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Fire Damage

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Soot webs

In 2018, the most recent year statistics are available, 1,319,500 fires were reported in the United States. These blazes caused 3,430 deaths and 14,670 civilian injuries while costing more than $23.6 billion in damage! Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.

1        Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

2        Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

3        Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

4        Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

5        Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs    or have loose connections.

6        Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

7        Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

8        Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

9        Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

10      Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

Storm Damage

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage storm damage

FLOOD TIPS AND ACTION STEPS

AFTER A FLOOD

SAFETY FIRST (For businesses and home owners)

  •  Account that all employees or family members are safe by establishing evacuation plans in advance, identifying areas outside the building that are designated meeting places. Assign select individuals to keep a list of their assigned team’s names and contact numbers in order to account for their whereabouts.
  • If water enters the building and evacuation becomes impossible, move to an upper floor, and wait for rescuers.
  •  While evacuating, avoid attempting to drive through floods or rising water, nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto-related.
  •  Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  •  Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  •  Use no open flames (there may be gas escaping from ruptured mains).
  •  Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. Avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
  •  Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  •  Listen for news reports to learn if the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  •  Return only when authorities indicate it is safe.

SECURE THE PROPERTY

  • Contact local emergency officials.
  • Secure main entrances to building.
  •  Alert Security company and Alarm company of the situation.

STABILIZE THE PROPERTY

  • Open basement or low-level windows to equalize water pressure on the building’s foundation and walls.
  • Begin water damage mitigation steps only if local emergency officials deem the structure safe to enter.
  •  Notify your insurance agent or Risk Manager to determine insurance policy guidelines and steps to take.

Who let the deer in?

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Who let the deer in? Who let the deer in?

A true story ...We got a call from a panicked customer who had just returned from being out of town for a few days. She found a juvenile white tailed deer had jumped through a window in her basement. The deer was still alive, but disoriented enough to not know how to get out of the house. Additionally, the deer, in its rummaging around through the kitchen area of the basement, had jumped on the counter tops and managed to turn the water on in the kitchen sink. Before long, the basement floor was full of water and one very confused deer. When we arrived on the scene 20 minutes later, the owner had coaxed the deer out of the house. That's when we went to work cleaning up blood, urine and hundreds of gallons of water. Shortly thereafter, we fired up our equipment and dried out the entire basement.

How to put out a kitchen fire

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to put out a kitchen fire fire

When a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is. Follow these instructions for putting out kitchen fires:

If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.If you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.

If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:

If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse. Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.

Use a fire extinguisher. Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape route.

why should I clean my carpets?

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO why should I clean my carpets? Steam Clean

Top ten reasons why you should get your carpet cleaned

  1. Prolongs the life of carpeting. Regular carpet cleaning using the extraction method can increase the life of carpets significantly, protecting your floor-covering investment.
  1. Protects indoor air quality. Carpets trap airborne pollutants; however, eventually those pollutants must be removed in order to protect the carpet and maintain indoor air quality.
  1. Makes carpets easier to maintain. Most carpet soiling is made up of dry soils; when carpets are kept thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, most dry soils can be removed with regular vacuuming.
  1. Removes spots and stains. As with other soils, spots and stains can attract more soiling. Removing them promptly protects carpeting from damage.
  1. Prevents buildup of allergens and bacteria. Moist soiling of carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants.
  1. Enhances the appearance of any room. Clean, well-maintained carpets speak volumes about the overall cleanliness of a home or facility.
  1. Improves worker morale. Workers feel better about their work environment when it is clean. This includes the carpeting.
  1. Makes carpeting look and feel clean and fresh.
  1. Removes dust mites and bedbugs that may have found a home in carpets.
  1. Maintains the carpet’s warranty. Most carpet warranties require that carpets be cleaned using the extraction method within a specific amount of time, usually every 12 to 18 months.

Carpet delamination

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Carpet delamination delaminated carpet

Delamination is the most frequent type of damage to carpets when exposed to water.  Delamination is caused when the latex adhesive holding the primary backing to the secondary backing is damaged.  Good carpets have higher quality of latex and may suffer little damage even after hours of exposure.  Cheaper carpets may suffer delamination after only a few hours. 

 Water damaged glued down carpeting often causes bubbling due to loss of adhesive.  If just a small area is bubbles, the carpet might be restored.  Otherwise, the carpet may need to be replaced. 

By responding quickly and drying the carpet thoroughly, SERVPRO of Carroll County can help mitigate these secondary damages following a water loss.

Emergency Ready Profile

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

General Emergency Ready Profile ERP

Most people don’t plan for a disaster, but you can always be ready for it. Did you know 50% of businesses never recover following a disaster? Preparation is very important 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 down and get you back in the building following a disaster.

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 your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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

This App is of no cost to you. It is a complimentary service that SERVPRO of Carroll County will provide to you. We hope that you use us in the event of a disaster, but in the end that choice will always be yours!

Are wood burning stove safe?

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Are wood burning stove safe? wood stove

The chimney for a wood burning stove must be masonry or UL-listed, and factory built. Never, under any circumstances, should an unlined, single brick chimney be used for a wood stove. Single brick chimneys are prone to failure, which may allow potentially dangerous situations to develop.

There are lots older homes that have unlined chimneys constructed of double brick. These may be used for a wood stove after carefully checking for cracked mortar or loose or missing brick. Metal sleeves that are listed by the Underwriters Laboratory may be used as chimney lines if they were designed for such use.

Factory built, metal chimneys must never be used with a coal stove, as the corrosive flue gases produced by a coal fire will cause a rapid failure of the chimney. Metal chimneys should be completely disassembled after a chimney fire and checked for damage. Discoloration of the exterior indicates a possible breakdown of the insulating material. Any questionable section should be replaced.

A wood burning stove should never be connected to a wood stove flue which vents an oil burner. Deadly, unburned vapors from the oil burner could back up into the stove and the room where it is located.If your home came with an existing wood burning stove, you should have it serviced and inspected before use.

Ventilation for your wood burning stove

Venting the stove is the most important part of the wood-burning system. 90% of all stove-related fires start within the venting system. A venting system is not a chimney – it consists of lengths of 24-gauge or heavier, insulated stovepipe which connects the stove to an approved chimney.

Stovepipe clearance is extremely important. It must never pass through an interior wall, floor, or ceiling. Where possible, the insulated stovepipe must go directly into a lined masonry or UL-listed, factory-built chimney. If stovepipe must pass through an exterior wall to reach the chimney, maintain an 18-inch minimum clearance to all combustibles. Consult fire codes and use metal thimbles designed for this purpose.

Use proper fuel

Hardwoods, such as maple, beech, ash, hickory, or oak, are the best fuel for a wood burning stove. Wood should be cut, split and air dried for at least a year before burning. Well-seasoned hardwood will show cracks in the ends. Wood will dry faster and remain dry and protected from the elements if stored in a shed or under a tarp.

Regular cleaning

Use a wire brush to clean your stovepipe and chimney at least once a year. Also, occasionally use controlled high-temperature fires in the stove or furnace. Salt-based chemical cleaners are not very affective.  Never use heavy items such as chains, bricks or a brush on the end of a rope, because they could seriously damage the interior chimney lining.

Avoid creosote buildup

Creosote is a highly combustible fuel that burns intensely. A slow-burning fire such as those found in a modern, airtight stove damped way down, produces a flue temperature in the 100-200 degree Fahrenheit range. These comparatively low temperatures do not sufficiently carry all of the unburned, combustible gases into the atmosphere. Instead, they condense along the walls of the stovepipe and the chimney as creosote. Creosote may take 3 forms:

  • A sticky liquid that will run down the chimney and stove pipe where it will be burned
  • A flaky, black deposit which is easily removed by brushing
  • A hard, glazed tar which is almost impossible to remove, except by a certified professional chimney sweep

Tips for building a fire

  • Season wood outdoors through the hot, dry summer for at least 6 months before burning it. Properly seasoned wood is darker, has cracks in the end grain, and sounds hollow when smacked against another piece of wood.
  • Store wood outdoors, stacked neatly off the ground with the top covered.
  • Start fires with clean newspaper and dry kindling.
  • Burn hot, bright fires. But use smaller fires in milder weather.
  • Let the fire burn down to coals, then rake the coals toward the air inlet (and wood stove door), creating a mound. Do not spread the coals flat.
  • Reload your wood stove by adding at least three pieces of wood each time, on and behind the mound of hot coals. Avoid adding one log at a time.
  • Regularly remove ashes from the wood stove into a metal container with a cover, and store outdoors.

Water class and category

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water class and category water damage

There are 3 Basic Categories of Water

Category 1 originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. However, it may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.

Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).

Category 3 is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.

The 4 Primary Classifications of Water Damage

Class 1 is the least amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.

Class 2 involves a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad).  Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.  There is moisture remaining in structural materials and substructure soil.

Class 3 involves the greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually all of the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 relates to specialty drying situations.  Wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (eg. hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, light-weight concrete and stone).  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.  These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.

Mold vs Mildew

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold vs Mildew mold

There are 3 Basic Categories of Water

Category 1 originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. However, it may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.

Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).

Category 3 is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.

The 4 Primary Classifications of Water Damage

Class 1 is the least amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.

Class 2 involves a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad).  Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.  There is moisture remaining in structural materials and substructure soil.

Class 3 involves the greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually all of the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 relates to specialty drying situations.  Wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (eg. hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, light-weight concrete and stone).  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.  These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.