Celebrate Summer Safety
A fire on the beach enjoying the summer
SERVPRO is “Ready for whatever happens.”
You Can Be Too This Summer
Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. To enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun.
According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans are injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.
Grills also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires. “These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage,” according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in the approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water.
The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t become a statistic. Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on the your summer months.
CELEBRATE SUMMER SAFETY
Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the Nation Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after the coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer.
Helpful tips on how to stay safe
As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90 degree F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces-often in more rural surroundings-remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”
Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets that may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103 degree F), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool, wet clothes or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).
If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature fell 15 degrees hotter.
Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.
Extreme Heat Safety tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes) such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or lovers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
- Keep storm windows up all year.
Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Clean up
This is a biohazard loss that SERVPRO was called into help and cleanup.
Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO Professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
The SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, the SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes, and offices.
SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals can help with the following issues:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize, the structure.
Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint power and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.
Arson and Vandalism
SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. SERVPRO of Beaumont also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
This is a picture of a commercial duct clean at a medical facility.
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
Improve your indoor air quality with duct cleaning
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 your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional’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 not always be necessary. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals 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 your SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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 Beaumont today at 409-212-1977.
Understanding Water Types
This is a picture of a commercial water loss that occurred at a church. Notice the blocking of the pews.
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, are 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.SERVPRO’s network of more than 1,700 Franchises is ready to help in the event a fire, water, or mold loss occurs
- Call on a restoration system serving insurance companies and their insureds, as well as thousands of commercial property owners in North America. Don’t leave your property to chance.
Halt Winter Heating Hazards
SERVPRO is ready for any size disaster. This is one of our trucks that is ready to go at a moments notice.
Halt Winter Heating Hazards
The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In a effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative hear sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot “kid friendly zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.
If your property does suffer fire damage, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals to help make it “like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO is quietly taking to the streets, every hour of every day, proving that whenever there is a house full of water or an office full of smoke, there is also a van full of clean.
This is a picture of SERVPRO of Beaumont helping out a commercial building after a major water loss.
Is Your Property Winter Ready?
Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
- Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your home or building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
- Ask the SERVPRO of Beaumont franchise business professionals about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
When winter weather strikes, call The SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals to strike back.
Understanding The Behavior of Smoke
This is a picture of a half cleaned dishwasher that was affect due to a kitchen fire.
Understanding the Behavior of SMOKE
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows the SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals to focus on saving your precious items.
The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different types of Smoke
- Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber) - Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean
- Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood) – Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) – While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) – Special loss situations require special care.
The SERVPRO of Beaumont Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont Franchise Professionals to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Ready for whatever happens, SERVPRO Storm Team
SERVPRO of Beaumont, in Elizabethtown, New Jersey helping with the clean up efforts after 2012 Hurricane Sandy.
Ready For Whatever Happens
When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team assists your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
- 2016 Houston, TX Flooding- In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches per hour. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigation over $3 million in damages.
- 2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the country stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperature3s resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Strom Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing nearly 2000 jobs.
- 2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted creating over 1381 jobs for the Strom team to produce. A total of 82 SERVPRO Franchises and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.
- 2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, effecting all or part of 39 states and 70 % of the SERVPRO Franchise System.
- 2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up to 17 inches in some areas, resulted in the widespread flooding in Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities. The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews and 48 Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response.
- 2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine. The Disaster Recovery Team placed nearly 1000 crews in affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.
Fire, The Facts
SERVPRO of Beaumont cleaning up a fire loss.
JUST THE FACTS
In 2014, fires caused 2745 deaths, 11,825 injuries, and $6.8 Billion in property damage.
Three out of five home fire deaths are caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or not working alarms.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94 percent of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80 percent of the time.
When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
One quarter of home fire deaths are caused by fires that start in the bedroom. Another quarter result from fires in the living room, family room or den.
One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often much less. Only 8 percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.
Facts provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org
WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep 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/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/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.
- Change HVAC filters; 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 your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- Do not 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.
- Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
- If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. 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.