Thanksgiving Cooking Fire Safety
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.
--Never leave cooking food unattended–stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
--Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
--Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
--Keep anything flammable–pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
--Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. n Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
--Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.
--Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
--Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year. SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties wishes you a happy and safe holiday!
Fire Safety Reminder!
The wildfires in California have caused record breaking destruction for residents. Families are being evacuated from their homes at an alarming rate. Even if you might not live in an area where wildfires are prominent this doesn't mean you shouldn't be properly equipped. Fires can happen anywhere at anytime. A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Prevention Association suggests remembering the word PASS: Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. For more information on the different types of fire extinguishers and to ensure you have the proper one, visit nfpa.org.
Gearing Up For Winter
Winter storms have already been in full swing for the season and it technically isn't even "Winter" until December 21st! Are you prepared for the months ahead? According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars of property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015. Even scarier? Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year. It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness. Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95°F, seek medical attention immediately. To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
Water Damage Hides!
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals. Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls. Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals to monitor the drying process. Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized. Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers (pictured below) will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas. Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach. The bottom line? SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Deodorization is KEY For Your Business
Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems for your business for a VERY LONG TIME. As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your SERVPRO professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process. Call the Team in Green The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties TODAY. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. Inspection and Damage Assessment Your property will be carefully inspected 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. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress. Removing Mold The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. Contents and Belongings SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment. Restoration Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, sub-floors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home.
Hurricane Season Is HERE!
It may seem irrelevant to our area, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and also ends November 30. Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
What Is Your Businesses Air Quality?
The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the duct-work in your home 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 business. A routine part of your local SERVPRO service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO Professionals will inspect your HVAC system and duct-work and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and duct-work. In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO professional can often restore the HVAC system and duct-work to pre-damage condition. If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. n The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins. n 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 the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean. n As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns. n Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt. For more information on duct cleaning or to schedule an appointment, contact your SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties
Hoarding And Mold Damage
Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging. Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard. Unfortunately small water leaks or lack of air flow can easily cause mold damage in the home of a hoarder. This also makes it extremely difficult to be able to see mold damage until it is at a severe level. SERVPRO encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. SERVPRO will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by the SERVPRO Franchise, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin. Another way SERVPRO encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well. Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call your local SERVPRO.
Water Damage Is No Match For SERVPRO!
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, we will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing our extensive service plan. SERVPRO 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. SERVPRO will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage 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. SERVPRO will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you. SERVPRO will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walk-through of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.
- 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 and 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 or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.