Be Prepared for a Fire!
House fires come when you are least expecting it and can spread quickly throughout your home with little time to escape.
House fires come when you are least expecting it and can spread quickly throughout your home with little time to escape. That is why it is important to create a fire safety plan for you and your loved ones.
The National Fire Protection Association has very useful tips to help you be prepared if you have a house fire.
Escape Planning Tips:
- Get everyone in your household together to make a plan. Inspect all possible exits and escape routes in your home. If you have children, consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, and mark the locations of smoke alarms.
- Install smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside of each bedroom, and on every level of your house.
- When walking through your plan, check to make sure your escape routes are clear, and doors and windows can open easily.
- Choose an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from your home.
- Make sure your street number is clearly visible from the road. If it is not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to make sure that emergency responder can find your house.
- Have everyone in your household memorize the fire departments phone number.
- If you have infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations in your household, make sure that someone is assigned to help them in a drill and the event of an emergency.
- Inform visitors about your fire plan.
- Be prepared for a real fire, once you hear smoke alarms, get out immediately.
- Once you are out of the house, DO NOT go back in.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. It is also important to be prepared in an event of a fire. For more information on how to create your fire plan, visit nfpa.org!
Have you ever plugged in too many devices into one outlet at once?
Have you ever plugged in too many devices into one outlet at once? Everything seemed fined and all of a sudden, the power goes off. You more than likely created a circuit overload in your home.
All electrical circuits are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. When you bring in more electricity than a circuit can handle, a circuit overload will occur, potentially causing a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical fires are one of the leading causes of structure fire annually. Which is accounted for nearly 13% of reported home fires and results in 420 fatalities, 1,520 injuries and nearly $1.5 billion in property damage.
How can you prevent a potential house fire by an overloaded circuit? Follow the tips below:
- Never plug more than two devices into an outlet at once.
- Know the amount of power you are putting on an outlet or circuit.
- Large appliances like refrigerators and dryers should be plugged into their own outlet since they are heavy power users.
- If you see that you have been overloading an outlet or circuit in your home, you should consider contacting a professional to help resolve the problem.
If an electrical fire does occur, we are always here to help 24/7. We specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive fire damage cleanup and restoration training to get your property back to pre-fire condition.
For more information about how to prevent electrical fires in your home, visit nfpa.org.
Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business.
Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There is never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
Time is Money
As a leader in water damage restoration, we know fast mitigation is the key to limiting business interruption. With an unmatched national footprint of over 1,800 franchises, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team can provide trained crews faster to any size disaster and can be on-site within a few hours to help reduce the future damage that water can cause. We have the right equipment, procedures, and training to help ensure the structure is dry the first time, saving you time and money.
Specific Tasks to Include:
- Containment of damaged area to reduce in-flow of water.
- Shrink-wrapping of structures to control inflow of mixture.
- Water Extraction – to remove excess water from a structure.
- Moisture Mapping – to determine impacted areas of a structure.
- Selective Demolition – to remove wet building materials that cannot be economically dried in place.
- Containment – to assure potential contaminants do not spread.
- Evaporation Enhancement – to remove moisture content from building materials.
- Dehumidification – to remove excess water vapor from the structures’ environments.
- Temperature Control – to assist in dehumidification and to prevent the onset of mold growth.
- Post-Drying Cleaning – to remove any potential contaminants from dried building materials.
When disaster strikes, so do we! Our team members live locally and are available 24/7 to respond to your call.
Preparing Your Summer Home for Cooler Weather
Now that summer is sadly coming to an end, it is time to start preparing your vacation home for cooler weather.
Now that summer is sadly coming to an end, it is time to start preparing your vacation home for cooler weather.
As you are packing the car and getting ready to head out, do a quick inspection of your home to ensure you are ready to leave. Turn off the water main, and drain the existing water from sinks, toilets, and outdoor spigots. Once the water main is switched off, turn on faucets, spigots, and flush toilets until water no longer flows out.
- Pipes under every sink.
- Water heater.
- Seals around windows (in case it rains).
- Appliance hoses: washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker.
- Sump pump. Dump a bucket of water into the sump pump to ensure it is working. Make sure to listen to its motor running as well.
- Toilet tanks. Look for cracks that may worsen and leak while you are gone.
Give a set of keys to a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor and have them check on your home periodically while you are gone. The number of times they should check in depends on the length of your trip, but it should be at least twice a week. Once water damage occurs, letting it stagnate for days at a time can multiply the cleanup costs tremendously. Show your house sitter all bathrooms, where the water main is, and other areas at risk of water damage. Leaving a check list for them will make sure they do not miss any subtle leaks or moisture.
Leave heating and cooling systems running as normal, these allow air flow through your home and prevent humidity from building up. They also will keep pipes from freezing if there is a sudden temperature drop one night, which is more of a risk during the fall and winter months than in summer.
If you happen to have any type of water damage during your time away, we are always here to help! We are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back. We quickly extract the water and then dry your property using state-of-the-art equipment.
Make a Plan Today!
Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.
It is never too early to start a plan. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find.
Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
- Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update my emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
- Get cloth face coverings (for everyone over 2 years old), disinfectants, and check my sheltering plan.
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
- Different ages of members within your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Locations frequented
- Dietary needs
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- Languages spoken
- Cultural and religious considerations
- Pets or service animals
- Households with school-aged children
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own.
Emergency Plan for Parents (PDF)
For more information on how to make a plan for you and your family, visit ready.gov/plan.
Learn About Duct Cleaning
Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.
Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.
Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, we use a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the ducts’ shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming beings.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
We Can Help:
- Remediate Bacteria, Fungi, and Mold
- Reduce Potential for Mold Growth
- Restore Peak Energy Efficiency
- Eliminate Odors
- Provide Free Written Inspections and Estimates
Commercial Building Fire? We Can Help!
We understand that using professional equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense.
The Right Equipment
We understand that using professional equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. We will answer your call with fast reaction, exceptional equipment, and trained, uniformed personnel. Certainly, the right tool for the job is vital to timely mitigation and restoration, but perhaps more important, our fire damage professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are viral to proper restoration.
- Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
- Dry Smoke – Paper and Woods; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, no smeary residues.
- Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs.
- Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.
Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items. Isn’t that what really matters?
- Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. The device can also be used to apply fungicides and disinfectants.
- Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair with and neutralize odor-causing particles.
Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration Services
- Structural Cleaning – After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. We will pretest to determine the extent of products required to clean and protect the different types of soot, we may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing. In other cases, we will clean to “prepare for painting.” This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface.
- Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. We will begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. We can provide wet or dry-cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and must more. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items if requested.
- Deodorization – We provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Our team does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
You have so much invested in your property. Trust professionals to protect your most valuable asset!
Do Your Due Diligence to Find a Storm Restoration Company
When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on SERVPRO to handle it.
Following a thunderstorm or other bout of severe weather, discovering that your home has sustained damage can be a difficult thing to process. The severity and cost of storm damage rises with each passing year, so having a plan in place before it happens to you is what we always recommend being prepared.
As you plan ahead for what will happen after storm damage, picking the right company for restoration is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Knowing you are in good hands will take much of the stress out of the situation, so you can rest assured that your damage will be fully handled by restoration experts.
Plan Ahead by Picking a Storm Restoration Company
Be sure the company is legitimate. Because storms can cause severe and sudden damage, there will be many people wanting restoration as soon as possible—and many scammers that try to take advantage of this. On any company you are looking into, check out their past reviews from others in the community and research how well-regarded they are in the reputation industry as a whole to make sure they are legitimate.
Check on how they will handle periods of heightened demand. After severe weather, there will likely be many people who are seeking damage restoration, which can cause an overwhelming spike in demand. For us, however, these spikes are no issue—with our national SERVPRO® partnership, we can help everyone who needs us and call for backup to ensure our service is always exceptional.
Determine their emergency planning protocol. There is no convenient time to receive damage to your property, but if you can’t get in touch with your restoration company when it happens, it can be extremely frustrating. That is why we make it simple to get in touch with us 24 hours a day. You can call us the moment you discover damage, no matter when that is, to receive a quick response.
When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on SERVPRO to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.
Learn About Derechos
Treat a derecho like a tornado and follow the same safety procedures.
What is a Derecho?
With hot and humid weather conditions that come with summer also comes a threat of a rare severe thunderstorm called a derecho. You may be familiar with this type of storm now after the events that happened in Iowa. According to the National Geographic, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms. Derechos produce walls of strong wind that run throughout the landscape, causing hundreds of miles of damage.
For a band of severe storms to be classified as a derecho, it must travel 240 miles and move at a speed of at least 58 miles per hour. The Midwest Derecho swept across South Dakota to Ohio, traveling 770 miles in nearly 14 hours and knocking out power for over a million people. Unlike tornadoes and hurricanes, the winds from a derecho follow straight lines. In fact, the term “derecho” means straight in Spanish.
How Derechos Form
Derechos winds can be as strong as winds found in hurricanes and tornadoes. So, how do these strong winds form? It is created by a downburst. SciJinks stated that when the wet air in a thunderstorm meets the drier air surrounding it, the water in the air evaporates. When water evaporates, it cools the air around it. Since the cool air is denser, it rapidly sinks to the ground and creates strong winds.
The downburst can suck more dry air into the storm, making stronger downbursts. Derechos happen when the right conditions for downbursts occur over a wide-ranging area.
Where Derechos Happen
Derechos are most common in the Midwestern United States but are quite rare. There is an average of 1 to 2 derechos a year. These storms most commonly occur in late spring and summer.
A derecho can be just as destructive as a tornado, but destructive in a different way. According to the National Geographic, downburst clusters of wind caused by derechos can range from four to six miles long, containing smaller pockets of extreme wind called microbursts and burst swaths. The latter are only about 150 to 450 feet long, but they are severe and concentrated like the winds of a tornado and can exceed 100 miles an hour.
What to Do
Treat a derecho like a tornado and follow the same safety procedures. The best thing to do in the event of a derecho is to go someplace safe and protected—high winds and falling trees can be quite dangerous.
The Importance of Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms save lives every day.
Smoke alarms save lives every day. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a crucial role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Here at SERVPRO, we want to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Here is what you need to know
- A closed-door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. If the alarm still does not work replace the batteries, and if it still doesn’t work replace it.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Don’t wait
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years whether they are still working or not.
Facts about smoke alarms
- Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional escape time. In 2012-2016, smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74%) and sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (40%) or no smoke alarms that were working (17%).
- The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms (12.3 deaths per 1,000 fires), either because no smoke alarm was present or an alarm was present but did not operate), as it was in homes with working smoke alarms (5.7 per 1,000 fires).
- In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than two of every five (43%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
- Dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of the smoke alarm failures.
For more information on smoke alarms and other fire protection related information visit the website for the National Fire Protection Association.