Cigarette fires start for many reasons. Here are four lesser-known — but no less dangerous — causes.

1. Ashtray Fires
When smokers extinguish their cigarettes in ashtrays, they expect those cigarettes to go out. This isn't always the case. A pile of spent ashes from another smoker can start a fire if those earlier ashes haven't been put out completely. A smoker in a hurry may think he or she has fully extinguished a cigarette when, in reality, that butt is still burning. Ashtrays in public spaces can also be filled with trash and other materials that are essentially tinder for an ashtray fire.

2. Careless Outside Smoking
People smoke outside their homes for many reasons, including the belief that smoking outdoors will eliminate any chance of a fire occurring inside the home. This is false.
Although smoking outside is listed on many fire prevention checklists, smoking in the driveway or other outdoor areas can still cause a cigarette fire. Leaving a lit cigarette on a porch or a deck can cause a fire, for example. Tossing a cigarette into the grass can also create the need for fire cleanup.

3. Trashcan Ash
When placed into the trash with other garbage, the tiniest of embers can start a fire. Cigarette ashes must be completely extinguished before disposal to prevent the chance of a fire.

4. E-Cigarettes
Many assume that e-cigarettes cannot cause a fire because they are flameless. This is false. Although rare, the battery in an e-cig can overheat, causing a potentially fiery explosion.
Even with preventative measures, a cigarette fire can still happen in Santa María, CA. In the event that it does, contact your local fire damage restoration company to return your home to its original condition.

Steps in a Fire Loss

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

  • Step 1- Structural Cleaning 

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. A technician from SERVPRO of Santa Maria will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different surfaces found in your structure. Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing. In other cases, SERVPRO will clean to "prepare for painting." This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface. 

  • Step 2- Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO begins by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and much more. Finally, SERVPRO can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items if requested. 

  • Step 3- Deodorization 

SERVPRO of Santa Maria can provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Ask your SERVPRO to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

When it comes to your home or business, getting you back to normal quickly is our first priority. Trust the most recognized restoration vendor in the world, trust the SERVPRO professionals! 

From Fire to "Like it never even happened."

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Santa Maria is committed to getting your home or business back to what it was before any disaster strikes. We are ready for whatever may hit us, no job too small or too large. SERVPRO is equipped with many experienced and knowledgeable people that are ready to help you. With all the right people and equipment to get the job done, we can make it "Like it never even happened." 

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. SERVPRO of Santa Maria has all the right tools and products to get your home back to normal. Call SERVPRO today at (805) 922-5457 for your fire damage!

The Importance Of Keeping Doors Closed.

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know nearly 60% of people sleep with their door open at night? That simple decision could mean life or death in the occurrence of a house fire. A closed door can slow the spread of flames, decrease toxic smoke, enhance oxygen levels, and reduce temperatures. The average time to escape a house fire as gone from 17 minutes to 3 minutes, due to the increased use of synthetics in furniture and home construction, flammable materials and contemporary open floor plans.  

In addition to keeping your doors closed at night, it is important to keep your bedroom doors closed during the day while you’re away as well. If a fire starts in your home, the closed doors offer better protection to the personal items inside your bedroom. Also, it is important to get your children in the habit of closing their bedroom doors as well. Teach fire safety to your family and the importance of keeping doors closed.

How to Prevent a Fire from Space Heaters

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

A sure sign of possible fire hazards is when temperatures drop and the days get shorter. While we’re all tempted to use electric blankets and space heaters to stay toasty and warm – however it’s important to remember to use caution when you use these - specifically don’t plug them into extension cords, even multiple extension cords. Space heaters generate a lot of energy and their heating elements can reach up to 600 degrees, which is why they should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. When hooked up to an extension cord the outlet can overheat and potentially catch fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires are associated with the use of space heaters, causing 300 deaths every year

When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:

  • Purchase newer model space heaters which will have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater carries the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Choose a heater that is controlled by a thermostat because they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
  • Pick a proper size heater for the size of the room you are trying to heat. Most space heaters come with a general sizing table.
  • Put the space heater on a level surface away from heavy foot traffic, and be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater at all times.
  • And finally, plug directly into the wall outlet

As always during this time of need, make SERVPRO of Santa Maria your first call if you need help and call your  local insurance agent to assess any damages. We will work for you to restore your property and your life to make it "Like it never even happened."

How to Restore Your Santa Maria Home After a Fire

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Useful Tips for Restoration of Fire Damage in Santa Maria

In homes, an out of control fire is always only a few seconds away. It might sound like a grim outlook, but considering the wide variety of likely ignition sources present in the home, it is a reality that people have to accept. Some likely sources include cooking equipment, faulty electrical wiring, candles, barbecues and even habits such as smoking in the bedroom. Most fires can be traced back to negligence so exercising proper care can keep them at bay. However, when they do occur, you can restore your Tampa property to preloss conditions if you follow the right procedures.  

Speed is an integral part of recovery efforts after fire damage in Santa Maria. The materials that burn in the blaze form different types of residues that settle all over the property. Some of these might corrode or fuse into the surfaces where they settle causing additional damages. Surfaces made of aluminum, porcelain, marble or brass are easily damaged this way. Fabrics such as draperies or upholstery can also form permanent stains if residue that settles on them is left unattended for long. Our SERVPRO technicians can evaluate the loss environment to determine which areas should be addressed first to avert further damages.  

The damages caused by fires fall into different categories based on whether heat, smoke or flames cause them. Looking through what is left, you might be tempted to clear everything out and send it to the landfill. However, some of the contents appearing damaged entirely might be salvageable through cleaning or other restorative procedures. Our SERVPRO team helps you save such items thus reducing the overall recovery costs. We separate items into groups of salvageable, unsalvageable and questionable items immediately after starting the restoration process.  

Apart from dealing with the contents, the affected area also requires deep cleaning to get rid of soot and other smoke debris. The heat from the blaze might also cause discoloration of surfaces such as walls. Cleaning helps restore the visual appeal of the affected area, and also remove any lingering bad odors. By applying professional cleaning agents, and mechanically agitating the affected areas, our SERVPRO technicians deal with effects of the fire “Like it never even happened.”  

Is There a Best Way to Get Rid of Fire Odor in your Santa Maria home?

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

The terror and disruption of a kitchen fire are overwhelming. Getting your family to a safe place is the highest priority. Once all are accounted for, then it is time to reach out to our professional fire restoration team to work together on recovery.

Why Should You Avoid Fire and Odor Cleanup Without Expert Help?
The fire and odor damage experienced by Santa Maria homeowners, like yourself, is unlike typical dirt, grime, and smells. Clearing away charred debris and cleaning soot from surfaces usually is not recommended as a DIY project because:

    •    Structural components like ceilings, walls, and floors need professional assessment as they might be unstable
    •    Significant quantities of water and extinguishing chemicals nearly always need removal first, needing expert extraction
    •    Debris and residues can be highly toxic, requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) to manage
    •    Effective soot cleanup methods and products vary depending on the materials burned and surfaces affected, with training supporting appropriate matching of cleanup strategies
    •    Deodorization methods frequently need specialized products and unique equipment

What Makes a Kitchen Fire Smell So Bad?
When a fire starts in the kitchen, SERVPRO finds that foodstuffs, oils, and greases are the ignition fuel. High levels of fats and protein create an oily mist that covers everything. The heat produced causes the oils and grease to melt and dehydrate. They become rancid, creating a rotten stench clinging to appliances, cabinets, walls, and ceilings, air currents carrying the odor far from the kitchen as well.

How Do Technicians Remove the Smelly Protein-Based Residue?
SERVPRO technicians learn that “like dissolves like” when choosing products to break down fire residues. Because residues of a  kitchen fire are oily, we turn to solvents to break the bonds between the soot and the surface.

What If Cleaning Alone Is Not Enough to Get Rid of the Smell?
The challenges of eliminating protein-based soot odors are many. In cases where deep cleaning still leaves a noticeable nasty smell, SERVPRO considers using the following options:

Thermal fogging
Deodorizers are combusted into a fine mist, paring with soot particles to neutralize the odor

Hydroxyl generators
Hydroxyl radicals destroy the molecular structure of odors

Airtight products applied to surfaces, preventing the odor molecules from vaporizing

Rely on the crew at SERVPRO of Santa Maria to deliver fire residue cleanup and odor removal. Call (805)922-5457 to schedule an assessment.

SERVPRO of Santa Maria is Here For Your Fire Restoration Needs

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building may never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.  The trained professionals at SERVPRO of Santa Maria should be called on-site immediately.  We can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but we must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. 

The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts at SERVPRO of Santa Maria will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

Don't let a space heater cause a fire in your home.

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

According to there are about 25,000 residential fires a year in the United States from the use of space heaters in the home. Space heaters should be setup at least a three feet away from any thing that can catch fire such as furniture, boxes, paper or other combustible items. Check your space heater equipment often and clean it regularly. If you have any doubt replace it. New space heaters have more safety features then old ones.  It is a good idea to unplugged the space heater  whenever not in use or when you leave your home.  Cleaning your space heater can be done by blowing compressed air throughout the inside and vents to get rid of dust and debris that may accumulate and wiping down where you can.  You may need to remove the front cover to do so.

The Do’s and Don’ts with Fire and Smoke Damage.

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be scary , until help arrives here are some tips to help minimize damage.


  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on the house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • 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 SERVPRO of Santa Maria.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO.
  • 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.
  • Consume any 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, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

What to do about Smoke Damage Commercial Property

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

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.

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.

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.