Flood Awareness Safety Tips
SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County is Here To Help after your home or Business in the Eastern Rockland County area suffers any water damage from flooding waters. We have commercial grade equipment, highly trained technicians and cleaning products specially formulated to clean any disaster. Here are some safety tips for you to follow to stay safe and prevent major water damage if possible.
10 Actions to Take Before the Flood
- Learn the safest route from your home; or business should you have to leave in a hurry
- Develop and practice a "family escape" plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
- Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. (Keep the list in a safe place-not in your home)
- Stockpile emergency supplies of food, medicine, first aid supplies, and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean closed containers.
- Don't forget to plan for your pets.
- Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, flashlights in working order, and extra batteries.
- Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, service stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days.
- Find how many feet your property is above or below flood levels.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency weatherproofing.
- If flooding is likely and there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house. Disconnect electrical appliances that can't be moved....Never touch appliances if you are wet or there is standing water.
And don't forget to monitor NOAA Weather Radio, and TV Emergency Broadcast Stations. Visit ready.gov to learn more. To learn more about water damage https://www.SERVPROeasternrocklandcounty.com/water-damage-restoration
Understanding the Behavior of Smoke
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke.
There are two different types of smoke--wet and dry. As a result, there are different typed of soot residue after a fire. SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County technicians are trained in fire cleanup and restoration, and know the different types of smoke and its behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, the technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on your precious items.
Smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps us to investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.
- 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
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 dries.
Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County technicians can, in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly.
Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.
Our technicians have the training and equipment necessary to handle even the toughest losses. And make any smoke disaster "Like it never even happened." To Learn more read our fire brochure
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death. This Eastern Rockland County home had a fire in their laundry room. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.
When Water Damage Strikes Your Northwest Bergen County Home
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage to your home or business. To help ensure a water damage is handled correctly complete the following steps:
Call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County
Inspection: SERVPRO Technicians will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
Emergency Service: Technicians will take steps to help protect your home of business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damages by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step by step.
Monitoring: To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a technician will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently be communicated to you.
Restoration Services: Are available upon request. We will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you.
Emergency Water Damage Tips:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.
- Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don't enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don't use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water *this could cause electrical shock and/or damage to the vacuum.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County offers 24 hours, 7 days a week emergency service, we can help you navigate the difficulties of a water damage disaster.
Understanding Water Types
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water.
- Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.
- The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.
- Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off the circuit breakers for wet areas of the building is access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electric shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move moisture sensitive items like paintings, documents, and computers to a safe dry place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your house hold vacuum to remove water as there is potential for electric shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water:
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated area.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
When you have a water damage disaster, don't leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO we are your remediation and restoration experts.
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.
Build an Emergency Kit
Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. https://www.ready.gov/ suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit.
- 3-day Supply of non-perishable food
- Water-One gallon per person per day
- First-aid kit
- Prescription Medication
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Fire Extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra Batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in weatherproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant supplies
- Important documents in weatherproof container (insurance documents, bank records, IDs)
You can also keep a condensed Emergency Kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive kit go to ready.gov/
A Business Plan For Fire Emergencies
An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses; however the Occupational Safety and Health Admin. (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business. OSHA suggests the following when creating your plan:
Organize a Preparedness Procedure review with employees to review your company's emergency plan. You may want to select an individual or team 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. At all times ensure all routes are clearly marked, well lit, unobstructed, and wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once conducted, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training is needed.
Every second counts during a fire, help your employees and business by being prepared by having a plan in place. Call SERVPRO to help with restoring your business after the disaster. Read about our commercial restoration services https://www.SERVPROeasternrocklandcounty.com/commercial-fire-damage
Smoke Alrams: LIFE SAVERS
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.
Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarms unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half the fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).
In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).
If you need help installing, testing, or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.
Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency escape plan in place and conduct regular drills to ensure proper execution of the plan. The NFPA website is a good resource for information.
Do You Have Mold?
No matter how big or small the mold problem may be, SERVPRO is your remediation and cleanup team. Mold can be a serious issue and should be handled by professionally trained remediation experts.
If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
Every mold damage scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process is the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:
- Call SERVPRO
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
SERVPRO can make it "Like it never even happened."