Be Ice Storm Ready
Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can't control Mother Nature but you can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:
-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.
-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.
-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.
-Test your gas lines for leaks.
-Inspect your property for proper drainage.
-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.
-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.
-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.
Do you have an ERP for your business? Ask your SERVPRO Sales and Marketing Representative!
SERVPRO Storm Teams
As we all know, almost everyone has been touched by a weather event in the U.S. over the past few years. Sometimes we know a storm is coming and we prepare the best we can and it still isn’t enough. Neighborhoods, cities, towns and even states are displaced by storms. All resources are stretched to the breaking point including shelter, food, and water. These are just the basic of necessities that are hard to take care immediately following a devastated storm. We at SERVPRO have teams all over the country who are called Storm Teams. These Storm Teams have the equipment, manpower and knowledge to hit the ground running to help clean up and restore after a disaster. Our corporate office does a great job of dispatching our Storm Teams to right place so that we can help communities get back on their feet. SERVPRO works with the people, insurance companies and authorities to get the area back to normal as quickly as possible. When you see the next storm headed to a city rest assured SERVPRO is ready to respond where we are needed.
Protecting Your Commercial Property From A Fire
Commercial fires are often the most devastating reality that a property owner will have to oversee. In addition to wreaking havoc on your property, fires can force you to relocate temporarily so you can maintain running your business while the restoration process is completed. However, property owners who access and implement high-quality safety practices can often avoid the devastation and destruction that results from fires. Read the brief outline provided below to learn how you can protect your property:
Install Automatic Fire Sprinklers.
As many authorities know, having an automatic fire sprinkler on your property can reduce the risk of fire by up to 71%. Additionally, sprinklers can decrease your insurance premium. To keep your sprinkler in excellent condition, be sure that it is not blocked by dirt or paint. Also, be sure to inspect regularly your main control valve so that it is not left off. Finally, be sure that you take the precautions necessary to prevent the pipe from freezing.
Conduct Fire Emergency Training.
Each of your employees should undergo fire safety training. The training can help prevent your staff members from being victimized. Here are a few subjects that should be covered in the emergency training:
Keep all combustible chemicals and materials away from heat-generating and electrical equipment.
Inspect your power sources regularly and don't overload your extension cords and outlets.
Teach your employees how to respond when a fire breaks out. Some subjects that should be covered include how to perform an organized evacuation, operate the fire extinguisher, and set the fire alarm.
Other issues that should be involved in the training include:
- Breathing Apparatus Training
- Fire Extinguisher Training
- Confined Space Entry Training
- First Aid Training
- General Staff Emergency Awareness Training
- Evacuation Exercise
Also, be sure that your employee team officials undergo the following fire emergency response training:
- Fire Safety Officer Training
- Fire Safety Adviser Training
- Chief and Deputy Chief Warden Training
- Emergency Control Organization Warden Training
- Spill Response Training
- Lay Flat Hose Training
Call SERVPRO Immediately
Although accessing and utilizing fire prevention measures is crucial and advantageous, there is still a chance that a fire could break out on your commercial property. If this happens, you need to know who to call for fast, efficient restoration services. The company to trust is SERVPRO. We have extensive industry experience and a passion for restoring offices to their original condition.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, our SERVPRO team is ready to respond quickly to your fire emergency event. When commercial fire damage occurs, we have the resources and personnel to help. Call us today!
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