Recent Posts

Crime Prevention Tips

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

Important crime prevention tips.

Upstanding citizens cannot remove a criminal’s desire or ability to commit a crime, but they can help prevent crime by removing the opportunity. Here’s how:

  • Always lock your vehicle - even if it’s parked in your driveway.
  • Close your garage door.
  • Leave valuables at home.
  • Never leave valuables in a vehicle or even locked in a trunk as criminals may be watching.
  • When in doubt, call the Police. They would rather have a false alarm then have anyone become a victim because they didn’t feel comfortable calling 911.

Business Owners:

  • Leave cash register draws empty & open overnight so criminals looking in can see there is no money to steal.
  • Keep your safe & merchandise away from view of those looking in overnight.
  • Change your access codes & passwords frequently - especially if you’ve disclosed them to anyone else.
  • Use unmarked bags for bank drops & do them at different times of day, different days of the week. Criminals will observe your habits & can strike if they see a pattern.
  • Great customer service helps deter crime. No one wants to steal with people watching.

For more helpful tips visit the official Safer Cerritos page:

Be safe Cerritos citizens & friends & family!

Emergency Supply List for Your Cerritos Home

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

  • Prescription medication & glasses
  • Infant formula & diapers
  • Pet food & extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification & bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler’s checks & change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants & sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach & medicine dropper - When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies & personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates & plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper & pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Your Local Restoration Experts are Emergency Ready

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

Timely mitigation is the key to controlling damage and reducing downtime and recovery costs, minimizing academic interruption. Your students, staff and everyone who depends on your facility will appreciate the rapid response, detailed communication process and professional service. The training of your local SERVPRO® of Cerritos will help limit damage and get your school back in operation quickly.

SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your school providing you with the critical facility information needed for emergency preparation.

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

SERVPRO® of Cerritos can provide free valuable resources for you to share with your students and staff. Some of the items we offer include:

  • Emergency and Safety Tips
  • Kids Activity Books
  • Home Emergency Booklets
  • Family Communication Plans
  • Emergency Contact Wallet Cards
  • Emergency Supply Checklists
  • Coloring Pages and Word Searches
  • Contact us to schedule your Emergency Preparedness Planning Profile today!

Fire Do’s and Dont’s

11/19/2022 (Permalink)


  • Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely, and prop doors open to help prevent odors.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances. Then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs if heat is off during freezing season.
  • Gently wash both sides of leaves on indoor plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until checked by trained professional.
  • 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 your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • 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 person.
  • Consume any canned or packaged 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.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Cooking: The #1 Cause of Home Fires

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

What you should know

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Safety considerations for cooking with oil

Oil is a key ingredient found in the majority of today’s kitchens. Whether a recipe calls for frying or sautéing, we include oil in almost all of our daily cooking. When using any of the many oils to prepare your meals like olive, canola, corn or soybean, consider the following safety tips when cooking:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside. 

Holiday cooking  

In 2013, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. 

Date Fires Percent above average number of fires per day  

November 28 (Thanksgiving) 1,550  (230%) 

December 25 (Christmas) 740  (58%)  

December 24 (Christmas Eve)  720  (54%)

Source: Statistics from Liberty Mutual Get safety tips from Liberty Mutual.

Forty-Two percent of surveyed consumers say they have left the kitchen to talk or text on the phone, and 35 percent to use the computer to check email while food is cooking. If you tend to do a lot of cooking, invest in a second or third timer. They're an inexpensive way to stay safe while ensuring that your holiday dishes do not overcook.

Nearly half (45 percent) of consumers say they have left the room to watch television or listen to music. Multi-tasking during the busy holiday season is tempting. If you succumb, it's important not to leave the stove or oven unattended

Nearly one third (29 percent) of consumers reported that they have intentionally disabled smoke alarms while cooking.

More than half (56 percent) of surveyed consumers said they plan to cook for family or friends during the holidays this year - with 42 percent of those cooking for groups of 11 or more.

Survey Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance, 2013. Ketchum Global Research & Analytics designed and analyzed this nationwide phone survey (with 35 percent cell sample) of 1,005 adults ages 18-65+. ORC International fielded the survey from October 10-13, 2013, and the survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

Source: “Safety Messages About Cooking”, National Fire Protection Association

Keeping Your Cool When Your Southern California AC Starts Leaking

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

Maintaining Your AC and Preventing Flood Damage in Southern California 

During these hot summer months, having an air conditioning unit that works properly is very useful. A problem we have seen is when AC units are left unchecked and cause water damage in a home through slow leaking. The team at SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens wanted to briefly explain the way an air conditioning system works within a home. 

  1. An evaporator coil captures air from outside and cools it, forming moisture during this process.
  2. Moisture from the coil drips onto a drain pan then down through a drain line to route out the liquid and leave you with refreshing temperatures.

If not properly maintained, a clogged drain line results in moisture being backed up and overflowing. Another reason AC can cause water damage in a home is when the drain pan itself is faulty and moisture slips through. 

There are several other factors that can cause Air Conditioning systems to cause home water damage. We encourage you to see this article on Popular Mechanics for more information. Should you experience this type of water damage in your home or business, the professionals at SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens will be there to assist you. 

Our SoCal Storm Response Program

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

How our Cerritos Team Responds When Storms Occur

In light of the recent SoCal storm surges that closed out 2021, our team of Emergency Services experts wanted to share with our customers the systems we have in place to respond to these types of disasters.

  • Response

In the case of an unexpected severe weather event, the local branches closest to the affected area are the priority responders. Our corporate offices guide us in ensuring that we not only reach as many residents impacted, but also that we deliver quality work.

  • Supporting the Community 

We are aware the last thing our customers want to deal with is an unexpected charge much higher than they predicted for services we rendered. We aim to assist our community in this regard by ensuring our prices are in line with with the market.

While it may not be common for sunny SoCal to experience severe weather, our team of Disaster-Ready experts is here to help around the clock!

Call us today at 562-916-7646!

When Packout Services Are Needed

10/21/2022 (Permalink)

When the Restoration Process Requires Your Cerritos or Hawaiian Gardens Home to be Packed Out

In servicing our community, we have come across losses of all sizes. There unfortunately have been cases where areas of a home are so heavily affected that thorough steps are needed to fulfill proper restoration including packing out rooms or an entire residence. Why does this happen and what can this mean for you and your family?

  • Reasons for Packing services

Each project we restore is evaluated on a case by case basis but the following are guidelines we employ to ensure the health, safety and proper restoration of every project. First, a source of loss may be considered Category 3 where all affected materials (touched by the source of loss) need to be removed. Another scenario often occurs when a home is built before 1985 and tests positive for lead and asbestos. Per industry standards affected materials with lead and asbestos require a very specific procedure for removal. These are two common scenarios that require access to all affected materials which may run behind, under, in between and/or above personal belongings and furniture. 

  • The Packout Process 

It's important to our team to help guide each homeowner through this step. What may already be a difficult process can become seemingly even more overwhelmingly. However with our expert packing teams you can rest easy. After obtaining approval from your insurance, we work directly with you to make sure you have access to the items you need and the rest is covered, padded and sealed under lock and key. 

Dealing with water damage in your home alone is no easy task, we are here to help our community no matter the scope of the job!

When a Cerritos or Hawaiian Gardens Property Has a Crawlspace

1/15/2022 (Permalink)

Why Are Crawlspaces Important to our Scope of Work

When a property is affected by water damage, the first thing we want to make sure of is that we have an accurate understanding of all the affected areas. Especially in our territory, it is common to find crawlspaces underneath the main level of a property. If a crawlspace is left unchecked, the consequences can leave you with even more to deal with than when the initial loss occurred. So why is it important that we inspect the crawlspace? And how do we mitigate crawlspace damage?

  • Not Ideal Drying Conditions

To start, it's important that a crawlspace is at least evaluated to determine whether or not mitigation is needed. Due to the natural state and low temperatures in crawlspaces, heavily affected materials will not dry out on their own. A drying chamber is recommended to ensure vital structural components are properly addressed.

  • Odor Control

In most affected crawlspaces, when the soil is heavily affected an odor can become present. If the soil is not turned over or mucked out (removed and disposed) the odor can persist long after everything inside the home is restored. 

  • What Restoration in a Crawlspace involves

When we mitigate damages to a property with a crawlspace, we ensure the scope of work includes every affected area. Our crawlspace team lays down an absorbent barrier to draw out as much moisture as possible. After which a contained drying chamber and drying machines are hauled into the affected area to dry out the subfloor and footings of the home. 

Do your property have a crawlspace? Contact us today to have a trained technician evaluate and survey the area for moisture or signs of damage. 562-916-7646

Causes of a Sewer Backup

1/15/2022 (Permalink)

Common Causes of Sewer Backups in Cerritos and Hawaiian Gardens

  • Tree Roots

Tree roots are the most common culprit our team has found when a sewage backup occurs.  If root systems are not stopped they begin to crack, wrap around and eventually completely break sewer lines. Per roto-rooter, signs that there are tree routes in your sewer line include slow flowing drains and gurgling noises. 

  • Clogged Drains

Clogged drains occur when foreign materials are flushed down toilets or substances not meant for the garbage disposal are put into it. When in doubt, it is best to throw it out into a garbage can. 

  • Old Sewer Lines

While sewer lines are usually crafted out of durable materials, extensive time can where down these systems and inevitably they can rust and crack. 

  • Faulty Routing 

Lastly, is when systems are routed incorrectly. Specifically, if rain gutters, downspouts and sump pumps are routed directly into your sewer line, this can cause a huge issue. Drain lines are not meant to handle heavy surges of water and can fail when overloaded.

For more information, consult local resources where you can find more requirements and guidance. In the event that you experience a sewer backup, you know who to call! The SERVPRO of Cerritos/Hawaiian Gardens team is ready to help 24/7 at 562-916-7646.