What To Do During A Flood
Staying Safe Indoors
- Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
- Boil tap water until water sources have been declared safe.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
- Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.
- Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood water .
Staying Safe Outdoors
- Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
- If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Don't walk on beaches or riverbanks.
- Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
Article from redcross.org
Make Sure To Be Prepared. Have A Survival Kit!
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Map(s) of the area
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
Click here for more information - Red Cross Survival Kit
Fire At Your Commercial Property
Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire From Your Commercial Property
When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.
While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.
These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.
If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.
This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.
Mold does not just develop in attics for no reason. There’s no point removing mold unless you also fix whatever problems led to the growth of mold in the first place, because it will just come back. Usually mold growth is the result of some defect in the attic. Defects that commonly lead to the growth of mold in an attic include leaks, inadequate insulation and poor ventilation.
Most homeowners are aware that leaky roofs can lead to the development of mold in attics, but not all know how serious attic mold can become. Most strains of mold grow and spread rapidly and mold that begins in the attic can easily spread throughout a home. Mold damages wood and can end up causing structural damage to a home if not addressed. In addition, exposure to household mold has been linked to numerous health problems, including respiratory disorders, asthma attacks, allergic reactions, headaches and migraines, sore throats, chronic sinus infections and fatigue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(1) recommends seeing your primary care physician if you’ve been exposed to mold; your doctor can then refer you to a specialist, such as a pulmonologist or allergist, if needed.
Many homeowners are not aware that inadequate insulation and poor ventilation also contribute to mold growth. A well-designed attic is built to help insulate the home. The attic should remain cool in winter while heat is kept downstairs. If there is not enough insulation, though, or insulation is not installed properly, the attic may grow warm. Mold grows best in warm areas. Attics are also not meant to be airtight. They should have adequate ventilation so that warm, moist air does not become trapped inside. Homeowners are often unaware of problems with insulation or ventilation until they discover mold growing in an attic.
If you suspect mold of any kind or anywhere in your home please contact SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties at 270-300-1544.
Article from mold-advisor.com
Common Symptoms of Mold Exposure
People often mistake the symptoms of mold exposure for other things. They might think they are experiencing seasonal allergies, like hay fever. They might wonder if they are allergic to pet dander. They might think they just have a cold or sinus infection, since mold symptoms resemble those common conditions. Of course, if you realize you have a mold problem in your home, you might suspect your symptoms are related to mold. Many people don’t realize they have a mold problem until they start getting sick, though. That’s because mold often grows in places where it’s hard to spot, like inside walls, inside heating ducts, and under flooring.
Common Symptoms of Mold Exposure
The most common mold symptoms are similar to symptoms of exposure to other environmental allergens, and include things like:
- A runny nose
- Sinus congestion
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
- Headaches, migraines
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of tightness in the chest
- Asthma attacks. Follow this link to learn more about asthma due to mold
These symptoms may begin within hours of being in a home with mold, depending on how much mold is there and what type of mold is present. Symptoms will usually get worse over time. Mold can affect your pets as well.
If you suspect mold growth in your home contact SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties at 270-300-1544.
Article from mold-advisor.com
Protect Your Commercial Properties from Fire
How to Protect Your Commercial Property From Devastating Fires Any business owner or commercial property owner will agree that fire protection is a crucial component of preserving the safety of your business and your employees due to the time, money and effort that will literally go up in flames if anything goes wrong. And even if fire safety isn’t your top priority (which is should be!), the law will still expect you and your facility to meet a minimum standard of protection.
And there’s good reason to be so diligent about fire protection. Every year, hotel and motel fires result in $76 million of property loss. And in 2010, fire departments responded to 1,200 fires in hospitals.
So how can commercial fires be prevented? Check out these four tips that will help protect your business’ livelihood and the lives that make it work:
If possible, it’s important to ensure that the infrastructure of your commercial building is made with fire-proofing material. This includes spray on thin film intumescents, endothermic materials, or concrete. Additionally, there should be fire walls, barriers, and partitions as well as smoke barriers. Additionally, fire doors and windows should be placed at the opening of a fire barrier.
Fire Safety Protocols and Planning
Did you know that only 35% of businesses have fire safety plans? This number is far too low, as all businesses should have a culture of fire safety among employees. All personnel should be familiar with fire safety procedures and should know the fire exits in the building.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile(ERP) for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Contact us to today at SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties at 270-300-1544 to set up your free business ERP.
Article from united-fire.com
Fire Extinguisher - Every Home Needs One
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for residents is to get out safely.
Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
- Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
- To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with 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.
- For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
- Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
- Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
- Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
Article from nfpa.org
Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Here's what you need to know!
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
Article from nfpa.org
Keep Your Place of Business Smelling Fresh
Is there anything worse than walking into a place of business a smelling an odd odor? Thinking about it makes you want to turn right around. Instead, welcome SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties into your place of business to keep the place fresh, clean, and welcoming for your customers.
We Take Deodorization Seriously
Too many companies are interested in coming into your establishment and then blasting citrus scents hoping that they can conceal the stench. That isn't enough! Our company will not act as a giant air freshener. This is a "masking" technique and it won't work to control your serious odor problem. In fact, we recommend that clients who are unsure about our practices call several companies and ask them about their odor removal and deodorization process. Most times, companies are unable to walk clients through their process or speak only of infusing the room with new "fresh" scents despite the fact that this means old, gross, disgusting scents are sure to resurface later.
What Does Our Odor Removal and Deodorization Process Look Like?
We will visit your location first to inspect the stench. We always do a full inspection of our client's properties because we know how important it is to first identify an odor before attempting to eliminate it. We also need to know what surfaces are affected so that we can remove the scent without leaving any foul smells behind. Each of our SERVPRO technicians is trained in various techniques to identify smells and then eliminate them using a variety of odor removal products. Our odor removal products can neutralize offending smells and come in a variety of sizes and strengths. We are confident we can remove your foul smells from any setting.
Questions? We love to talk to repeat clients and new customers. Call us today 270-300-1544.
Maintaining Home Value After Water Damage
Your home is one of the biggest investments of your lifetime. It is where you rest, play, spend time with family, it is your own retreat away from the hustle and bustle from the busy world. Protecting your home is the first step in valuing it for the importance piece of your life that it is. Prevention and repair are key to maintaining a home that will retain its worth and continue to be a haven for you and your family. That means that if any damage occurs in your home, it is crucial to address it immediately in order to conserve the value.
As a homeowner, it is of the utmost importance that damage of any form, water, fire, mold, or storm be made a top priority. Even if it appears that there is only a small amount of damage, the reality is that damage only gets worse as time goes on. Taking action and having the area inspected as quickly as possible usually results in a much simpler and more cost friendly repair than if the damage has time to grow. Repairing damage quickly also guarantees that the cost value of your home is not negatively effective and can still remain a positive investment in your life and your wallet.
When damage occurs, the first thing to do is call SERVPRO and get in touch with a 24-7 technician. SERVPRO is available all day, every day to assure that no damage goes unrepaired. Help will be on the way as soon as your call is placed and a highly trained specialist will be on the scene ready to begin the inspection process. Everything from water removal, and carpet cleaning to television repair falls under the SERVPRO cleanup and restoration umbrella and is executed by the best in the industry.
Here are just a few reasons why calling SERVPRO to repair damage immediately is so beneficial to the overall value of your home and property:
Selling Your Home in the Future
If you plan on selling your home at any point, you definitely want to get the most out of your sale. It is not possible to sell a home for the same amount or more of the purchase price if damage of any kind has occurred and was not addressed properly.
It is required that the fact any water or fire damage occurred to the home or property be disclosed before the purchase of your home is made. So if the damage was not repaired properly, it will definitely be noticed. On top of that, homes must pass inspection before the purchase is made as well. If the repaired damage does not pass the inspection, that could mean your home may not sell for the price it is listed as.
Refinancing Your Home Down the Road
When refinancing your home, it must be inspected and reported on by an appraiser. If any damage has occurred and not dealt with, your home will lose dollar value and be considered less valuable than the original price you bought it for. The whole point of refinancing is to end up spending less money on your home and that simply is not possible if damage occurs and is noticed.
Damage Only Gets Worse if Not Treated
They say everything gets better with time, but that is not the case for homes if they are not maintained. When damage occurs, it only gets stronger with time. Call SERVPRO immediately so that the damage does not increase and end up burning a hole in your pocket. SERVPRO not only helps with damage of the actual home, but also helps care for your belongings. That means that your home can quickly be restored with attention to detail of everything within the damaged area.
When big money is spent on something so important as a home for you and your family, it is absolutely worth it to respect the large investment and maintain the quality of the purchase. Repairing water, fire, or storm damage immediately with the help of SERVPRO gives you peace of mind that your home will not lose its value and continue to be the investment of a lifetime.