Smoke Alarms: Fire Safety
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.
Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).
In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).
If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.
Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Floyd County.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 2
Smoke Damage Cleaning
Smoke damage cleaning is, perhaps, the most complicated form of treatment for a homeowner to accomplish themselves. Not only does it take a thorough approach and deep remediation of nearly every surface in the building, it can only be done effectively if the areas behind the building’s walls receive treatment as well. This is a massive challenge to anyone but certified professionals, as these experts have the know-how, manpower and equipment to complete the task properly. SERVPRO of Floyd County is your local expert in smoke damage cleaning and restoration.
Once the fire dies out, the problem is only beginning. Soot and smoke have a tendency to get everywhere, and these particles are so small that they can pass through walls effortlessly. They will also cake onto furniture, countertops, floors and walls if not dealt with right away, causing discoloration and overpowering odors. Smoke damage cleaning has to address both issues to be completely effective.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Floyd County are certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and have the expertise and materials needed to do the job right. With powerful treatment solutions, the soot and smoke can be removed during a deep scrubbing of the building. Professionals have access to thermal fogging technology to take care of the odors emanating from behind walls. The thermal fogging produces a cloud of odor neutralizing particles that can go where the smoke does.
*Information courtesy of https://www.IICRC.org/blog/tag/smoke-damage-restoration
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO® of Floyd County's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO® of Floyd County will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO® of Floyd County can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO® of Floyd County uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO® of Floyd County today.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4
Emergency Fire Damage Tips
These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO® of Floyd County professionals arrive. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave 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 out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO® of Floyd County.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO® of Floyd County.
- Don’t 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.
- Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Floyd County will help you take it back.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 2
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
- Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
- When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to you or your insured’s property, the professionals at SERVPRO® of Floyd County are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.
Source: redcross.org, Travelers.com
Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 1
Understanding Water Types
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
• Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
• Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
• Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
• Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
• Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
• Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
• Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
• Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
• Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
• Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
• Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
• Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
• Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Floyd County at 706-802-1085.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:
• Flash Flooding
• River Flooding
• Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
• Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
• Ice/Debris Jams
• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of Floyd County can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. SERVPRO® of Floyd County is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3
2020 Resolution - Plan Ahead
With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO® of Floyd County as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years of experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO® READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.
Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO® of Floyd County to establish your Emergency READY Profile®, and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.
Advantages of the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes SERVPRO® of Floyd County as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Contact SERVPRO of Floyd County - (706) 802-1085 - to schedule your ERP today.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 1
Be Prepared with an ERP
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens.” In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas.
One of our Sales and Marketing Professionals will come to your site and walk you through the ERP process. They will collect the necessary information, compile it into the ERP, and provide you with your personalized plan of action, both digitally and in print. Call SERVPRO® of Floyd County to establish your Emergency READY Profile®! We stand ready to help you in your time of need.
Damage From Vandals Adds Insult To Injury On Fire-Damaged Properties
Fires and other major perils can leave business properties unoccupied and sometimes poorly secured. Unfortunately, these conditions can open the property to a greater risk for vandalism.
If your business has been vandalized, you are most likely covered for damages under your commercial insurance policy. However, Attorney Bill Voss knows this may not seem like helpful information when you are trying to get your business back to normal as quickly as you can.
Vandalism, the deliberate act of damaging or destroying others’ private property, is often seen as less damaging than burglary, the act of breaking into a private property with the intent of stealing. However, vandalism can be extremely damaging and expensive for owners of commercial property. In the event that your commercial property is damaged by vandals, it is vital that you file an insurance claim and work toward getting repairs completed quickly.
Examples of Vandalism on Business Properties
Vandalism can be much more than a little graffiti. It can ruin entire buildings and stop your business from welcoming customers for hours, days, or weeks. Some common examples of vandalism include:
- Breaking windows
- Spray-painting walls and other graffiti
- Intentional flooding
- Defacing property
- Ruining landscaping
- Damaging merchandise
- Destroying signs
- Breaking fencing or walls
- Destroying air conditioners or other appliances
*Courtesy of https://www.vosslawfirm.com/blog/commercial-property-vandalism-after-a-fire.cfm