Recent Posts

The Dangerous Conditions Surrounding Flash Floods | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

flooded water running over blacktop road SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your local water & storm restoration expert. We will get the job done right, contact us today.

Any type of severe weather scenario has the potential to cause danger for multiple reasons, but few present more risks than flash flooding. Flooding causes more weather-related deaths than anything except for heat in the United States, and flash floods are the deadliest of all the flood types.

If it is a possibility that a flash flood could happen, being aware of what to do is key, as you must act quickly to get out of harm’s way. Being aware of the speed of flash floods, the way you can find out if you are at risk and how you can safely evacuate can prepare you much more effectively.

What Causes Flash Floods to Be So Hazardous?

Any type of flood will cause a certain level of danger, but flash floods cause even more because of the speed with which they occur. After rain begins, a flash flood will occur within six hours, but often much faster, and can impact nearly any area where the warning was issued. For those in the flash flood’s path, quickly getting to safety is key so you are not caught up in the waters.

How Can I Determine My Flash Flood Risks?

Staying tuned into broadcasts from local weather officials will be the best source of real-time information in regards to the weather conditions. If a flash flood alert is issued, that simply means to stay alert and aware of changing conditions.

For a flash flood warning, begin evacuating and moving to higher ground with your family. If there is a flash flood emergency called, know that is extremely rare and get to higher ground via whatever means necessary.

What Safety Precautions Should I Know to Evacuate?

Acting quickly is key if you find yourself impacted by a flash flood warning, so knowing how to evacuate with safety in mind is so important. Here are some of the best safety tips to memorize beforehand:

  • Get real-time updates from local weather officials through approved channels.
  • Be sure everyone in your home is aware of your evacuation plan.
  • Avoid attempting to cross areas that are flooded, even in the car.
  • Stop children from touching or playing near floodwater.
  • Know of multiple evacuation routes, as those blocked by water are impassable.

If your home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damage to your property.

Does Your Business Have a Proper Emergency Kit? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

No one wants to consider the worst-case scenario happening, but for business owners, preparing for the worst is part of making sure your business is protected in any situation. It is important to make sure that you have considered how you will react to a disaster or emergency scenario, both to protect the longevity of your business and to protect your employees from harm.

Creating a business disaster plan should always be your first step, which includes assessing your overall risk level, creating a plan for evacuation and preparing the business itself to be as safe as possible in the event of a disaster—and one of the best ways to do this last bit is by assembling an emergency kit for the workspace.

Assembling An Emergency Kit for Your Business Workspace

Putting an emergency kit in the workspace is a great way to ensure you have the means for handling an emergency or disaster scenario so you can keep your employees safer. Ideally, an emergency kit should have enough food, water and medical supplies for several days at minimum, and it is wise to include comfort items such as emergency blankets and entertainment in case you must seek shelter overnight. Below is a checklist of the most necessary items that are wise to have on hand:

  • One gallon of water per person, per day
  • Non-perishable foods (and a can opener, if you have packed canned goods)
  • Eating utensils
  • An NOAA weather radio or other battery powered method to receive alerts
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • A first aid kit, including over the counter medication and wound care supplies
  • Hand sanitizer and baby wipes

In addition to these items, if you have the room and the means, the following can be helpful:

  • Emergency blankets for each person
  • Plates, cups and napkins
  • Cards, books or other games for entertainment
  • Important documents such as your insurance policy and identification
  • Cash or traveler’s checks

If your business is damaged in a disaster, you can depend on us to help you with all your restoration needs. We can help businesses of any size in any industry—contact us today to learn more about our services or to report damage.

Stay Vigilant About Cooking Fires This Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Cooking is something most of us do on a daily basis, but did you know that cooking is also the top cause of house fires in the United States? While most cooking occurs without incident, it only takes one mistake to create an emergency scenario where a cooking fire starts and gets out of control.

While this is something to be aware of throughout every time of the year, it is extra important to keep this in mind as we move towards the holiday season. The period around the winter holidays is when the most fires occur every year, due in part to an increase in cooking and baking as we prepare for gatherings and holiday meals. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways you can make every cooking or baking session safer—read on to learn more.

How to Keep Cooking Fires From Starting Around the Holidays

A fire in the kitchen is the last thing any of us want, but are you sure you are doing everything you can to prevent it? Here are some of the top safety tips so you can be certain you are taking every precaution necessary:

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Within Reach

Having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and knowing how to use it is a must for any cook or baker. Be sure that it is not expired and that it is in a convenient spot to grab in an emergency. Using a fire extinguisher can prevent a small incident from becoming a full-on house fire if you catch it quickly enough, but it is important to only use a fire extinguisher if it is safe to do so.

Do Not Cook While Distracted

Holiday meals often lead to a lot of extra hands in the kitchen, which can create a chaotic environment ripe for mistakes. Distracted cooking can lead to leaving utensils and dish towels near the stove or oven, which can quickly catch fire if they become too warm. Make sure you are always vigilant about keeping a buffer free from flammable items around any cooking appliance just in case.

Never Leave Food Unattended

For long-term meals that require simmering or roasting, it can be tempting to step away and leave the food unattended while the flavors work their magic. Be sure you check up on food regularly and do not stray too far while something is cooking just in case.

If your home is damaged by a fire of any type, we are here to help. Contact us at any hour for more information or to get restoration assistance.

Make Sure Your Winter Is Safe From Fires | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South will be here to help.

No matter the season, keeping fire safety in focus is something that we always recommend—but during the long nights of winter, it is extra important. Winter sees the most fires out of any season according to the Red Cross, and though we do not receive a deep winter freeze in Van Nuys, it is still something to be aware of.

More people cook and bake in the winter, which is always the leading cause of household fires starting. Additionally, when things do turn chilly, using a space heater is a common way to warm up the home—and as the winter holidays approach, this can be compounded with the use of decorations that lead to electrical concerns. It is wise to be aware of the possible risks so you can keep fire safety at the forefront of your entire winter season.

Staying Fire-Safe as the Holidays Approach

Keep safe when cooking. Cooking large meals and undertaking delicious baking projects is a great way to celebrate the season, but kitchen incidents do cause the majority of house fires both during winter and year-round. Implementing safety in the kitchen is a wise thing to focus on, which can include purchasing a fire extinguisher, keeping flammable items away from the oven and stove and never leaving the room while cooking is in process.

Heat the house with proper precautions. When things turn chilly in the evening, many people will find themselves reaching for a space heater to provide some auxiliary heat in the home. This can be done safely if proper precautions are taken, but otherwise, it can be dangerous. Be sure your space heater model has safety features to address tip-over and overheating hazards, and never use it near anything flammable or while you will not be in the room.

Decorate with care. As the holidays draw near, adding festive elements such as lights and other decorations is commonplace, but these electrical wires should always be checked thoroughly before use each year. Christmas tree fires are often caused by malfunctioning strings of lights, but by checking for frays and never leaving lights plugged in overnight, you can significantly reduce your risk.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

Why We Should Be Your First Call When You Need Restoration | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Discovering that you have damage to your home or office is a frightening thing, especially if you are not sure what to do to proceed with the restoration. While sorting out the details can be a complex matter, it is something you certainly do not want to delay—many types of damage are time-sensitive and can worsen if they are not treated quickly.

For this reason, we are here 24 hours a day to take your call and begin assembling a quick response. We understand what a difficult time it can be as you work to recover, but you can count on us to make the process as easy as possible from beginning to end.

Why Trust Us When You Need Restoration

We Will Get to You Quickly

In the event of nearly any type of damage, allowing it to sit unattended is one of the worse things you can do. Damage from a fire can lead to smoke and soot odors permeating far away areas of your home, and untreated water damage can quickly give rise to mold and mildew. We always guarantee a quick response so we can begin mitigating your damages quickly and give you peace of mind in the process.

You Can Count on Our Technicians

Our technicians are highly trained in accordance with the standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, and they are also trained extensively on our own SERVPRO® standards to ensure they are ready to respond to any situation. Additionally, our employees are all given ample opportunities to continue their education through classes and online learning programs, so they are always up to date on current trends and techniques.

Our Restoration Model is Scalable

Not only do we have a local office of trained technicians ready to help out, but we also have a country filled with national partners that are always ready to jump in and help in a crisis. Any time a large area needs restoration, we can call for backup to scale up our workforce and our equipment as much as is necessary, meaning no job is too big for us to handle.

If you are in need of restoration for your home or office, you can count on us. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to receive a quick response from our expert technicians.

Keeping Your Business Compliant With Fire Safety | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Fire safety is something that everyone should be concerned with both at work and at home, but if you own your own business, it should be even more of a priority. Not only can a fire cause serious damage to your building and equipment, but it can also put you and your staff in harm’s way. It is better to be prepared and as safe as possible than risk having a fire catch you off guard. Below, we will look at some of the most important fire safety tips to incorporate into your business operations so you can be certain you are practicing fire safety adequately.

Make Sure You Are Meeting OSHA’s Fire Standards

Depending on what industry and type of building you are in, OSHA will have specific standards your business should adhere to in regards to fire safety. This should be where you start to make sure you are upholding all of their requirements to keep your business safe.

Have the Proper Number (and Type) of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are a must-have for any business, especially if your building has flammable materials, electronics or an employee kitchen. Make sure you choose an extinguisher that is the proper class for the fire hazards you might be likely to encounter in the workplace and that you have briefed all your employees on how to properly use them.

Have an Evacuation Plan and Practice Regularly

You should have an evacuation plan in place in case a fire does break out in the building so you and your staff can quickly get to safety. Be sure every area has at least two clear pathways to get out of the building and designate a meeting spot outside so you can do a headcount of your staff. Host regular fire drills so everyone can practice the protocol often—this can prevent panicking and make the evacuation process go much more smoothly in a real-world scenario.

If your commercial space is damaged by a fire, we are here to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about what sets us apart, or use our 24/7 emergency line to report the damage. 

Planning Ahead to Recover From a Disaster at Your Business | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

insurance policies binders and pen sitting on black table in large conference room SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your go-to in case a disaster occurs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Planning ahead is something that business owners understand the importance of inherently, but when the concern to be planned for is more abstract, it can be difficult to prioritize. That is why many business owners fail to plan for natural disasters—but those who do not can be devastated by their impact. While it is impossible to know when and how a disaster might happen, knowing the details of how you will recover is key.

One of the most important things you can do is to prioritize the safety of yourself and your staff, which is why we always recommend beginning with your emergency plan. After this, however, planning for recovery is wise. Thinking through the insurance process, creative ways to generate revenue and qualifying for financial assistance can all go a long way in getting your doors reopened.

After a Disaster Strikes Your Business, Know What to Do

Contact your insurance agent and your restoration company. Every commercial policy will vary in regards to what disaster-related damages are covered, so contacting your agent quickly after you discover what damage has occurred is key to getting your claims process started. From there, contact your commercial restoration company right away so they can begin handling the damages and preventing secondary issues from arising.

Keep customers informed of changes. It is impossible to know if or how you will be able to continue operating in some capacity after a disaster, but regardless of the scenario, keeping your customers informed is key. If you are able to do partial service or fulfill online orders of gift cards or other products, letting them know via social media is key to getting all the support you can.

Research your financial assistance options. The impact from lost revenue on top of damages puts most businesses in a precarious situation, which is why the disaster loan offerings from the Small Business Administration can be so impactful. After a disaster, applying for a loan is a great way to gain extra funds during a difficult time.

If your business has been damaged due to a disaster, we’re here to help. Contact us at any hour to report your damage or to learn more about our commercial restoration services.

Why We Advocate for Restoration Instead of Replacement | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

large red diamond shape sign with Natural Disaster written in large black print Have you sustained property damage and feeling overwhelmed? We are here to help, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.

Experiencing damage to your home is always a difficult experience, regardless of the cause. However, if the damage was due to an emergency, the emotional impact can be extremely difficult to recover from as well. As you and your family work to rebuild, having a trusted restoration partner can make all the difference.

Restoring your home is something we do not take lightly, as we have seen firsthand what a traumatic experience that going through a disaster is for a family. Therefore, we do everything we can to put your items and your home back in the state they were before the damages, instead of recommending a liquidation of everything you own. This saves you time, money and hassle, ensuring that you can focus more on your recovery and let us handle the rest.

Let Us Focus on Restoration So You Can Focus on Recovery

We can help you save money on your insurance. Every insurance policy will be different, but you can often claim damages with your provider. For incidents such as water damage, this can be costly, leading to an increase in your premium. By focusing on restoration instead, we can help you keep the amount you have to claim with your insurance lower so you can save money.

We can protect your sentimental items. In the event of a disaster or emergency, a quick evacuation is often required to keep your family safe—meaning you will typically have to leave behind many of the objects you love. That is why we have invested in cutting-edge restoration technology, which allows us to restore even the most delicate of items such as family photographs and documents that have been damaged by fire or water.

We make sure your home feels like home again. After any sort of emergency scenario, the first time you re-enter your home will be an emotional one regardless of the restoration—but when you trust us, you can be sure you will recognize your house as your home when you return. We handle cosmetic issues such as painting, flooring and all the finishing touches that truly make a house feel like it is your home again.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today to learn more.

Three Common Reasons for House Fires in Your Van Nuys Home

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.

Electrical Outlets

Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.

-If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.

-Do not overload your circuits.

-Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.

Kitchen Fires

Carelessness in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

-Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.

-Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.

-Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top

-Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.

Dryers

Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.

-Clean out the dryer vent regularly.

-Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.

-Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here for you if you experience a home fire.

Where to Check for Water Damage in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

tan wall with water damage spots showing through Do you have any water damage to your home? Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South, we are your local water restoration experts.

There are few better things to invest your time into than keeping your home maintained, and one of the best ways to do this is by checking often for water damage. Not only will cosmetic issues arise from moisture buildup, but it can also lead to serious structural issues in your home which will only get worse over time.

You can do your own checks for water damage around the house so you know as soon as you need to call in a professional. Catching water damage early can help lessen the damage it causes and lessen the amount you have to claim on your homeowners insurance for the damages, too.

Do Your Own Checks for Water Damage Around the House

Inspect your walls and ceilings. The drywall in a home is designed to conceal structural elements, but it can also conceal leaks and moisture buildup. Knowing what to look for is key to making sure your home is not harboring any hidden leaks. Peeling or bubbling paint, discoloration or spots that are soft to the touch are often indicators that something is amiss.

Don’t forget to look down. The floor of your home is set upon a subfloor, which provides a level base for it to rest on. However, these subfloors can absorb moisture if there is a leak, causing waviness or buckling as they swell and retain water. If you notice sudden issues with your floor, it is best to get a restoration crew involved quickly.

Inspect your roof. It is good to keep your roof in good shape, as it has the big job of keeping water out of your home every time it rains. You can learn a lot about your roof by simply going outside with binoculars to check for signs of damage and wear, such as loose or missing shingles, that could be indicative that water is working its way in.

Pay close attention to the basement. Letting your basement become musty is not just unpleasant—it can cause serious household issues, too. Water can seep in through your foundation walls or begin to infiltrate the basement with heavy rain, leading to mold and mildew growth in addition to structural issues with your foundation.

If you have water damage anywhere in your home, we are here to help. You can contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damages. Get in touch today to speak with a water damage restoration expert.