You Can Be Ruined or You Can Be Ready!
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO Eastern Rockland County as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to 22 years of experience in mold, water and fire cleanup. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the FREE SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building quickly following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes--resolve to Be READY. Call SERVPRO to establish your Emergency READY Profile, and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2017.
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Fire Damage Top Three DO's and Top Three Dont's
A basement fire caused this home in Rockland County to have major damage not only in the basement, but throughout the entire house. Follow these simple tips to help contain the 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 linins on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO.
- Attempt to clean electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water withour first consulting an authorized repair service.
- 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.
Remember: CALL 1(800) 497-7179 SERVPRO Eastern Rockland County
Halt Winter Heating Fire Hazards
Did you know? 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.
Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment., like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid free" zone around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container a safe distance away from your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
If your property does suffer fire damage in your home or business, contact SERVPRO to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Carbon Monoxide: A silent Cold-Weather Killer
Carbon Monoxide is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. According to ready.gov, an average of 430 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used, or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters and engine-powered equipment such as portable generators. There are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly CO fumes. Reduce CO fumes exposure in your home or workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well ventilated areas away from openings to prevent fumes from entering the home/building. Visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov for more info on CO safety.
Fire Escape Planning For Commercial Properties
Fire Escape Planning
Can You Do It in Under 2 Minutes?
An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, however, OSHA recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing a plan.
Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your com[any's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and will lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
*Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Is Your Property Ready for Winter?
Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious damage. While you cannot control weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather.
- Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Obstructions can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under cabinets, leave the doors open allowing warm air inside. If you have outdoor faucets, turn off the water at the main valve.
- Ask SERVPRO about completing an Emergency READY Profile for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment of your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
Worries of Winter Weather
Winter weather and temperatures falling below freezing can bring about home water damage issues such as frozen pipes and ice dams. These damages are costly to repair and in most instances can be prevented.
Frozen pipes are not only those exposed to the cold weather, such as outdoor pipes, but also pipes in cold areas like basements, attics, garages and kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your home if not properly and quickly fixed.
According to The American Red Cross here are some tips to prevent pipes from freezing:
- Drain water completely from swimming pool, sprinkler system and outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near plumbing.
- In extreme cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set at the same temperature day and night. The temperature should not be set below 55°f
Ice dams can cause major damage during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, (source Travelers.com) check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along ceiling of exterior walls in your home. These are indicators that ice dams have occurred and water has penetrated the roof membrane. Remove the ice dam quickly to prevent major water damage to your homes exterior and interior. Using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melt can be used to alleviate the ice dam problem.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO has trained professional technicians ready to restore your property.
Fireplace Safety Tips
Fireplace Safety Tips
Curling up in front of a warm fireplace is one of the many joys of the fall and winter seasons. Every type of fireplace, whether wood-burning, gas, or electric, poses a potential danger to children.
Use these tips to keep your family safe from fireplace dangers:
- If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning.
- Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.
- Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly,
- Smaller pieces of wood placed on a grate burn faster and produce less smoke.
- Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.
- The chimney should be checked annually by a professional. Even if the chimney is not due for cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.
- Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.). If these items get too close to the fireplace, they could catch fire.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you.
- Minimize your child’s chance of burns from the hot glass front of some fireplaces. Safety screens can be installed to reduce the risk of burns.
- Put fireplace tools and accessories out of a young child’s reach. Also, remove any lighters and matches.
- Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Communicate to children as early as possible the dangers of fires and the heat generated from them.
Be Flood Smart
Did You Know?
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you home or business is near a coastline, along a city street, in the mountains, near a river or even in a desert--there is always a potential for flood damage.
Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact the Professionals at SERVPRO, even minor floods can lead to major damage when not treated quickly and properly. Cleaning up after a disaster yourself is often an overwhelming task.
SERVPRO has the training and specialized equipment to dry hard to reach places such as between walls and hardwood floors. It's not only the equipment but the technology too. SERVPRO has developed DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying standards are being met. When you have a water damage disasters call the Professionals at SERVPRO to help make any disaster "Like it never even happened."
Quick Tips to avoid Freezing Pipes
With temps getting colder, here are some tips to avoid frozen pipes.
On the inside:
- If you will be away from home for days at a time, make sure that all of your pipes are kept warm, especially in spaces that receive little or no heat. Leave cabinet doors open to keep the pipes warm. If any pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures, open up one faucet with a very small drip to keep water moving through the pipes.
On The Outside:
- Protect your pipes as you would protect your plants. Cover up your outside faucets with foam or towels to insulate them. Especially if you plan to be away from home this winter, remember to leave your contact information with a neighbor. You might consider giving them a key to your home, too, and leaving your preferred plumber's contact information behind should an emergency occur.
If your pipes burst and your home has water damage call SERVPRO.