Recent Fire Damage Posts

Practice Safe Cooking

10/11/2023 (Permalink)

Fire in the kitchen

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires. The vast majority of time, they happen when you least expect it. At SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch / Mira Mesa / Rancho Peñasquitos we do fire clean up, so we want to give you the following tips for when you prepare a meal or are baking some delicious chocolate chip cookies.

  • Never leave your stove unattended while cooking.
  • Keep your cooking area free of combustible materials.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Keep cooking equipment clean.
  • Never throw hot grease in the garbage or the drain. Let the grease cool before discarding it.
  • Create a kid-free zone. Create a space of at least three feet around your stove and other areas where hot food is prepared.
  • Avoid using kitchen appliances if you're sleepy or have consumed alcohol.

Follow these tips to prevent accidents. In case your Scripps Ranch / Mira Mesa / Rancho Peñasquitos home or commercial business needs fire damage services, SERVPRO® of Scripps Ranch / Mira Mesa / Rancho Peñasquitos is Here to Help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Check your electrical outlets to avoid fires!

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Check your electrical outlets to avoid house fires.

Fires in your home can happen quickly with something small that could easily be fixed such as an electrical outlet. 

It's a good habit to routinely check your outlets to ensure that they are not loose, or damaged. If they are, be sure to replace or fix them as there could be a small spark that leads to a fire. You may want to purchase a plastic covering to fill the outlet till you can properly fix it to alert your family that it should not be used. 

If you notice an outlet not working that used to work, this is an indication that you need to maintenance the outlet. Always consult a professional when handling anything electrical in your home for safety. 

If you happen to have an accident, SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos can help you. We are trained in handing fire damage clean up and are available at any time of the day. 

Fire damage leads to water damage which can lead to mold damage. We can help!

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

We can handle fire damage!

SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos is equipped to handle the hardest jobs. We are trained and prepared with equipment that is checke regularly to help you when you need help the most.

Fire damage can be a nightmare to deal with. It can also lead to water and mold damage very quickly. Let SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos take the stress off your shoulders and help put your home or business back to it's original state. We will work quickly to minimize the amount of damages and we will also work to restore your items rather than you replacing everything to minimize costs for you if we can. 

We understand that when fires occur, this can be a very emotional time for you. It's important to use a company you can trust will get the job done right. 

We can help!

What do you do after a fire in your home?

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

We are here for you in any type of fire related loss.

When a fire strikes your home, it can be devastating. Your emotions are heightened, and often times it is difficult to think clearly. It's important to approach the situation as calmly and as clear thinking as you can. It may be helpful to have a friend or family member assist you with the planning and executing of the plans after you are left to deal with the cleanup after a fire. 

When you are affected by a fire, think of these helpful tips below to ensure you have a plan. Feel free to create something customized for yourself and email it to yourself to have just in case.

*ALWAYS wait to enter the building. Long after a fire has been out out, the temperatures can still be hot. Fires can easily start again, and the structure can be unstable. Be sure to have your home cleared to enter by a professional.

*Call your family and friends to tell them what happened and take the offer of help! 

*Call your insurance company and a disaster relief company to help get things started for you. Insurance companies may be able to arrange temporary lodging and walk you through all the steps to follow. 

*Be sure to get a copy of the fire report as you will need it for insurance purposes. The fire company will have this information for you.

*Try to secure your property as best as you can to avoid looting. You may need to have your home boarded up. Ask your insurance company for help with this. 

*Cancel your credit cards and begin the process of obtaining new social security cards and birth certificates. 

*Begin the clean up process. If you have a large fire you may have damages that are too great and dangerous to manage yourself. SERVPRO can help! 

*Consider that there will be water damage and potentially mold if the fire was put out by water. SERVPRO can help!

*Take moments for yourself and consider your emotional help during this process. Take everything one step at a time. 

Call SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos if you need help. We are open 24/7/365! 858-271-1519

Fires are preventable!

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

We can help you!

Fires can happen fast and ruin all of your personal belongings in a matter of seconds. We have put together some easy to follow safety measures for you to take to prevent a fire from happening. 

* Do not smoke indoors. There are several fires that start every year due to cigarette buds. 

*Keep your BBQ grills away from the house. Often times if grills are too close to your home, a fire can easily start. It is recommended that you keep your grill at least 10-15 feet away from your home. 

*Do not remove your smoke alarms in your home or disable them. It is often times an annoyance when your smoke detector goes off when you don't want it to however, when you need it to alert you in an emergency, you'll want it working!

*Do not leave your cooking or candles unattended. Also, set timers for food items to avoid forgetting about them.

I hope you found this helpful. In the unfortunate event of a fire starting in your home and after you've called 911, SERVPRO can help you get everything put back together again. We are here for you at any time of the day! 

San Diego Smoke and Soot Cleanup

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your San Diego Home.

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 La Jolla 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 – 858-270-5234

San Diego Wildfire Damage Event

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of La Jolla provides fire, soot and water damage restoration service in San Diego.

The active wildfires here in Southern California are increasing their impact as growing Santa Ana winds add fuel to these devastating blazes that are encroaching in our area. According to the New York Times, new fires broke out in Malibu on December 7, with at least 96,000 acres already burned in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations have closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 of our neighbors to seek safety. The “Thomas Fire” in the Ventura area continues to burn with the aid of strong winds. This fire has caused the closure of the 101 freeway and a boil-water advisory was issued for Ventura County. Santa Ana Winds - The Santa Ana winds that are enabling the fires to rapidly increase their reach can have speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. They are not expected to diminish until Friday into Saturday at the earliest. The National Weather Service has warned of “very rapid fire growth” in this area. SERVPRO Meteorologist Lela Davis said that the Santa Ana winds were already very dry when they reached the Southern California valley, allowing them to quickly pull moisture out of vegetation, increasing the risk for wildfires. For the first time ever, a purple wind warning was issued for today under the color-coded system used to advise about high winds. This purple warning pushed wind expectations from the “high” category to “extreme”. Ready to help - Here at SERVPRO of La Jolla we are monitoring this wildfire situation closely. Our thoughts are with those neighbors who may be put in harm's way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of La Jolla is Here to Help®. 

About SERVPRO of La Jolla

SERVPRO of La Jolla specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help  858-270-5234

Local Business Owner's Fire Loss

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

A local area business owner recently suffered a fire loss in his home. He was out of town for a family funeral when he got a call from his teenage daughter. His kitchen was built in the 40's and many appliances were old in age. The toaster oven was turned off, but an electrical issue started a fire that destroyed most of their custom kitchen. Thankfully, local Fire Departments were able to put the fire out in a short amount of time and the only damage was in the home and no lives were lost. SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa/Rancho Penasquitos got the call shortly thereafter and we are currently taking care of the restoration of their home as well as their contents. We use a digital inventory management system to keep their contents organized. Thank you for trusting team SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa/Rancho Penasquitos.

Christmas Trees Pose a Potential Fire Hazard

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

In our family at SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa/Rancho Penasquitos, we always enjoy a real Christmas tree this time of year, but were you aware of the following?

 Dry Christmas tree can pose a serious fire hazard. The tree and leaves contain highly-flammable oil that can spontaneously combust. ... The report states that on 'average one out of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 143 reported home fires.

Between 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 6 deaths, 22 injuries, and $18.3 million in direct property damage annually.

This is a frightening statistic! In order to minimize the potential of a fire caused by a Christmas tree, please read the following tips.

  1. Give live Christmas trees a fresh cut. ...
  2. Water your tree daily. ...
  3. Use approved lights and connect them properly. ...
  4. Inspect lights and decorations. ...
  5. Toss damaged lights and decorations. ...
  6. Choose your tree's location carefully. ...
  7. Avoid using candles near the tree. ...
  8. Avoid combustible ornaments.

What to do after a fire in Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa or Rancho Penasquitos

12/6/2019 (Permalink)


A fire at your home in can be a devastating event. Let SERVPRO of  Scripps Ranch / Mira Mesa / Rancho Penasquitos help today.

 After surviving the blaze and smoke, a legion of restoration salespeople, lawyers and other “fire-chasers” will soon start arriving at your door. These groups are interested in directing your remediation and reconstruction efforts, hoping to get a piece of the insurance claim money inevitably paid out following a structure fire. The time following a traumatic event like a fire can be sensitive and difficult, and unfortunately many of these aggressive commission-based independent contractors prey upon this momentary weakness. They may provide deceptive advice, attempt to bully you into signing legal documents, and disparage each other in an attempt to win your favor.  SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch / Mira Mesa / Rancho Penasquitos has been providing honest, transparent restoration services to greater San Diego for a decade. We have handled literally thousands of insurance claims from start to finish, without the need for a swarm of questionable salespeople knocking on doors after a fire. If you would like calm, professional, experienced advice about the important steps following a fire, call SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch / Mira Mesa / Rancho Penasquitos

Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup in San Diego County

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can be a devastating thing to happen to your home and family. Fires are always unexpected, unpredictable and destructive. It is often the case that even a relatively small fire, dispersing what would only seem like a small amount of smoke, can lead to lasting odors and ongoing environmental hazards. Residential building materials are not intended to be melted, burned or otherwise broken down by heat. Noxious chemicals hide within our household items and it is vital to understand the hazards that exist at the site of a residential or commercial fire.   

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate all of the cavities within your home, causing lasting and difficult to remove bad smells. Accessing stud cavities behind walls, roof joists in attics, or ducting above crawl spaces can all be incredibly difficult for the average homeowner. Luckily SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa/Rancho Penasquitos is an expert at treating all affected surfaces after a fire. We use a variety of treatment techniques including dry ice blasting, soda blasting, encapsulation and deodorization to ensure that there is no chance of a lingering smoke smell following our remediation work.  

Fire and Smoke Restoration

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue. The IICRC provides the following tips for fire victims facing clean up:

  • Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.
  • Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.
  • Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.
  • Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.
  • Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.
  • Most exterior walls (brick, stone, wood, paint, siding) and eaves can be cleaned by spraying with a detergent, agitating soot with a soft-bristled brush, pressure washing from bottom to top, then rinsing from top to bottom.
  • If the damage and residue are heavy, it may be best to hire a professional to thoroughly restore your home and belongings.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if smoke damage from outdoor sources is covered by your policy.
  • If the fire has warped or distorted the structure, consult a licensed general contractor.

Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. The following is a timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.


Tips for Fire Prevention and Preparedness at the Office

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

“Putting out a fire” is a common phrase used by businesspeople every day. But what if the fire is more than a metaphor? Do you know what to do to lessen the likelihood of an office fire breaking out — and how to react if one does?

According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), there were more than 98,000 non-residential building fires in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. Many of them were in small offices and buildings. Estimated property loss from these blazes was $2.6 billion.

A 5-year NFPA analysis found that:

  • Most “business and mercantile” fires occurred when the premises were less populated. One-third of the fires (31 percent) occurred between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am, but created two-thirds (67 percent) of the direct property damage. Nineteen percent occurred on weekends and created 31 percent of the damage. A lot of fires also broke out between noon and 2:00 pm.
  • Twenty-nine percent of commercial blazes were caused by cooking equipment and resulted in 6 percent of the direct property damage; 22 percent began in the kitchen or cooking area, causing just one percent of direct damage.
  • The most damaging fires started in an office. Though only 12 percent of business fires began in this location, they caused the most direct property damage (24 percent).

“Staples’ studies show that a majority of employees don’t feel their employers are prepared for any kind of emergency, including fires,” says Bob Risk, the company’s national sales manager for safety. “The truth is, most are, but they haven’t communicated their fire prevention plan well to employees.”

What do you — and your employees — need to know to lower the odds that your office becomes another statistic? It starts with the four P’s of fire prevention: plan, procure, practice and prevent.

1. Plan

“No matter the size of the office or the number of employees, someone should be designated as the safety officer,” says Ernest Grant, chairman of the board of the NFPA. This person leads the creation and execution of the emergency response plan, which includes:

  • Escape Routes and Meeting Places: Determine and mark the fastest and safest paths to safety. Post maps (with “you are here” marks) in breakrooms and near exits — which should be clearly indicated with signs. Put up reminders that elevators cannot be used during most emergencies. Check emergency lighting in stairwells and make sure they aren’t used as storage areas. Create a procedure for evacuating employees and patrons with special needs, especially if the escape route includes stairs. Select a meeting place far enough away from the building to allow full access to the property by firefighters and other emergency personnel.
  • Emergency Procedures: Make sure employees know that the safety officer is in charge during emergencies. Identify by name and title (whenever possible) the people responsible for contacting the fire department, accounting for employees at the meeting place and assisting emergency personnel with information on equipment or chemicals housed in the building. Keep an up-to-date list of emergency contact information. Outline who notifies the next of kin of injured parties, and designate one person to notify emergency responders of people still in the office or unaccounted for.

2. Procure

There are a few specific items you need for fire safety, such as fire extinguishers and smoke alarms — but most commercial buildings are required to have these items installed to meet local building codes. Check with your fire marshal to learn the requirements for your municipality. Test alarms and check extinguisher charges each month; replace/recharge immediately when indicated.

Additional emergency supplies include a stocked first aid kit, bottled water and flashlights. “One company we work with supplies every one of their employees with an escape mask,” Risk notes. “That’s important since most people don’t succumb to the fire or the heat, but to smoke inhalation.”

3. Practice

The safety officer also schedules regular fire prevention trainings, refreshers and drills. “When you have a fire or another emergency, it’s an extremely scary, confusing and rushed situation — and many people don’t operate well that way. So it’s almost like you need to be in muscle memory.”

Hold drills and review procedures frequently, and include emergency response information in new employee orientation. Play the alarm to make sure employees know what it sounds like — it can be a beep, a horn and/or an overhead announcement — and what to do when they hear it. Inspect nuisance alarms (like those false alarms from burning popcorn in the microwave) so employees don’t start ignoring the sound. Include real-time shutting down of critical equipment if required by law or regulation in the event of an emergency. Run contests to see how quickly employees can exit their workspace, reminding them that personal items may need to be left behind. Ask the fire department to conduct periodic trainings for all employees on how to use a fire extinguisher.

4. Prevent

Grant, who’s also outreach coordinator for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, offers these tips for lowering the risk of fire in the first place:

  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for maximum volt/wattage load for surge protectors, power strips and adapters, and ask your electrician to periodically inspect these items and outlets for potential overload
  • Replace frayed power cords; never run them under rugs or carpeting, use cord protectors instead
  • Unplug appliances (coffeemakers, microwaves) and other equipment not in use at the end of the day and over the weekend
  • Replace appliances that feel warm or hot to touch
  • Ask the fire marshal to inspect chemical and equipment storage areas periodically to ensure proper ventilation and stowage
  • Store hazardous materials according to manufacturers’ instructions and OSHA regulations. Clearly mark these items to help emergency personnel identify and stabilize them
  • Don’t prop fire doors open or block exits with furniture or boxes
  • Don’t allow paper and other trash to accumulate outside of garbage or recycling receptacles, and never store this material near hot equipment, electrical outlets or the smoking areas
  • Don’t permit employees to burn candles, scented oils, etc., even in their personal work areas

Following the four P’s is the best way to protect your business and your employees. “Having an evacuation plan and practicing a fire drill will ensure that employees know what to do in case of a real fire emergency,” says Bill Mace, who oversees education and outreach for the Seattle Fire Department.

Adds Grant: “This prevents confusion and minimizes the possibility of someone sustaining an injury.”

After all those fire drills in school, too many of us take fire prevention and safety for granted. That’s why it’s crucial for business owners, office managers and safety officers to set the right tone, Risk says. “If you don’t take it seriously, your employees won’t either. I always say, ‘It’s a lot easier to prepare for an emergency than to explain why you didn’t.”

Note: Don’t disregard professional fire prevention and emergency preparedness advice, or delay seeking it, because of what you read here. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional consultation by fire marshals, insurance agents and others; it is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Always consult the fire marshal or your insurer if you have specific questions about any fire safety matter.


Fire Safety for Kids

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Prevention and safety messages to share

Make an escape plan

It is important to have a plan when there are children in your home. Children sometimes need help getting out of the house. They may not know how to escape or what to do unless an adult shows them.

  • Have a plan for young children who cannot get outside by themselves. You will need to wake babies and very young children and help them get out. In your plan, talk about who will help each child get out safely.
  • It is important to find two ways out of every room in your home, in case one exit is blocked or dangerous to use.
  • Choose a meeting place outside your home. Children should know what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and there is no adult around. Help them practice going to the outside meeting place. Teach them to never go back inside a building that is on fire.

Keep children safe from fire and burns

Some children are curious about fire. There are simple steps you can take to keep you and the people you love safer from fire and burns.

  • Keep children 3 feet away from anything that can get hot. Space heaters and stove-tops can cause terrible burns. Keep children at least 3 feet away from stoves, heaters or anything that gets hot.
  • Keep smoking materials locked up in a high place. Never leave cigarette lighters or matches where children can reach them.
  • Never play with lighters or matches when you are with your children. Children may try to do the same things they see you do.


Fire Safety for Big Kids

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention for Big Kids

Big kids are curious about fire. Teaching your children about the hazards of playing with matches and other flammable materials, as well as practicing a fire escape plan with your family, can help prevent accidents and injuries.

Top Safety Tips

  1. Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
  2. Consider installing a smoke alarm that has a 10-year battery.
  3. Teach kids never to play with matches, lighters or fireworks.
  4. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and always blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep. Teach older kids not to use candles in their bedrooms, unless supervised by an adult.
  5. Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions when cooking and don't leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.
  6. Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency, and make sure you know how it works. You might be surprised that most people don't know how to use one.
  7. Children should know how to respond to the sound of a smoke alarm. Teach them to get low and get out when they hear it. A child who is coached properly ahead of time will have a better chance to be safe. Watch our video to learn more.
  8. Practice feeling the door, doorknob and cracks around the door with the back of your hand to see if they are too hot. Help your children practice this step.
  9. Together, have your family plan and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire. It is important to have an alternate exit in case one is blocked by fire.
  10. Choose a place to meet outside that is a safe distance away from your home.
  11. If you cannot safely escape your home or apartment, keep smoke out of the room by covering vents and cracks around the door and call 911 or your fire department as quickly as possible. Then signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  12. To prevent possible fires, avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.
  13. If using gasoline-powered devices, store gasoline in a locked location where children cannot access it. Keep only small quantities in an approved container that has child safety features. 

If you run into any trouble and need help cleaning up fire damage, please called our highly skilled experts at SERVPRO Scripps Ranch Mira Mesa Rancho Penasquitos 858.270.5234