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Fire Safety Equipment

2/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Equipment Use these fire safety tools to protect your home, family, and pets from fire, smoke, and poisonous carbon monoxide gas.

Fires can start in a variety of ways, which includes faulty electrical wiring, lightning strikes, cigarette smoking, cooking mishaps, dryer vent ignition, gas furnace ignition, fireplace ignition, portable heater tip-overs, and so forth. Fires can smolder for hours before suddenly erupting into flame. If you have an electrical fire, a fire extinguisher, sand, and baking soda can be used once the electrical source of the fire has been disrupted. 

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are classified by ratings of A, B, and C. These ratings determine the size and type of fire that the extinguisher can put out as follows:

  • A type fires—they consist of burning wood, paper, and fabric.
  • B type fires—they consist of flammable liquids, such as gasoline and oil.
  • C type fires—they are electrical. 

The number that precedes the letter determines how big of a fire the extinguisher can put out in increments of 2.5 feet. For example:

  • A 10-B:C extinguisher—it can put out a 25-square foot fire from a flammable liquid or electrical source.
  • A 5-B:C extinguisher—it can handle a 12.5-foot fire from a flammable liquid or electrical source.

Smoke Alarms

There are two basic types of smoke detectors as follows:

  • Ionization smoke alarms—they are better at detecting small particles that are produced in greater amounts in flaming fires, which quickly consume combustible materials and spread in many directions.
  • Photoelectric smoke alarms—they are better at detecting large particles that are produced in greater amounts in smoldering fires, which may smolder for hours before bursting into flame.

Both types are effective in detecting smoke and fire, but the best smoke alarms feature both technologies.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that comes from an appliance malfunction and burning fossil fuels, such as oil, gas, and coal. A furnace crack, dryer vent clog, and a blocked chimney can all produce CO. Use carbon monoxide alarms to detect a leak quickly.

Under normal operation, a carbon monoxide detector is able to vent the small amounts of CO gas that is produced outside of your home. However, small amounts of CO gas can build up and become a life-threatening problem when the vents are blocked.

Carbon monoxide deprives you of oxygen that your blood depends on to sustain life. If you are exposed to even small amounts of CO, then it quickly bonds with hemoglobin in your blood and displaces oxygen. When this occurs, you experience flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability. As more time passes, the symptoms can worsen to include vomiting, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and even death. Place a CO detector in every bedroom, living room, and basement in your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Fire Prevention and Safety Information

2/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Prevention and Safety Information A lit candle and readily combustible materials, such as cloth, paper, and (certain) plastics are not good mixes and can lead to dire consequences.

Kitchen Fire While Cooking

  • Never use water on a grease fire! Salt or baking soda can be used to extinguish a fire. Also, smother a fire in a pan by putting a lid on it.
  • Do not leave food cooking unattended.
  • Pay special attention to hot grease or oil.
  • Always supervise children.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and ensure that it shows “A, B, or C.”

Wood, Coal, and Pellet Stoves or Fireplace Inserts

  • Ensure that your stove or insert has a “UL” label on it.
  • Ensure that your stove was installed properly by a contractor according to NFPA standards for proper clearances, floor covering, wall covering, flue, and chimney.
  • Ensure that your chimney is cleaned regularly especially at the beginning of the season.
  • Never use homemade stoves, which are a common cause of fires.
  • Do not install or use stoves in a garage, because they can contact combustible materials more readily.

Candles and Potpourri Burners

  • Burn candles and potpourri only when you are in the room.
  • Keep open flames away from curtains and other combustible materials.

Outside Burning and Bonfires

  • Do not start open fires when ground and surrounding vegetation is dry.
  • Do not burn when winds are stronger than a gentle breeze.
  • Always have a strong water source ready in case a fire begins to get out of control.
  • Stay with the fire at all times.
  • Rake through the ashes to ensure that all coals are cooled when finished.

Other Considerations

  • Ensure that all outside antennas are properly grounded.
  • Install lightning rods to reduce the possibility of fire by lightning strike.
  • Ensure that your home’s wiring is updated and adequate to handle electrical loads.
  • Do not overload circuits. Breakers trip and fuses blow when overloaded.
  • If you have an older heating system, then get it checked by a professional for safety.

Water Damage Hazards!

2/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Hazards! Do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 when disaster strikes from water damages!

The safety hazards and precautions associated with water damage restoration are as follows:

Electrical Hazards

Mixing water and electricity creates a potential for disaster, and electrical hazards exists everywhere on the typical water damage job site. Water that comes into the building from either a roof leak or from water pipes in the attic is likely to intrude into the wiring system. Floods may also cause water to intervene into the wiring system.

The first item to check is the power distribution box. Turning off all circuit breakers at the power distribution panel is the easiest way to protect you, your Crews, and building occupants from electrical shock hazards. If only a portion of the building is affected, then turn off all circuits that provides power to the damaged areas if water has intruded into wall cavities and electrical outlets, or when electrical outlets are located on the floor. Use either a lockout device or tagout device when circuits are turned off to prevent shock hazards.

Structural Hazards

Storm damaged structures might be weakened and pose hazards. Floods and earthquakes can cause considerable damage to a building foundation or to the bearing partitions under and around a structure. Storm surge and wave action from a hurricane can undermine foundations or damage pilings in pier-type construction. Long-term exposure to water may destroy the structural reliability of materials, such as particle board and drywall, which creates a hazard for workers and occupants. Determine the potential structural hazards before proceeding with mitigation and restoration services.

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous chemicals or hazardous materials, lead, and asbestos may be present in some water damaged buildings. Be alert for hazardous materials and do not try to handle or remove them unless you are certified to handle hazardous materials. Use qualified Subcontractors to remove and dispose of hazardous materials.

Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards

Water damaged structures and the restoration processes can create numerous slip, trip, and fall hazards. Wet surfaces are usually slick, equipment hoses, and power cords provide ample opportunity for workers and occupants to slip, trip, or fall. Post warning signs and brief occupants about the hazards. Slippery floors are a common hazard in water damaged situations. People may not recognize the potential hazard of walking from a wet carpeted surface onto a hard floor surface, such as vinyl tile. Wet shoes may not slip much on the carpet, but when the person steps onto the hard floor surface then a serious slip hazard exists. Ensure that occupants understand this hazard.

Hoses and power cords may become a tangled maze for occupants and workers to navigate during emergency services. During the drying stage, equipment power cords may be a problem for occupants. Secure dehumidifier and air mover cords to limit the hazard during the drying phase. Floating carpets also present a trip hazard. Ensure occupants understand that they should not be walking on carpet that is being floated.

Mold Contamination Safety

2/18/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Contamination Safety Contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 to eradicate your mold infected areas.

Mold contamination poses health risks for workers and home occupants. Health reactions can develop from inhaling, ingesting, and touching mold spores or fragments. Molds may produce toxigenic mycotoxins that can potentially affect some persons although the mold spores are dead or dormant. There are specific precautionary procedures that should be followed when mitigating mold contaminations. Individuals are required to wear the following safety equipment attires when working in extensively contaminated environments:

Safety Equipment

  • Protective equipment—this includes full-body suits, and rubber and latex gloves. Employees should receive safety training before remediation work begins.
  • Splash goggles—eye protection should be worn to protect the eyes from burns or punctures from flying particles or corrosive substances. Mold spores can infect the mucous membranes of the eyes in extensive mold contaminated environments, and so goggles may be required for protection.
  • Respirator—the type of respirator and filter should be selected based on the hazards to which workers are exposed. Workers may wear either half-face or full-face respirators, and even powered air purifying respirators that supply air to the water damage restoration professional’s full-face mask. Respirators used for mold remediation can be equipped with combination cartridges, which includes both HEPA particulate filters and organic vapor filters to protect against mold spores, mycotoxins, and mVOCs.

Fire or Smoke Damage Tips

2/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire or Smoke Damage Tips Do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 if you encounter fire or smoke damages!

Severe fire damages can be the most devastating thing to happen to any property when disaster strikes. Consequently, you have most likely lost some personal belongings and areas of your home are completely destroyed. The following tips can assist you when notifying your insurance company about a fire loss claim:

Check Your Policy

Although you have replacement coverage for your home, you may actually only have "actual cash value" for the personal items that were lost. Therefore, ensure that your agent notifies you about this and suggests that you buy an endorsement so that your belongings will be covered under a replacement policy.

Secure Your Property

Most homeowners' coverage policies require you to take reasonable steps to minimize more harm on your property, which is essentially your duty to mitigate damages. These steps are relatively easy to do, such as either covering leaking areas with plastic wrap or turning off the water if you discover a huge pipe burst. Your insurance company will more often pay these costs when you make your claim.

File Your Claim Immediately

All homeowners’ policies require you to report your losses promptly. You are required to call your agent and submit a Proof of Loss claim in which you should itemize your losses in detail and list the values of each item.

Always Keep Track Of Your Living Expenses

All homeowners’ policies include a Loss of Use clause, which entitles you to adequate reimbursement for living expenses while you are out of your home. Subsequently, these expenses only include additional living expenses, which means the difference between what it costs you to live on a daily basis and what it is costing you thereafter. For instance, if you ate most of your meals at home and your groceries cost you $400 a week, and after a fire you are eating out and spending $500 a week, then you can only claim that additional $100.

When Should You Clean Your Ducts?

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning When Should You Clean Your Ducts? Do not skip your tune-up. Contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602.

Are the ducts that send warm (or cool) air into your home causing breathing problems for your family? The interest in air duct cleaning has grown in recent years, particularly as homeowners become more concerned about their indoor air quality or look for better ways to improve energy use.

According to the EPA, there are several important health reasons you should consider having your ducts cleaned as follows:

  • Is substantial mold growth visible inside the ducts or other components of your heating and cooling system? If mold is present, then duct cleaning is not the only step to take. You would also want to correct whatever conditions that cause the growth of the mold. Additionally, if air duct insulation gets wet or has mold, then you will need to have it removed and replaced instead of cleaned.
  • Are your ducts clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and other particles, and are these substances being released into your home from your supply registers? This affects your indoor air quality as poor-quality air continues to be pumped back into your home.
  • Are your ducts infested with rodents or insects or other unwelcome critters? There are some reasons why you would want the ducts cleaned.

Duct cleaning is an as-needed service that supports routine maintenance on your system. Fuel-burning furnaces should be serviced and inspected annually to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning and to improve efficiency. 

Natural Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

The cold and flu season can bring unwelcome illness into your household, but you can take some healthy steps ahead of time to be prepared. Along with getting a flu shot, by practicing good habits can lower your risk as sickness spreads through your home or workplace.

  • Wash your hands—this is your best defense against the spread of viruses and bacteria. Before eating or after going to the bathroom, take about 30 seconds to work up a good lather and wash your hands thoroughly including your fingernails.
  • Keep hand sanitizer nearby—you will need hand sanitizers when you are in a public place and you cannot get to a restroom. Perhaps you have shaken hands with a group of people or used public items, such as shared pens and shopping carts.
  • Stay hydrated—keep drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can leave you vulnerable to illness.
  • Eat a healthy diet—a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables is a good idea all year, but especially when you are exposed to illnesses. Keep sugar to a minimum; it causes your immune system to work harder. Opt for complex carbohydrates instead.
  • Exercise regularly—take time to move around. Even a short walk has important health benefits.
  • Get a good night’s sleep—a lack of sleep can make you prone to infection.

Home Fire Campaign

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Community Home Fire Campaign Do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 if you have a home fire.

SERVPRO® of Panthersville participates as a volunteer for the American Red Cross in their Home Fire Campaign, wherein the goal is to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25% by the year 2020. The American Red Cross responds to approximately 64,000 disasters annually, in which the vast majority of them are home fires. Statistics reveals the following occurrences:

  • Seven (7) people die daily from home fires wherein most of them impact children and the elderly.
  • Thirty six (36) people suffer injuries as a result of home fires daily.
  • Over $7 billion in property damages occur annually.

Home Fire Preparedness

Household members should comply with the following instructions to be thoroughly prepared for home fires:

  1. Install the correct number of smoke alarms. Test them once monthly and replace the batteries at least once annually. If the American Red Cross provides the smoke alarm through its Home Fire Campaign, then it uses a lithium battery in which it will last for ten (10) years.
  2. Teach children the sound of smoke alarms and what they should do when they hear one.
  3. Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
  4. Establish a family emergency communication plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find each another.
  5. Practice to escape from your home at least twice annually. Press the smoke alarm test button or shout “Fire!“ to alert everyone in your home that they must evacuate within 2 minutes.
  6. Ensure that everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  7. Teach household members to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if their clothes catch on fire.

Teach Fire Safety in Your Classroom

The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for grades 3 – 5, which teaches students about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills. You can request the Pillowcase Project presentation from your local American Red Cross.

Volunteer to Help Others

Join your local American Red Cross to install smoke alarms, educate your community about fire safety, or help others after a fire. You can make a significant difference in people’s lives by volunteering your time and talent.

Make a Donation

Help families prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from home fires.

Lightning Safety Tips

6/24/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Lightning Safety Tips Contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 if you encounter a natural disaster from a lightning storm.

According to the National Weather Service, there are about 25 million lightning strikes in the United States each year. Comply with the following lightning safety tips when a storm occurs:

  • Immediately seek shelter in a substantial building and avoid the outdoors when thunderstorms are in the area. There is no place that is safe outside during a storm. Remain in the shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
  • If you are caught outside and cannot find shelter, then go to a low-lying open place away from trees, poles, and metal objects. Ensure that the place you choose is not subject to flooding.
  • Never touch any wires that fall or low-hanging wires, because they can kill. Telephone or cable TV wires that touch a power line can also be deadly.
  • Never try to make your own electrical repairs to power equipment. Let trained professionals do the work.
  • Never pull tree limbs off power lines yourself.
  • Never go into areas with debris or trees that fall. Dangerous power lines may be buried in wreckages.
  • Never go near chain-linked fences. Dangerous lines could be touching the metal.
  • Never step in puddles, because they may be electrified.
  • Never connect portable generators to your household electrical wiring. Connect only essential appliances, such as freezers and refrigerators directly to a generator.
  • Never walk into areas where professional Crews are working. Obey road signs and proceed cautiously if you are driving near work Crews.

Charitable Donations

6/24/2017 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO® of Panthersville, our commitment to the community though our charitable donations is as important as providing emergency cleaning and restoration services for twenty four hours a day. We want to be judged not only by the service we provide, but also for what we do to improve the quality of life for all people in the places where we live, work, and nationwide.

Our charitable donations include organizations that benefit Veterans, African Americans, Firefighters, and individuals who suffer from Autism, Alzheimer's, and Breast Cancer illnesses. The company's Management Team also participates in local walks in honor of Autism, Alzheimer's, and Breast Cancer patients.