Extreme Heat Safety Tips
Now that summer time is here, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat. Heat affects all people, but mainly the young, elderly and sick. There are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outdoors, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting and fainting. (according to the Center for Disease Control) Heat Exhaustion can lead to Heat Stroke which is life threatening. Signs of Heat Stroke are a high body temperature (103 Degrees or more) rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has Heat Stroke, call 911, and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce the body temperature with cool wet clothes or a bath. Do not give a person with Heat Stroke fluids- treat the situation as a serious medical emergency. For more info visit ready.gov Extreme Heat Tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly, insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outdoors.
- Weather strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers.
- Keep storm windows up all year.
Mold Growth on Wall
6/12/2018 - Future Scheduled Date
From the Ordinary
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing baked goods and other food products. The unique flavor of Blue Cheese is a result of mold, and edible mushrooms are a type of fungi. Lifesaving penicillin is also a product of mold (Penicillin-chrysogenum).
Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms of mold can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to mold may present health concerns for some people.
To The Unhealthy
Water intrusion events such as storm damage, plumbing leaks or equipment failures, and poor humidity control, in your home or business can result in mold growth. When these water intrusions are not addressed quickly the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. However, if the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply into mold colonies. Organic materials found inside a building, such as paper, fabric, drywall, wood, and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.
Health Concerns may arise with excessive mold growth indoors. These concerns will likely arise for people that are considered "at risk", which might include immune suppressed or compromised individuals, young children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with allergies or asthma. However, anyone can experience problems associated with exposure to mold. Possible health effects include: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma, sore throat or inflammation of the sinuses.
If there is an ongoing moisture problems in the building/home it is important to be alert for signs of mold growth:
- Presence of visible mold
- Strong musty odors
- Evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold
- Excessive humidity
Help is Here
Sometimes a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional will be required to inspect and test the building for mold growth and provide reports on the type of mold present. After, the reports are done our SERVPRO Technicians can start the mold mitigation process.
Fire Safety Tips
Fire Escape Plan
Follow these Fire Safety and Prevention Tips
Fire prevention should be your first concern. The next best thing is to make sure everyone in the household knows what to do if there is a fire in the home.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them monthly.
- Know two ways out of every room in your home.
- Create a home fire escape plan, practice it at least twice a year.
- Identify a meeting place outside your home for your family or anyone who lives in the home.
- Don't Wait, Check the Date-Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Store matches and Lighters safely, mainly out of the reach of children. Also, make sure you store them in locations where combustion or exposure to flames might be an issue.
- Practice proper cooking safety. Don't leave cooking food unattended, have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, keep children and pets away from the kitchen while cooking.
- Be careful with all open flames, never leave them unattended.
- Generators should always be used outside the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when a generator is not working or vented properly.
The key is to reduce risks by practicing fire safety in your home, while there are no guarantees taking these steps will help prevent fires and keep your family safe
When there's a water intrusion event like a leaky roof or leaky water line, mold can quickly become a problem in you home or business. Mold can cause health issues and can also cause significant damage to your property. Our Technicians have the training,protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle any size mold problems at your property. Although every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, the general mitigation process remains the same, the following is a typical mold removal process.
Call SERVPRO A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed. An independent Air Quality/Environmental Professional may be needed to do the initial mold testing.
Inspection and Damage Assessment Your property will be carefully inspected by SERVPRO for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Mold Containment Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Air Filtration Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. We have powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
Removing Mold and Mold Infested Materials The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents and Belongings Restorable items such as furniture, decorative items, and curtains affected by mold can be cleaned. We use a variety of cleaning methods and techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. Technicians are trained to remove odors with specialized fogging equipment.
Restoration Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs or major reconstruction.
Our Professional Technicians have the training and equipment to mitigate mold in your home or business.
When Water Damage Strikes
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:
SERVPRO Technicians will:
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. Watch for a possible Ceiling collapse.
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/
You Can Be Ruined or You Can Be Ready!
With the Help of Technology
Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters. The following are tips to help you be ready and use technology in the event of an emergency disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store information securely online. Services like Google Drive, and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records and information on your pets if neccessary.
Follow the News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well Chick-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in the affected area at that time.
Get in Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts and others whom you may need to contact before, during and after a disaster. SERVPRO has the READY Plan APP, download the APP and be READY for any fire, water or mold disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.
Get an Emergency READY Profile
SERVPRO offers an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for free to help you prepare you, your property or your business for an emergency. By having an ERP done in advance you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely and cost effective mitigation. Call our office for more information regarding your ERP Profile for your property or business.
source: Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Issue 2
Halt Winter Heating Fire Harzards
Fire, Soot, and Smoke damage cleanup
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.
Worries of Winter Weahter
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.