Safety Tips When Preventing House Fires
Insurance coverage is very important in protecting your home and belongings.
Know what you own- document everything in a video. Educate yourself on the policy you are buying and choose your agent based on your needs.
We also want you to consider the five most common causes of house fires:
- Cooking equipment
- Heating equipment
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment
- Intentional fires
- Smoking materials
In this blog post we will explain how you can reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home.
- Cooking equipment.
- Be alert when cooking and don’t leave food unattended
- DO NOT throw water on a grease fire- put a lid on the pan or powdery material such as baking soda to smother the fire
- If an oven fire flares up, turn the oven off and leave the door shut until the fire extinguishes itself
- Keep clothing, pot holders, paper towels and other flammable items away from fires
- Keep working smoke detectors in the house, and have a fire extinguisher nearby just in case
- Heating equipment.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater
- Maintain a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters
- Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes; keep children and pets away from space heaters
- Make sure your fireplace is properly cleaned and checked before the cold weather season starts.
- Keep the fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs
- Make sure wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and furnaces are professionally inspected and cleaned once a year
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight, or when not at home
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring
- Intentional fires.
- Consider what could burn
- Remove overgrown vegetation
- Remove abandoned cars
- Secure vacant homes
- Watch for kids
- Get to know your neighborhood
- Report suspicious activity
- Work with your community
- Watch local businesses
- Organize a watch program
- Install and test smoke alarms
- Call 911
- Smoking materials.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen
- This one might be obvious, but nonetheless, don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired, or around medical oxygen
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
You can follow every piece of advice above, and the chances are positive that you’ll avoid any type of fire in your home. However, even though the risk is greatly reduced, accidents still happen.
The bottom line is that you need to make sure you have enough coverage in the event of a major loss.
Commercial Building Restoration Services
When fires or water damage happen, they may occur at your office or business. Who do you call? Knowing the right company to help in an emergency is important to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
Available 24/7 to help you restore your commercial property and get you back to business. We have the expertise, equipment, and highly trained personnel to handle your commercial water, fire, or mold damage. We can also access the resources of our national network of 1,650 Franchises to handle large commercial projects and major storm events.
What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage
What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home
Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire. The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can use the assistance of a professional cleanup/restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go up in smoke, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas.
Small Fires can Pose High Risks
While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of Seattle home and business fire damage. It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the pan and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water.
With electrical fires the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug, without the cord, still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard.
After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage
When there's been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation.
Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts conduct the repairs needed can expedite insurance claims being resolved, as well.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
We have highly trained and skilled professionals who are experienced in all sizes of fire damage clean up and restoration. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help clean up and repair fire damage, no matter how large or small.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?
customers home affected by microbial growth after a slow leak occurred.
Homeowners insurance does not usually cover mold damages. Although, there are instances when mold is covered. These instances are generally when the cause of mold is due to an incident that homeowners insurance does cover. For example, if mold has grown due to accidental and sudden pipe burst or if a recent fire has caused mold, your homeowners insurance will likely cover the mold damages. On the contrary, if mold has grown due to improper maintenance practices, such as on-going humidity exposure or a continuous leak, homeowners insurance will not likely cover the damages.
If you believe you may have a mold issue give us a call today to have one of our experienced technicians come out and access your concerns!! (972)335-9900
Lightning Safety Tips
1. Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. Lightning can travel 5-10 miles away from the thunderstorm and strike the ground with blue sky overhead. The storm doesn’t have to be overhead in order for you to be struck.
2. Move to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Do not take shelter in a small shed, under isolated trees, or in a convertible-top vehicle. Stay away from tall objects such as trees or towers or poles.
3. If in your vehicle when lightning strikes – don’t touch a metal surface. You are safer in a vehicle than being outdoors.
4. Remember that utility lines or pipes can carry the electrical current underground or through a building. Avoid electrical appliances, and use telephones or computers only in an emergency.
5. If you feel your hair standing on end – get down into a baseball catcher’s position and plug your ears with your finger tips so if lightning does hit it will not blow your ear drums out. Do not lie flat!
6. 30/30 rule – if the time between lighting and thunder is 30 seconds or less, go to a safe shelter. Stay there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder
Fire Extinguisher Safety
Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out.
In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 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.
It is always a good idea to show EVERYONE in your household how to use a fire extinguisher in case of fire. You never know when or where the fire will start and having more than one person know how to use an extinguisher could save you from excessive damage to your home or save a life.
Spring Cleaning for Businesses
Spring time has become a staple time of year to undertake deeper cleaning projects. Although this is commonly associated with residential homes, it is just as much needed for workplaces as well as homes. The cold winter months keep everyone cooped up inside and messes start to grow. A good cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers.
Unless you’re an archetypal Danny Tanner or Monica Geller, chances are cleaning isn’t near the top of your to-do-list. Lucky for you, we are here to help make that part just a tad bit easier with a list of some important areas to inspect during your spring cleaning.
Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to clean. Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals. Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term.
This is very important for the presentation of your business. Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape. Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes. Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business.
When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system. Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing. Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside. Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts. It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period.
Along with the rebirthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests. Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem. It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests. Keep in mind your locale because different areas attract different pests, this will help inform you what to spray for. If you’re located near a ditch you’ll have more mosquitoes, among other pests, than a more urbanized area. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems year after year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in.
Simple and effective. Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas.
As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up. Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean.
Reorganizing comes in two parts. The first is the organizing of all the previous years files into a consolidated area for ease of access. Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed. The second is the reorganization of the office itself. This is more to keep a clean and presentable workplace. Ideally this is a continuing process year round. If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up the office and breathe some fresh air into the workplace.
Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of spring cleaning takes priority. For example, if you are in a retail business many of these basic cleanings, such as windows and organization, might already be factored into your weekly/monthly workflow. Although it never hurts to go over all areas to make sure everything is getting done properly and efficiently. Additionally, there will be some other more industry specific actions that require priority over window cleaning. Remember, it’s most importantly to consider your specific business and the area in which you are doing business when prioritizing your spring cleaning.
Always Call An Expert
A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay. Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Bring in SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.
If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own. Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service like SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, we have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.
Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal. These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.
SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony utilizes advanced equipment and technology to quicken the restoration time and to minimize cost. We proudly serve our community and surrounding areas with 24/7 emergency availability. Give us a call today! (972) 335-9900
How To Eliminate Mold Odor
Air Scrubber used to remove odor from home
While many people think of mold as having a musty odor, the truth is mold can release a wide variety of unpleasant odors, depending on the type mycotoxin it releases. If you notice a strange smell you can’t seem to get rid of, you may be dealing with mold.
What Causes the Smell?
Mold releases small molecules called mycotoxin that cause bad smells. Different species of mold have different odors. Some of the most common mold odors smell like:
• Cat urine
• Car exhaust
• Old cheese
If you smell mold in your home, it means you have a mold problem, even if you can’t see it. You’ll need to eliminate the mold in your house in order to get rid of the smell.
Get Rid of the Source
Perform a visual inspection of the room or area where the smell is strongest. Check in the back of closets, behind furniture and under carpets. If you can’t locate any mold, you may need to call in mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO of South frisco/The Colony. They will know how to locate moist areas in your home and check inside walls to locate the mold.
Killing mold is not enough to get rid of odors. It must be removed completely, either by scrubbing it off building materials with a biocide or by removing affected materials and replacing them.
If you notice the odor returns, chances are good the mold has also returned. It’s critical to discover the cause of excess moisture in your home and eliminate it to prevent mold regrowth. Check for leaks and broken water pipes to discover where the moisture is coming from. Your mold remediation specialist at SERVPRO of South Frisco/The colony can help you do this.
You can also install a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA air filtration device, to help speed the process of musty odor elimination. These air filters are designed to remove very small molecules from the air, including mycotoxin. Just remember that an air filter can’t solve your mold problem. You still have to eliminate the mold to eliminate the odor.
Build An Emergency Kit
Be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. 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 nonperishable foods
- Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in waterproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant formula and diapers
- Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container
You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list,
check out Ready.gov.