Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season
DID YOU KNOW?The Top Three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year's Day and Christmas EvePretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season, however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly. American Red Cross offers thefollowing safety tips:
- Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters radiators heat vents and candles.
- Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas Trees.
- Keep anything that can catch fire-pot holders/mitts, wooden utensils, paper bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains away from your stove top.
- Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and fire places are properly extinguished after the guests leave.
Are You Winter Weather Ready?
Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. from heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check property for downed tree limbs and branches.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your foundation. Clear gutters of debris, leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water damage problems.
- Inspect handrails and stairwells as well as entryways to address and correct potential slippery surfaces.
- 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 the cabinet. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucets to ensure it drains.
- Call SERVPRO about completing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business or downloading the READY Plan APP.
Be Prepared: Build a Kit
In our area we don't get hurricanes often, however we can get severe storms and being prepared is still important. One of the best ways to prepare for bad weather and emergencies is to have an emergency kit ready. Don't forget to check the kit every month to make sure items are still working or in code.
Build An Emergency Supply Kit:
- Water-1 gallon per person per day
- Food-non-perishable 3-day supply
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask or bandana
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
- Hygiene items
- Fire extinguisher
For more information on building a kit visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
The Science of Drying: Commercial Space
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. SERVPRO technicians are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards. This helps lower the chances of any secondary damages like mold growth.
Here are the steps we will take to ensure your water damage restoration is handled correctly and efficiently.
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help "speed up mother nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air-is drier. The only issue is that nature often takes too long and secondary damage such as mold may occur. SERVPRO has special equipment and tools to help dry hard wood floors, and hard to reach spaces inside walls. We use modern moisture monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process called DryBook to help speed the drying of your home or business. DryBook is a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process. It helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process. SERVPRO has the training, equipment and technology to help make your water damage disaster "Like it never even happened."
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Presidential Proclamation encourages citizens, government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other interested groups to join in activities to increase awareness of what Americans can do to prevent breast cancer. Visit the Breast Cancer Awareness Website for valuable information about Breast Cancer Awareness.
Does Your Home or Business Have a Mold Problem?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. SERVPRO has specialized mold removal equipment and trained technicians to get the job done right. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any source of water must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to mitigate your mold infestation.
Preparing For A Flood: Be Flood Smart
Flooding can happen fast. Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.
The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an emergency or evacuation due to flooding.
- Water-3+ day supply; one gallon per day per person
- Food-3+day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries (all sizes)
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (7 day supply) and medical items (hearing aids, glasses, contacts, syringes, canes)
- Multi-purpose tool, supplies to secure your home
- Personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication lists, deed/lease to home, insurance policies, birth certificates)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies, pet supplies
- Extra car and house keys
- Extra clothing for both warm, cold and rainy weather-sturdy footwear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
What To Do Before Help Arrives
A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.
- 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 linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during the winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don't attempt to wash walls, painted surfaces, furniture or carpets. Instead call SERVPRO.
- Do not attempt to clean electrical appliances before consulting authorized repair service.
- Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as it may be contaminated.
- Do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock.
- Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Preparedness For Pets Before, During and After Storms
Have you accounted for your four legged best friend when emergency planning?
Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them a part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well during an emergency.
Pet Emergency kit: https://www.ready.gov/animals is a great resource for a list of essentials needed in your Pet Emergency kit.
Food: At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
Water: At least three days of water specially for your pets.
Medicines and medical records.
Important Documents: Registration information, adoption papers, and vaccination documents. Talk to your Veterinarian about micro-chipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
First Aid Kit: Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment. Flea and Tick prevention, latex gloves, saline solution, isopropyl alcohol. Include a Pet Fist Aid reference book.
Collar or harness with ID tags, rabies tag and a leash.
Crate or pet carrier: Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
Sanitation: Pet litter and litter box if needed. Newspaper, paper towels, plastic trash bags and chlorine bleach.
A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex color and distinguishing characteristics.
Familiar items: Treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress.
Evacuations: While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If evacuation happens, don't leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured.
Be sure to take four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies.
source: Restoration Newsline Vol. 29 Issue 10
Fires Are Preventable
When it comes to your home or business property, there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent fires.
Electrical and Appliance Safety
- Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately ad do not run cords under rugs of furniture.
- If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never try to force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut-off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
Fireplace and Woodstoves
- Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions
- Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
- Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.