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Home Fire Safety Tips

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

The rate of home fire accidents has been rising for so many years. There have been many incidents related to Fire Safety Tips that have claimed the lives of so many people. It just goes to show that a lot of families didn’t pay attention to taking preventive measures. And that’s really very worrying. Although it sounds so simple it is really important for every family.

Everyone knows that fires are usually caused by an accident. However, this does not mean that it is inevitable. If you are fully aware of the security measures in your home, you can always prevent this from happening. Remember, fire can be stopped. You just have to know how to do it before it gets worse.

It is important to observe proper preventive measures because it can save lives not only for you but also for your family. Nothing bad can happen in a person’s life without putting your house on fire. So if you are not a victim of this horrific incident, check out the rest of this article for more fire safety advice.

The best way to avoid a fire is to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire in your area. In case of emergency, fire tactics should be done which you should be fully aware of. You should also inform all family members who are with you. That way, they won’t panic whenever an emergency occurs.

It helps to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home. These devices can help give you an early warning. There are different types that you can choose from. There are water sprinklers and fire extinguishers. For others, they thought these alarms were only for businesses. This is not entirely true; These can actually be installed in your home.

All electrical devices and applications should be plugged in to secure. Do not leave them in the still mode as they still use a small amount of energy. Check regularly to see if they are still in good condition. There are many times that electrical gadgets are already broken but still used can cause fatal events like fire. So don’t ignore the condition of your tools.

If there are no leaks, always check your gas tank and gas limit. You should monitor when the tank needs to be replaced and the gas controller installed correctly. This can be really dangerous as you can smell the leaking gas which is harmful to your health.

There may be plenty of fire safety tips that every family should consider. But regardless of what these preventive measures are, homeowners should not underestimate the importance of getting to know them. It is very important to learn how to stay away from dangers and how to prevent them from happening. Doing so will not only save your house from burning, but you will also save your family and family.

Constant Rain and Leaky Roofs

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

With the relentless series of storms we've seen since last December, SERVPRO of Danville has seen a marked increase in water damage from roof leaks. Roof leaks can be a challenge to deal with! A roof leak generally happens at the worst possible time, typically during the peak of a heavy rain/windstorm.

Roofs will leak for a number of reasons, including shoddy construction, holes made by animals, missing shingles thanks to intense wind and rain, problems with plumbing vents, damaged flashing, and clogged and overflowing gutters. Consider the age of the roof, too. It may be so old and worn that it’s time for a proper replacement. Additionally, skylights and chimneys traditionally leak because they’re essentially sealed holes in the roof! There's a phrase: there's 2 types of skylights, those that leak and those that will....

Typically you’ll see a stain on a wall or ceiling that’ll give you an idea you have a leak coming from somewhere. In extreme cases SERVPRO has been called out when the ceiling has already come crashing down. The insulation in attics is very absorbent and can hold quite a bit of water; a slow leak can sometimes take weeks to reveal itself, usually with a loud crash and ceiling drywall and insulation covering everything in the house!

The best time to trace where the leak is coming from is to examine its trail as best you can when it’s raining outside. SERVPRO has the tools to help track the leak to its source. Once it's found a roofer can come by and either temporarily tarp the roof or get it repaired if the rains stopped!

SERVPRO Ready Plan App

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Have you heard that SERVPRO offers a *FREE* Emergency Ready Plan App?? 

You can download it from the iTunes store today!!  This SERVPRO Ready Plan “allows for the creation of an emergency ready profile containing critical property information to help speed up response time after fire or water damage.”  

We are sure that whether you are running a business or a household you have a million different decisions to make daily.  This SERVPRO Ready Plan App will help make your life a bit easier by walking you through creating a plan of action if you ever were to have an emergency disaster situation on your business or personal property.   

It's crucial to be prepared and have a plan for your business or home *before* an emergency occurs so that everyone knows what to do if a disaster were to happen.  When water is pouring through the ceiling into your workspace you don't have time to check references or read online reviews of a particular restoration company which is why we strongly encourage you to download this app.  

Storms Can Quickly Become Destructive

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Storms can quickly become not only dangerous, but extremely destructive, especially when the right conditions all line up. 

Just as recently as a couple of weeks ago, the mid west suffered tremendous damage from a “derecho” that blew through.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a derecho is “a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms... and...while derecho winds typically are less than 100 mph, gusts as high as 130 mph have been recorded --- equivalent to those with strong EF2 tornadoes.”

SERVPRO was pulled in to help provide aid and relief to homeowners suffering from punctured rooftops and significant water losses inside their homes since the need is so vast!

Storm damage most typically leads to water damage, but fires can also result if the electricity is left on.  

Be safe after storm damage while you await our arrival and take these precautions: 

  • Shut off the source of damage.
  • Turn off electrical panel/electricity
  • Try to get up as much of the standing water as possible
  • Do NOT go into any area of your home where electricity and water have mixed
  • Pick up magazines/newspapers that can cause stains on carpet
  • Do NOT use your household vacuum cleaner since it could result in electrical shock or ruin your vacuum.

How to Prevent Roof Leaks

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Maintenance is crucial for the longevity of your roof. Being exposed to all elements of weather can take a toll on your roof. What can you do if your roof is leaking? Inspecting it yourself can seem daunting, and hiring a roofer may be costly. Is there a simpler solution?

What to Do During a Storm:
If you catch a leak during a storm...

  • Locate the Source of the Leak

If you don't have a leak detector, infrared camera, or infrared camera app, you can locate the source manually.

Leaks most commonly occur near roof protrusions such as chimneys, vents, plumbing, or anything protruding through your roofing material. Look closely for water staining. If it's currently raining you may be able to trace the drips.

  • Prevent Further Damage

Once you've located the leak, take the necessary measures to prevent further damage. Use a bucket or pan to collect dripping water. If water is pooling in ceiling, a small puncture will relieve the pressure and allow the water to drain.

Use roofing materials such as traps, sandbags, or boards to cover the leak and prevent water from entering home.

Prevent Future Leaks to Your Roof:
1. Check the Attic

Common attic problems could be a direct culprit to your roof leaks. During your next roof inspection, don't forget to check the attic. Signs of Mold, Soaked insulation, Stains around Nails, or Clogged Intake Vents will be clear signs.

2. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect!

Gutters, Shingles, and Protruding Parts can all lead to leaks. Clogged gutters can cause a water back up under your shingles or other roofing materials. Shingles need to be properly secured, and missing/broken shingles need to be replaced. As we learned earlier, protruding parts are the main culprits of roof leaks. Make sure the seals are tight so water can't leak through.

Smoke Damage to Your Contents

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

A fire can destroy your property and cause serious, irreversible damage. The flames move from one item to another, burning everything into ash. The heat created by the flames radiate, causing the surrounding items to crack, melt, and in some cases shatter. After the flames are put out, you have to deal with smoke damage.

If smoke damage is not addressed, it can devastate your home along with everything inside it. Smoke damage can even occur in rooms the fire never reached. For example, during wildfires, businesses and homes have been totally ruined just from the smoke while the building stayed untouched by the flames.

Even a small fire that is put out quickly may still cause smoke damage to the items inside. Also, smoke can impact your home’s structure. That is why cleaning up soot and smoke right away after a fire is so crucial. Smoke acts like an acid and can start to corrode many different materials if left too long.

If fire strikes a structure or home, or if you live near areas that are prone to wildfires, you must act fast to reduce the damage that occurs. Professional smoke damage restoration specialists can quickly assess the damage and create a customized mitigation plan to make sure your home is clear of all fire related damages.

What Can You Salvage?

The answer to this question depends on the extent of the damage and what something is made of. You also need to consider the cost of salvaging some items. You can work with a smoke damage specialist to figure out what items you should clean and which ones you should replace or discard.

How Will Smoke Impact Your Home?

Smoke affects materials in unique ways. Also, the type and temperature of the fire will result in different types of smoke damage through your home. One of the worst ways smoke can cause damage is if it gets into small crevices and cracks, since the particles are so small.

In fact, these issues often go undetected for a long time, leaving that lingering smell of smoke that may last for several months. The best way to remove the smell from your home is by removing or cleaning the affected items and to clean the building materials in the home with agents that are designed to remove the smell. Having this handled as quickly as possible will reduce the potential of cross-contamination.

How Quickly Do You Need to Act?

Time is something that is of the essence when you are talking about smoke damage. The sooner that you act, the more likely you will be to prevent serious damage. For example, there are some materials like porous items and synthetic fires that need intervention within hours of exposure to be saved.

Prepare in Advance for Severe Weather

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

It is difficult to know if a storm that is forecasted to move through an area will be severe enough to cause damage before it arrives. Storms—as well as the damage they cause—can vary wildly, which is why we always recommend taking an approach grounded in advanced preparation to remain as safe as possible.

By taking steps to protect your home, you can be certain that no matter what type of storm moves through your area, you are as protected as possible.

Be as Protected as Possible From Storms

Prepare your home as much as possible. Though the nature of storm damage might seem erratic, by doing some preparation work in advance to protect your property, you can ensure you are taking the right steps to mitigate any possible damages. Trimming back any dead or overhanging trees is a great start, as is securing any objects that could possibly become loose during a storm. Many homeowners also have whole-home generators installed, allowing for utility usage if your power is out.

Create a family communications plan. When your family is all at home when severe weather is forecasted to come through the area, you can move as a group to your designated sheltering area and be certain you are all safe. However, if a storm catches one or more of your family members while they are out and about, it is important to have a communications plan so you can check in and be certain that everyone is safe.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. The best thing you can do to be prepared for any emergency is to have an emergency kit in your home, and storms are no exception. Your emergency kit can house everything your family might need, both during the storm and after the fact. Items like flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, food and water are all good to keep on-hand just in case.

Consider getting a weather radio. Having cell phones has made it much easier to receive emergency weather alerts no matter where you are, but in case of severe weather, it is always good to have a backup such as a weather radio. Storms can cause power outages and even knock out cell towers, so having a weather radio that is either powered by replaceable batteries or a manual system is smart.

Storm Damage Tips

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tips 

  • Listen to the radio for advisories
  • Do not venture outside until it’s declared safe 
  • Stay away from downed power lines, standing water, and metal objects near downed wires
  • Watch out for snakes and wild animals 
  • If you smell gas, turn gas off at the meter 
  • Avoid using candles or open flames indoors
  • Operate generators outside
  • Be careful when entering or leaving buildings with structural damage. It is best to avoid entering until the damage has been assessed 
  • Once things have been properly assessed, make sure you have plenty of pictures of storm damage to your property 
  • Contact SERVPRO of Danville to come out for board up and get started on water mitigation. 

Large Scale Commercial Cleanup

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

While many cleanup and restoration companies can handle small fire and water damages, like a flooded small business or a house fire, very few can large scale disasters. The disasters like major hurricanes, massive tornadoes, and catastrophic fires can grind businesses to a halt, displace hundreds of people from their homes, and even shut down entire city blocks.

We understand when businesses are completely shut down due to natural or man-made disasters, that every second that they are closed affects their bottom line, their employees’ lives, and their customers’ lives.  We pride ourselves on our commitment to working with our clients to ensure their business and/or home is cleaned and restored as quickly as possible.

Large Loss Recovery Services

We have the technology, the equipment, and the expertise to handle any size disaster, anytime, and anywhere. Our team is ready to mobilize and start the cleanup and restoration process 24/7. Our large loss services are much like our small scale restoration services, just larger and more capable. Large loss recovery services include:

  • Water Damage Restoration - Whether from a natural flood or broken water pipes, we can extract the water, dry the damaged area, clean up the mess, and restore your water damaged property quickly and efficiently.
  • Fire Damage Restoration - We have the equipment and resources to handle even the largest of fires. We have the expertise to clean up the fire and smoke and restore any damage to the property. SERVPRO has decades of experience removing smoke odor and fire damage. 
  • Commercial Mold Remediation - Mold can happen slowly over time or quickly after a devastating flood or sewer backup. Our team has the knowledge and training in mold remediation to ensure mold spores are removed safely and effectively.
  • Commercial Cleanup - Our team can deep clean facilities that have suffered a viral outbreak, like the recent Coronavirus outbreak. We can also clean up after sewer backups, vandalism, or just from normal wear and tear. 
  • Storm Damage Restoration - Major storms like tornadoes and hurricanes can bring substantial damage to businesses and homes through flooding, fires, wind damage and more. Our commercial restoration team is prepared and ready to be on the scene should a major disaster strike. 

Coronavirus COVID-19 Cleaning & Disinfecting of Facilities

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

With the rise of people contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), facilities, where people with the virus have been present, are now faced with cleaning and disinfecting of their properties. 

Why Is Cleaning & Disinfecting Important?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 is thought to spread from person-to-person. This can be through personal contact or through inhaling droplets in the air from someone who sneezes or coughs. It is also thought that it can spread by touching a surface or item that has the virus on it, which is why cleaning and disinfecting are so important. The CDC has stated that since this is a new (novel) version of the virus, there is more to learn about it and how it spreads. For the latest updates on the virus, you can visit the CDC website for updated info and guidance. 

To prevent the spread of infection, it is important to have any areas that a person who has tested positive has been, professionally cleaned and disinfected. Clean up guidelines may be superseded by state and local law enforcement. It is important to contact your local law enforcement and health department if a person with the virus has visited your business or facility.  Due to how easily this virus can spread, it is important that all businesses be pro-active in isolating the contaminated area and seeking immediate cleanup and disinfection. 

The Cleaning Process for COVID-19 

There are three levels of cleaning that can be done. The three levels of cleaning are general surface cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.  It is important to note though, that not all surfaces can be cleaned to all three levels. While every surface can be surface cleaned, not all can be sanitized or disinfected.

With general surface cleaning, dirt, bacteria, fungi, and viruses are scrubbed and removed from the surface. The goal is to physically remove the virus microbes. As noted above, all surfaces can be cleaned. By cleaning the surface, not only are you removing the possible virus microbes but you are also removing the nutrients and moisture that helps the virus survive and multiply. 

The next level of cleaning is sanitizing. Sanitizing a surface helps reduce the amount of bacteria on a surface. Though, sanitizers do not claim to clean or remove fungi or viruses. In order to be classified as a sanitizer, the product must kill 99.9% of all bacteria tested on non-food contact surfaces. Examples of these types of non-food sanitizers are air sanitizers, carpet sanitizers, toilet sanitizers, and laundry sanitizers.

The last level of cleaning is disinfecting. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to neutralize germs on surfaces. Disinfectants will not remove dirt or germs, but it will inactivate the germs. The number of microbes inactivated is determined by the disinfecting chemical and how it is used. 

What Is Cleaned After COVID-19 Contamination

According to the CDC, all high touch surfaces are encouraged to be cleaned. These surfaces include doors, countertops, tables, desks, toilets, sinks, phones, elevator buttons, keyboards, and railings at a minimum. As every facility and property is different, each location will most likely have added areas that need to be cleaned. 

For the area where a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, enhanced cleaning is required. Enhanced cleaning includes cleaning and disinfecting of all non-porous surfaces in the area and cleaning and sanitizing of all porous surfaces in the area. This includes, as an example for office spaces, the walls, carpeting, cubicles, chairs, shared office equipment, and more. Obviously, the scope of work can change depending on the space. In a commercial kitchen, cleaning and disinfecting could be a simpler process compared to a retail clothing shop, where you are dealing with a lot of porous materials that could be contaminated. 

What Can You Do To Reduce Infection and the Spread?

As you can see, the novel coronavirus can easily be spread from person to person. To reduce the risk of infection and the spread of the coronavirus, it is important that you and your staff are diligent in handwashing and cleaning. Clean your hands often and thoroughly, avoid touching your nose, mouth, and face. Avoid close contact with people. Try to stay at least 3-feet apart and avoid handshakes. It is also a good idea to increase the cleaning routine of your facilities to reduce the chance of the infection spreading from high touch surfaces.