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Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home

Sterling Construction has been rebuilding burnt homes since 1991 and we have seen our fair share of unusual circumstances that caused a fire. But for the most part there are just a few things that cause the majority of fires.

Fire damage to the interior of a home

Fire damage to the interior part of a home

As summer is approaching here in California we have the unfortunate reality that fire season is coming with it. Over the last few years California has experienced some of the worst fires in history that have destroyed thousands of homes. We here at Sterling General Construction want to ensure that you can do what is in your control to protect yourself, your family and your home.

The cause of a house fire can vary from wildfires that will burn up to 1500 homes in a day, to cooking fires, electrical fires, candles, etc.

Cooking fires are common such as leaving a stove burner on, or fires from grease build up in a hood vent. The cabinets which are directly above the stove top can also go up in flames. These may be prevented by regular cleaning of grease build up on and near the range, and paying close attention when you are cooking. Once you are done cooking, take care to ensure all burners are turned off and there are no flammable items near the stove.

Electrical fires are most commonly caused by faulty electrical work. Be sure you call an established professional out to handle any of your electrical problems for your safety.

In the circumstance that one forgets to blow out a candle, candles in jars are the safest. We suggest that when using a candle, you place it in an area that will be obvious for you to see before you leave the house. Keep it away from curtains or any items that could catch fire.

Oily rags can spontaneously combust. If you have been working with oily products and have been using a rag, ensure that you handle those right away and do not leave them out. The proper way to dispose of an oily rag is to soak it in water and then leave it spread out to dry. We see many house fires caused by this easily preventable situation.

Gasoline in a garage has the potential to catch fire especially if near a water heater. If you have gas cans that you use for any purpose, be sure to store them away from the home.

With summer time comes barbeque season. As we all like to entertain and eat good barbequed food, ensure that your barbeque is 10-15 feet away from your house. Having it too close to the house has the potential of causing a fire.

How to protect your valuables

Once a house starts to catch fire, there will be many forms of damage that take place. The obvious is direct fire damage where items will partially or fully burnt. Another is smoke damage. Smoke can create odors in items such as carpets, couches that are unable to be removed. Those items will be ruined and will need to be replaced. You will also have water damage due to the use of the water to put out the fires.

With all of the above, it is vitally important that you take clear and detailed pictures of all valuables inside and outside your house. Once you have taken the pictures, you need to store them somewhere safe such as the cloud. It is possible that your phone, camera, or computer will be ruined in a fire. If you do not store them on a cloud you will lose access to all of your photos. This will make insurance reimbursement much more difficult.

We hope these tips help you keep safe!

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