Fire Damage Prevention- What Some Experts Fail Warn You!
As a family-owned franchise, we understand the significance of keeping our family and loved ones safe. According to the NFPA, "In a five-year period, house fires caused 2,620 civilian deaths and $6.9 billion in property damage". Most fire casualties occur in the kitchen. Here at SERVPRO, we honor our commitment to being a resource to Montgomery County. We want to make sure that our community is taking preventive measures to avoid home fire casualties. Follow the tips below to avoid common kitchen accidents.
Recipe For Kitchen Safety:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking food and check on it often.
- Keep children away from the kitchen while you're cooking.
- Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up.
- Keep curtains, towels, and pot holders away from hot surfaces.
- Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources.
- Never keep gasoline in the house.
- Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills.
- Be sure electric cords from your appliances are not dangling off the counters.
Smoke Detector tools
- Replace your smoke detector every 6 Months
- Clean off any dust on the unit as it may interfere with the sensor
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working.
- Discuss with family members a fire escape plan
- In the event of a fire or smoke damage, please call SERVPRO to help get your home or property back to normal.
Prevent Catastrophic Damages To Your Business During A Flood
Flood damage can occur quicker than you ever expected. Depending on the floods' severity. it can cause flooring, wall, and inventory damage. However, if you know that a flood is imminent, there are ways to protect your business by minimizing the destruction a natural disaster can create.
Make Backup Copies of Important Data
If you believe your building could suffer from storm damage, it is crucial to back up your data. This includes shipping records, customer data, and any inventory records that may not be retrievable if your computer system is damaged by water. Having more than one copy of your data can save you a lot of time and money during the aftermath of a potential flood. Consider cloud storage as a solution for retrieving real-time data in the event of a storm.
Rent a Sump Pump
If your business location is at risk of a flood, consider investing in a sump pump. This machine is commonly used by flood damage and restoration service technicians to drain excess water from the impacted area. Portable and underwater pumps will ultimately reduce the amount of standing water you may encounter after a flood.
Do Not Hesitate To Act
In the event of a flood, evacuate your customers and employees as quickly as possible to ensure their safety. It is important to be vigilant regarding staying up to date on any flood watches or warnings. If a flood has a chance of taking place, shut down all vital systems and try to seal off all doors as well as windows once the building has been evacuated.
Knowing how to prepare for a flood and protect your business will not only reduce the damages but will also give you peace of mind before and after the event of a flood. Use these helpful tips to your advantage when preparing for a flood and avoiding the detrimental impact it could have on your business.
Top 3 Reasons Why Your Roof Leaks
Roofs are susceptible to water damage, which can lead to structure and mold issues if not addressed immediately. There are several ways water can infiltrate building materials surrounding a roof. Here are the three most common reasons why roofs leak:
Water pipes leaking or dripping.
Condensation accumulating inside your home.
Clogged gutters and downspouts
Routine attic and roof inspections can help avoid any roof leak issues. If you spot damages and need professional repairs, please call SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac and SERVPRO of Chevy Chase / Silver Spring
Faster to Any Size Disaster for help.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment we will need to bring with us as well as how many SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac and SERVPRO of Chevy Chase / Silver Spring
Faster to Any Size Disaster team members we need to help clean up the damages.
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac and SERVPRO of Chevy Chase / Silver Spring
Faster to Any Size Disaster has specific water damage training and experience to help you through such a difficult time. We specialize in water damage restoration. In fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.
Our professionals will likely ask for the following information:
- Your name and contact information.
- Your insurance information (if applicable).
- Street address of the damaged home or business.
- When did the water damage take place?
- If known, what caused the water damage?
- Is there electricity on-site?
If you have a roof leak in your home, don't wait, call us today, and we will make it "Like it never even happened."
Winter Storm Damage 101: What To Do After A Storm
As we have seen the unprecedented winter storm damages in Texas, it is clear that severe winter storms can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy snow or ice can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees. Some post-damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a plan to deal with the damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately following the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy snow and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls, or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health effects. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact your local SERVPRO Bethesda/Potomac and SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Chevy Chase / Silver Springto help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living conditions.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Your Restoration Company
- Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
- When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
- Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a chance to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.
We hope that this guideline will help as we are navigating thought this though weather in Montgomery County. On behalf of our SERVPRO staff, we wish all fellow Texans health and safety during this time.
Fire & Smoke Damage: Do's And Don't
Fire & Smoke Damage
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep your hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change the HVAC filter, but leave the system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or of the HVAC system
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electric shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Do's and Don't: Flood in Home Edition
Do's and Don't after a Flood by SERVPRO of Bethesda Potomac and SERVPRO of Chevy Chase/ Silver Spring
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Water Damage Emergency? What To Do After Flooding
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after the removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Water Damage In My Home: What Should I Do?
Anyone who has had the misfortune of experiencing water damage whether from a flood, malfunctioning appliance, or any other source can tell you that it poses a real problem. This is because it damages not only your home and potentially your finances, but in many cases, it also can damage the sentimental items that you can’t put a price tag on. For that reason, it’s a good idea to know the cause of the damage. However, if you cannot avoid it then here are some tips on what to do once you have been victimized by it.
The first concern should be the safety of all persons in the affected home or area. Some of the most common causes of injury that we see after water damage to a structure include slip hazards and electrical shock due to careless handling of home appliances that have been damaged by water. On this note, don’t just go about your day as you would normally. Avoid kitchen appliances, and avoid tampering with major electrical devices that are connected to the building until authorities have deemed that it is safe to do so. This includes ceiling fans, lights, and televisions.
The next concern should be the cleanup process. Depending on the severity of your damage you may need to contact the local authorities and insurance provider, but eventually, they will most likely get a SERVPRO crew out to your location to fix it up.
Learn more about your options regarding water damage, or any of the other services that we offer at SERVPRO®. If you find yourself dealing with a disaster, and need an emergency repair, contact us today. We are faster to any size disaster!
Stay Organized at Work!
Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:
Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies, and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for more efficient use of space.
Keep Only What You Need At Arm’s Length:
Boxes of pens, stacks of papers, and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork, and personal items should be kept in the zones you’ve established for them.
Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:
Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.
Eliminate Digital Clutter:
Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper files – with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor of calendar reminders.
Create A Daily Paper System:
Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled “To Read,” “To Do,” and “To File.” Establish set days for each, so that you don’t get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.
Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains, and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard, and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.
Tips provided by Forbes, The Dangers of a Messy Desk.
How To a Restore Sewage Backup In a Commercial Property
When a toilet floods in a commercial property, the resulting water damage may affect more than one floor. If water works its way down through building materials, it can lead to significant sewer damage that requires restoration. There are five steps you should take to clean up the damage and restore your property to sanitary conditions.
1. Clear the Clog or Backup
Depending on whether the toilet is flooding due to a clog caused by inappropriate materials being flushed or a backed-up sewer line, you may need to contact a plumber or sewage company. Until the problem is fixed, the leak may continue or become worse.
2. Remove Standing Water
Limit the severity of the leak between floors by eliminating all standing water near the flooded toilet. You will still need to determine the extent of the damage to building materials such as floors and ceilings.
3. Consult SERVPRO Specialists
Our commercial water and sewer damage restoration experts can help you determine which materials will need to be replaced. These experts can also help with cleanup and remediation.
4. Clean and Disinfect the Area
Toilets that flood tends to lead to a leak of Category Two or Category Three water. Category Two water or gray water may contain bacteria or chemicals but does not contain solid waste. Category Three or black water contains solid waste. Either type of leak calls for thorough cleaning and disinfection.
5. Dry the Affected Area
Take measures to dry the area affected by sewage damage as quickly as possible. This can help to prevent mold and other secondary damage from starting to develop.
When you experience sewer damage in a commercial property rely on the skills of SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac and SERVPRO of Chevy Chase/ Silver Spring professional. Our specialists can resolve the problem quickly and completely, enabling the tenants of the building to get back to business.
Comfort Food Season! | Tips On Practice Fire Safety in the Kitchen
Practice Fire Safety in the Kitchen
As the weather gets cooler and we get into Fall and Winter, many are ready to do some comfort food cooking. Whether you're a pro or new to the kitchen, it's important to remember fire safety. Emergencies can happen to anyone. Below are some steps to ensure safety while cooking this season.
What you should know about home cooking safety
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.