Help Prevent Fires During Winter Months
It’s going to get cold again here soon…
Besides using the fireplace to stay warm some people use alternative sources such as portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Heating equipment is the cause for many residential fires annually, causing deaths, injury and property damage. Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of a heating-related fire:
-Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment
-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions
-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
-Plug space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters
-Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business.
-Test alarms monthly
-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional
-Make sure fireplaces have a screen to help prevent sparks
-Make sure ashes are cool before putting them in a metal container
For more information on safety tips call your local fire department.
What to do until SERVPRO arrives!
If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives:
Shut off the source of the water.
Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.
What's the difference?
Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below!
What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?
Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flood Advisory: Be Aware! A Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/
Severe Weather Tips
Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions.
Check out www.redcross.org for more information!
Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:
1. Know your community’s warning system.
2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS
Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:
1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.
Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:
1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
2. Stay away from floodwaters.
3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
4. Keep children out of the water.
5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
Protect Your Property During an Ice Storm
Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can't control Mother Nature but you can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:
-Check for tree limbs and branches that might be at risk of falling.
-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.
-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.
-Test your gas lines for leaks.
-Inspect your property for proper drainage.
-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.
-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.
-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.
Do you have an ERP for your business? Call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler and speak with a Sales and Marketing Representative today!
In some cases, our mold jobs need to be referred to an industrial hygienist. If you are like me then you're asking "what exactly is that and what do they do?"
According to www.aiha.org , "Industrial Hygiene is a science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, prevention, and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace which may cause sickness, impaired health and well being, or significant discomfort among workers or among citizens of the community."
They describe Industrial hygienists as "scientists and engineers committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community."
The steps listed below illustrate our process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:
- Emergency Contact - (334) 287-1144
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
When there is water in your home, mold can quickly become an issue. It can cause health issues and damage to your property. SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem.
Call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. One of our employees will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Different containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler technicians use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
The process of mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it's on. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary.
SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.
Depending on the level of mold damage, some building materials may have to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs or major repairs such as reconstruction.
Does Your Home Have a Mold Problem?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. 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. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in 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 sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- 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 remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler 334-287-1144
- Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
- Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
- Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
- Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
- Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
- Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
- Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
- Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
- Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
- Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
- Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
- Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
- Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
- Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
- To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.