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Fire Preparedness

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

PLAN AND GET READY

A Fire in a home or business is one of the most common disasters. Fires cause more deaths than any other type of disaster. But fire doesn't have to be deadly if you have early warning from a smoke detector and everyone in your family knows how to escape calmly. Please be serious about the responsibility for planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire.  Be prepared by having various household members do each of the items on the checklist below. Then get together to discuss and finalize your personalized Fire Plan.  Install smoke detectors outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your residence. Keep new batteries on hand.

New smoke detectors installed

Batteries purchased

Test smoke detectors once a month

Start a chart and sign it after each round of tests.

Family member/ Employee checks smoke detectors.

Look at the fire extinguisher you have to ensure it is properly charged. Use the gauge or test button to check proper pressure. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded replace it or have it professionally serviced.

Get training from the fire department in how to use the fire extinguisher.

Family member/Employee examines extinguisher.

F
amily member/Employee have been trained to use the extinguisher.

Draw a floor plan of your home; mark two fire escape routes for each room.

Pick a safe outside place to meet after escaping from a fire.

Find a Meeting place 

Practice a low-crawl escape from your bedroom. Try it with your eyes closed to see how well you could do in thick smoke.

MAKE YOUR HOME FIRE SAFE

  • Smoke detectors save lives. Install a battery-powered smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
  • Use the test button to check each smoke detector once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Get training from the fire department in how to use it. Also include in the kit written instructions on how to turn off utilities at your house.
  • Conduct periodic fire drills, so everyone remembers what to do when there is a fire.

PLAN YOUR ESCAPE ROUTES

  • Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it.
  • Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year. Once you are out, stay out!

ESCAPE SAFELY

  • If you see smoke in your first escape route, use your second way out.
  • If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to escape.
  • If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is hot, use your second way out.
  • If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the widow.
  •  If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are

Source: Quake Kare ER

Storm Preparedness and Safety

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

8 THINGS TO KEEP IN YOUR STORM SHELTER

Severe storms can happen anytime anywhere make sure you're prepared!

1. TAKE BOTTLED WATER AND CRACKERS 

If you DO get stranded in your safe room or basement, you’ll need plenty of water to get you through. The human body can survive much longer without food, but you need to have water handy.

2. PUT A LEASH ON YOUR PET 

Take your pets WITH you to your shelter, and put them on a leash.  In the very least, take the leash (or have an extra) in your safe room.

3. HAVE A FIRST AID KIT 

Just in case, you’ll want to have a first-aid kit handy.

4. FLASHLIGHT

Take a flashlight! Your power may go out.  Have a flash light handy.

5. PHONE CHARGER

Charge your phone prior to a storm watch, you’ll know its coming. If possible, take a phone charger or charged up portable power bank with you to your safe room.  If you’ll be in the safe room for any length of time, it will come in handy.

Original Article:Heart Hook Home Apr 26

Water Damage Stages

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Stage 1

The free-flow of water by gravity. Gravity will level out the available water and cause it to find cracks in the floor, plumbing penetrations and many other openings. This affects the floors below as well as other adjacent spaces. Quick action at earlier stages of water damage will reduce the costs and resulting cleanup. On the other hand, delaying action increases both exponentially.

Stage 2

The wicking of moisture into materials that are in direct contact with water. Damage continues to increase as long as free-water touches gypsum board, wood floors, furniture and documents due to the tendency of materials to draw in moisture through capillary action. This damage is mitigated by quick and thorough water-extraction, as it will remove the free-water and stop the wicking. Effective action at this stage will drastically reduce the time and effort to dry out the wet building materials.

Stage 3

High humidity damage. This occurs when the moisture on and in the wet materials begins to evaporate, saturating the surrounding air. Previously unaffected materials now take on moisture. Early signs of high humidity damage include condensation forming on walls, ceiling tiles sagging from high moisture content and paper stock taking on moisture to the point it cannot be used for copying.

This damage is mitigated by controlling the relative humidity inside the building through the use of high-capacity dehumidifiers. Quick action at this stage will keep the moisture content of the building material and contents below the threshold at which they will support microbial growth.

Stage 4

Active microbial growth. This begins when materials have taken on sufficient moisture to be able to support mold and mildew. The threshold for most cellulose-based material (i.e., wood, documents and the paper covering on gypsum board) is when their moisture content exceeds 20 to 25 percent of their weight.

Reducing this damage is accomplished by controlling three key conditions of the building’s air: relative humidity, temperature and air circulation. Controlling these will create an environment that will rapidly dry the materials back to their preloss moisture content. Effective action at this point will generally confine the damage to the area that was directly affected by the water damage event.

Stage 5

The spread of microbial to other, originally unaffected areas of the building. The spread of microbial (i.e., mold, mildew, odors and other pathogens) may eventually occur due to unchecked microbial growth in the affected area, the movement of people throughout the building, air circulation systems and/or elevator movement from floor-to-floor. If this stage of water damage occurs, a comprehensive plan must be put together involving various indoor air quality professionals and contractors.

For all your water damage needs contact SERVPRO 24 hours a Day & Days a Week. 

Original Article; DH Tech Five Stages of Water Damage

Mold Basics

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

TYPES OF MOLD

Mold is a fungus, and it grows virtually everywhere on Earth. Lately, mold has become a hot topic because of increasing awareness about its potential health hazards. People aren’t exactly sure how many mold species there are, but estimates range anywhere between tens of thousands to over a few hundred thousand. Some of these different types aren’t dangerous to human health, while others lead to chronic and severe health conditions.

When addressing any mold growth in your home, it’s important to understand which type of mold you’re dealing with. Each one has its own characteristics, growth patterns and health effects to be aware of. It’s also necessary to be aware of the common places to find mold in your house so you can prevent the spread of these harmful and toxic substances. Check places like bathrooms, basements, roofs and window seals for harmful mold growth.

Harmful molds can be any of the following classifications:

  • Allergenic: Molds that cause and produce allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks.
  • Pathogenic: Molds that cause health problems in those suffering from an acute illness.
  • Toxigenic: Molds that produce toxic substances that can lead to dangerous or even deadly health conditions. This is sometimes referred to as “toxic mold".

Original Article: AER Industries Mar 28 2017

Why Choose SERVPRO to Clean Food Service Building

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Time and Safety Are Our Top Priorities When Cleaning and Restoring Restaurant, Kitchen and Food Service Facilities

Time is of the essence when disaster strikes your restaurant or manufacturing facility, but so is safety. Our professionals have been trained to be mindful of regulations and potential hazards while maintaining efficiency as they restore your business. You can trust Team SERVPRO to be mindful of your time and budget, as well as the safety of you and your patrons. 

Types of Facilities:

  • Food Manufacturing Facilities
  • Food Distribution Centers
  • Fast Food Restuarants
  • Senior Living Facility Kitchens
  • Educational Cafeterias

Our professionals are available 24-7/365 to help remediate any damage, regardless of the cause, scale of the loss, or the size of your facility. 

Trust Us to Adhere to Health Regulations When Cleaning and Restoring Your Food Services Facility

From large distribution centers to small mom-and-pop restaurants, SERVPRO professionals are trained to be mindful of the complicated health codes, food safety regulations, and environmental concerns when restoring your business. We’ll work to ensure that all surfaces are restored and sanitized to legal specifications, so that you can get back to business and your patrons can get back to enjoying good food.

Our Experience Includes:

  • Total Project Management 
  • Facilities Cleaning and Restoration
  • Flooding and Water Damage Cleanup
  • Restuarant Cleaning
  • Restuarant Kitchen Cleaning
  • Restaurant hood Cleaning
  • Odor Removal
  • Mold Removal 
  • Biohazard Remediation
  • Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
  • Smoke and Soot Cleanup
  • Document and Records Recovery
  • Electronics/Equipment Restoration

Mold Removal Vs. Remediation

7/7/2019 (Permalink)

Understanding mold is the first step in preventing it from causing serious concerns in your home. SERVPRO is here to educate you so you can keep your family safe and healthy. 

Remediation Vs. Removal What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.

    • Step 1: Emergency Contact 1-800-SERVPRO
    • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
    • Step 3: Mold Containment
    • Step 4: Air Filtration
    • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
    • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings

The First 24 hours after a flood

7/7/2019 (Permalink)

A Flooded home/business is serious business. What you do in the first 24 hours after contacting SERVPRO of course will determine the amount of damage to your property. 

Avoid Additional Risks:

If the flood was serious enough for you to leave your home, be sure you stay safe upon your return. FEMA warns that you should check for any structural damage before entering the home and contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, and sewer lines.it's important to have a working flashlight and turn off all water and electrical sources within the home, says Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Disaster Preparedness." Even if the power isn't operational, it's a good idea to go to your fuse box and turn off the main, plus all of the individual fuse connections. That way, if the power is reactivated, you're not at risk for mixing standing water and electricity.

What to Do in the First 24 Hours After a Flood
After flood waters subside, document, work with your insurer, and clean up safely.

 

Whether a flood is caused by ground water, falling water, or home water system malfunction, there are some best practices you'll need to employ within the first 24 hours after the flood to ensure the safety of your home and family and give you the best outcome possible with your insurance company.

Avoid Additional Risks

If the flood was serious enough for you to leave your home, be sure you stay safe upon your return. The Federal Emergency Management Agency warns that you should check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes before entering the home and contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, and sewer lines.  

In addition, it's important to have a working flashlight and turn off all water and electrical sources within the home, says Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Disaster Preparedness." Even if the power isn't operational, it's a good idea to go to your fuse box and turn off the main, plus all of the individual fuse connections. That way, if the power is reactivated, you're not at risk for mixing standing water and electricity.

Before you remove any water or make any repairs, fully document the damage for your insurer by taking photos or video. Digital versions are best, says Ramirez, because they can be stored electronically and easily copied. If you start removing water or making repairs before you photograph the damage, you could potentially decrease the extent of your coverage, he says.

Protect Your Health

Even if the water in your home is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Ramirez recommends wearing waders, hip- or waist-high waterproof boots. In addition, wear rubber gloves to remove water-damaged possessions and to avoid contaminants. 

Of course there are several other precautions and steps to take but these few are imperative in ensuring your home and family do not suffer from the great damage a flood can cause. 

These steps were found at: https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/what-do-first-24-hours-after-flood/

When to Hire Professionls for a Cleaning Job

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

WHEN TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

  • Lack of Time. Managing a business alone can be time consuming let alone finding the time to deep clean your space. Leaving it to the professionals to take care of it for you can be one of the best investments you make 
  • Long Time, No Clean. Trying to take on the task of cleaning a spot in your place of business that hasn't been cleaned in a while can be a major hassle. The professionals at SERVPRO are equipped to handle even the toughest messes 
  • Upcoming Event. First impressions are everything. When hosting a special event at your business having your whole place scrubbed from top to bottom will offer you peace of mind and your guests an experience they'll enjoy.
  • Specialized Procedure. Some cleaning Jobs are simply too much to handle on your own. Getting the proper supplies to complete the job could also be costly. Hiring professionals could end up being the more time and cost effective option. 

Keeping Mold Out of Your Home

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can pose a huge hazard for everyone living in your home. it's important that preventative measures are taken to ensure safety for you Family. 

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. You can't completely 'mold proof' your home but you can look for problem areas that could be hot beds for mold spore production such as a place where a leak is occurring, a basement that has flooded or a window with condensation. Consider installing a dehumidifier or looking into hiring professionals should heavy lifting be required.  

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture. Therefore even so much as a spill on a carpet should be dried up as quickly as possible. If you experience a flood remove all damaged carpeting, bedding furniture and other items then promptly call the professionals at SERVPRO.

Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Daily activities such as showering, doing laundry and cooking could be encouraging mold growth. To prevent this ensure you have proper ventilation through out your house. After showering leave the bathroom door opened until the moisture is dried up, never leave wet clothing in the washing machine for too long and have a goof HVAC system and dehumidifier installed.   

Fact Vs Fiction: Fire Sprinkler Systems

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fire safety in your business is imperative. One of the best and tried and true ways of putting small fires out is the installation of a sprinkler system However, many myths about them still exist. 

This was taken from an article on Tufts public and Environmental safety

"Myth:“Water damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage.”

Fact:Water damage from a building sprinkler system will be much less severe than the damage caused by water from fire fighting hose lines or smoke and fire damage if the fire is allowed to spread. Quick response sprinklers release 8-24 gallons of water per minute compared to 80-125 gallons per minute discharged by a fire hose.

Myth:“When a fire occurs, every sprinkler head goes off.”

Fact:Sprinkler heads are individually activated by fire temperatures in excess of 155°. Residential fires are usually controlled with one sprinkler head. 90% of all fires are controlled with six or fewer heads and a study conducted during 80 years of automatic sprinkler use found that 82% of the fires that have occurred were controlled by two or fewer sprinkler heads.

Myth:“A smoke detector provides enough protection.”

Fact:Smoke detectors save lives by providing an early warning to a smoke or fire incident, but can do nothing to extinguish a growing fire or protect those physically unable to escape on their own, such as the elderly or small children. Too often, battery operated smoke detectors fail to function because the batteries are dead or have been removed. As the percent of homes in America that were “protected” with smoke detectors increased from zero to more than 70%, the number of fire deaths in homes did not significantly decrease.

Myth:“Sprinklers are designed to protect property, but are not effective for life safety.”

Fact:Sprinklers provide a high level of life safety. Statistics reveal that there has never been any multiple loss of life in a fully sprinklered building. Property losses are 85% less in residences with fire sprinklers compared to those without sprinklers. The combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in all buildings could reduce overall injuries, loss of life and property damage by at least 50%."