Heat Wave Safety
No cloud cover and excessive heat? Make sure to keep shaded and hydrated!
North Texas is still in the midst of a brutal heat wave. While relief is coming soon in the form of much-needed rain and cloud cover, the days leading up to it will be incredibly hot and humid. A heat wave can best be defined as a period of excessively hot weather, sometimes accompanied by humidity. Heat waves can be dangerous as they can heat up metal outdoors to burning temperatures, cause prolonged periods of drought, and even heat exhaustion in people. Here are some handy tips and precautions to keep in mind during a heat wave:
- Staying hydrated is key. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks/foods, as they can cause you to become more thirsty/hungry.
- Make sure to have adequate supplies of food, water, and medicine in case of emergencies.
- Keeping your home cool can help provide relief during a heat wave. Drapes to cover the windows, weather strips on doors and windows, and insulation against the heat can help make your home a refreshingly cool safe haven.
- NEVER leave children or pets in a vehicle unattended. Temperatures inside vehicles can trend 10 or 20 degrees higher than the outdoor temperature.
- Stay healthy. Heat waves are a type of disaster and can prove to be mentally draining, so eating healthy foods and staying hydrated can help create some peace of mind.
For more information on how to beat the heat and staying safe during a heat wave, Red Cross has a page on heat waves and treating heat-related illnesses. Knowledge is a vital tool in keeping safe. Also, in the event of heat-related damage to your home such as a fire, keeping the AC running with a duct cleaning, or mitigating water damage from broken water pipes, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite is always ready to help make it "Like It Never Even Happened".
Dryer Fires: How To Avoid Them
Keeping a dryer's ducts and lint filter free of debris is a great way to avoid a dryer fire.
Laundry is one of those inevitable parts of life, painstaking in its process and unavoidable. If you have a large family, the domestic chores can become overwhelming at time and dryer safety is a critical concern that most people overlook in the bustle of day-to-day life. At SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite, we've seen first hand the devastation dryer fire can cause. Anyone with access to the machine must be aware of the risk factors for dryer fires, as well as what can be done to prevent them. Every year sadly, dryers cause catastrophic damage and loss to American families.
The following is what the US Fire Administration says regarding dryer fires:
- Every year, 2,900 dryer fires occur.
- Property damage from these dryer fires is estimated to be in over 35 million dollars.
- These fires also result in 100 injuries and 5 deaths each year.
How can dryers be dangerous?
- The lint filter keeps lint and debris out of the dryer's internal mechanics, preventing them from becoming caught and causing a fire. Using a dryer without the filter in place is one way an innocuous household appliance can become a serious hazard.
- Similarly, overloading your dryer can result in lint buildup, which can cause fire.
- It's a risk to leave your dryer on while you sleep or leave the house. If a lint buildup or another issue causes a fire, you may not be able to put it out or even be aware of the condition until it is too late.
How can homeowners protect against dryer fire?
- According to the United States Fire Administration, overfilled lint traps cause 34% of dryer fires each year. Cleaning your lint filter ensures that your dryer is properly ventilated. Dryer ventilation allows garments to dry faster while also preventing the overheating that can cause fire.
- It is critical to inspect dryer ductwork on a regular basis. Blocked ducts can also cause overheating which leads to fires. One symptom of a blocked duct is if your clothing takes longer to dry than expected. If you notice any obstructions in the ducts, clear them out before using the dryer again.
- Replace any ducts that are outdated or damaged beyond repair. For new ducts, heavy-duty metal is indicated as the best material to use.
Regardless of how many safeguards are taken, homeowners may still face dryer fires. If the worst happens, your friends at SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite are ready to step in. Restoring your home is our business, and our expert technicians are on hand and ready to limit the spread of damage and restore your home quickly, and safely. We hope you are never affected by dryer, or any kind of fire. But if you are, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite is always here to help.
Smoke Alarms and How They Help
Making sure your smoke alarm is in good condition can be all the difference in keeping your home or business safe.
Checking smoke alarms on a regular basis is an important element of home and building maintenance that will keep your house or company safe. Smoke detector checks are a simple and effective way to safeguard your building and its occupants from smoke and fire emergencies, and keeping yours in good working order doesn't take much effort. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly by following the guidelines below.
Why check smoke alarms?
Smoke alarms are one of the few products in your house or business that can genuinely save lives in the event of a fire. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, house fires are more than twice as likely to turn deadly in homes without functional smoke detectors. Whether it's a large commercial facility that takes additional time to evacuate or family home full of individuals who are sleeping, providing as much time as possible to flee the premises is critical during a fire. Working smoke alarms provide important early notice which can directly affect the survival of valued family and employees.
Tips for checking smoke detectors
While smoke detector technology has improved and become more dependable than ever before, it is still necessary to inspect and test yours on a regular basis. To conduct a complete smoke detector check in your home or office, follow these suggestions from the experts at SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite. Enjoy daily peace of mind knowing that you'll have life-saving assistance when you need it most.
- Be compliant: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) maintains fire prevention rules and requirements for all types of occupancies. To guarantee you have the most up-to-date information and are in compliance, look into the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code and the Life Safety Code from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Adhere to manufacturer guidelines: The maker of your smoke detectors will provide model-specific maintenance and testing recommendations for your home or company. All documentation should be kept so that you can refer to it as needed.
- Check to see what types of smoke detectors are installed: Smoke detectors are divided into two types that are typically seen in homes and workplaces. A smoke alarm that runs on batteries is common in homes and may be fitted almost anyplace. An AC-powered (hard-wired) smoke detector is better suited for long-term use and is commonly found in commercial buildings.
- Alert your family/employees and run tests. Smoke detectors emit a high-pitched sound that may offend or frighten some members of your family, staff, or customers. Everyone will be able to shield their ears or prepare for the sound if they are given advance notice prior to smoke alarm testing.
- Assign someone to stand at the furthest location from the alarm: While the sound of a smoke alarm test may be audible close to the device, it may not be audible elsewhere on your property. Consider installing another smoke alarm in that area if the sound is low or muffled.
- Monthly testing: Use the integrated test button to check every smoke alarm in the building at least once a month. To indicate that the device is receiving electricity, some newer models have flashing or steady LEDs that shine. Other models are linked, allowing you to test them all at the same time.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year if they have a replaceable battery. Do not wait until your alarms begin to chirp before replacing the batteries. Make a note of it and make sure you're always safe. When you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time, it's a good idea to replenish your batteries.
- Replace smoke detectors every ten years or 87,000 hours to guarantee you have the most up-to-date technology and the finest protection possible. Even "long-life" smoke alarms must be changed after 10 years since non-removable lithium batteries only have a 10-year guarantee. This is necessary owing to a buildup of impurities in the internal sensors.
Protect your home or business by maintaining your smoke detectors.
Any home or business can be destroyed by a fire. While SERVPRO's remediation experts are here to help you recover from smoke or fire damage to your home or company, you can make sure the right safety procedures and equipment are in place to keep your family and coworkers safe and minimize fire damage in an emergency.
Sudden Summer Storms
Sometimes storms can occur in Summer without prior warning. Knowing certain safety tips can help protect you and your home or business!
Summer 2020 was one of the costliest seasons on record for storm damage. While no large coastal storms or thunderstorms have occurred yet, it's always nice to have certain information handy in the event of a sudden storm. By following a few simple preparedness tips, you can protect your home and business from becoming a statistic.
Ahead of a Storm
- Make a disaster-preparation strategy. Create an exterior meeting spot as well as escape routes from each room in your home. Practice the plan with family members as well. Include your pets in the plan and make sure they are wearing identification tags.
- Make sure you and your family know how to use a fire extinguisher and how to turn off utilities.
- Be sure your policy includes flood insurance. This may be an additional item, as it isn't covered by most ordinary insurance policies.
- Prepare your emergency supply kit, including the following:
- 3–5 days’ worth of non-perishable food and bottled water
- Scissors, tweezers, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, non-latex gloves, and other items for a first-aid kit.
- External batteries for cell phones, etc., as well as a battery-powered flashlight and radio with backup batteries or solar chargers.
- If necessary, prescription drugs.
- Blankets and warm clothing are essential.
- Items for personal hygiene (toilet paper, tissue, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste)
During a Storm
- When a storm is approaching, bring all of your valuables inside and relocate all of your vehicles and equipment to higher ground.
- Walking through moving water is not a good idea. You can be swept off your feet by just a few inches of quickly moving water.
- If you're outside, move to higher ground and stay away from low-lying places that may be vulnerable to flooding.
- Make sure the doors and windows are securely shut if you're inside. Avoid being struck by shattered glass by staying away from windows. If the storm is severe, seek cover in your basement.
- Use of utilities and wired electrical equipment should be avoided. Turn off utilities to reduce the risk of damage from flooding or other disasters.
- Keep up with weather reports and follow local officials' instructions if they urge you to leave your home.
After a Storm
- Check to see whether everyone is okay and if your home has been damaged. Keep an eye out for potential dangers.
- If you suspect that utilities have been damaged, contact your local authorities and wait for their clearance before turning them back on.
- If your home has been flooded, stay away from the floodwater because it is likely contaminated.
- Make a note of the goods that have been damaged or lost, and take photos of them.
- Make a claim on your flood insurance.
- Floodwater is deemed polluted in its entirety. As a result, if you have water damage, all contaminated absorbent materials should be removed and thrown away (carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, etc.).
- Water damage needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise, mold contamination will occur, causing a slew of additional concerns and issues.
If you are affected by a summer storm, the experts at SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite are ready to help. Our trained mitigation team is ready to respond quickly and efficiently to minimize the damage and restore your home or business "Like it never even happened."
Technology and SERVPRO
Keeping a list of emergency contacts or creating an Emergency Ready Profile is easy to do on a mobile phone.
Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free ways to store different types of files, from a word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.
Follow The News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter or Facebook for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter or Facebook.
Mark Yourself safe
The American Red Cross offers a safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in a situation where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in the affected area at that time.
Get In Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.
SERVPRO is proud to offer Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP) at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business.
Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with you local SERVPRO Franchise Professional today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business, and SERVPRO will be there to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Making SERVPRO Your First Choice
SERVPRO is always ready to help out in the event of disaster in the home or business!
When your business is harmed by a natural disaster, a serious plumbing problem, a fire, or a flood, you must move quickly to minimize commercial water damage, minimize financial loss, and keep your doors open. Commercial restoration companies provide a variety of services to help you restore your property to its original state, which you probably won't be able to achieve on your own if you've had extensive damage. Why is SERVPRO better than the competition? SERVPRO's trained experts are among the best in the industry. No task is too huge for their Commercial Large Loss Division, which can manage any magnitude disaster anywhere in the United States. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our Disaster Recovery Team will respond quickly to water damage caused by floods, tornadoes, blizzards, and other natural disasters. Every day we help customers who have suffered damage to their home or business, get back up and running. SERVPRO provides a wide range of restoration services to help you get your home back on track after a disaster, including:
- Cleaning up the water
- Commercial cleaning services are available.
- Restoration after a fire or smoke
- Storm damage rehabilitation for businesses
- After a disaster, excessive growth development is a common concern owing to water damage and wet conditions. Growth cleanup firms like SERVPRO can take care of the infestation and restore the property to its preloss state.
SERVPRO professionals understand that the longer a commercial property owner is forced to deal with a disaster, the more money they will lose. For years, this organization has been Kaufman County, Mesquite, and the surrounding communities' go-to option for top-tier restoration services.
SERVPRO's Certifications and Services
SERVPRO is one of the big names in inspection, cleaning, and restoration!
Dealing with a disaster can be difficult, and your friends at SERVPRO Kaufman County / Mesquite hope you never have to do it. But if the worst should happen, following these steps can assist you in locating the best commercial restoration firm for your needs.
Inquire about certifications.
All legitimate mitigation organizations should be able to show that their technicians have the requisite abilities and training to do all tasks. The company should ideally have an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) certification, which ensures high-level standards and ethics in the restoration process.
Look for a comprehensive list of services.
Water and flood cleanup, debris removal, board-up, disinfection, and mold removal should all be included in the list of services provided by the business you hire to repair commercial premises. If the restoration team is unable to provide the services you require, you will be forced to seek out another firm, resulting in higher costs and longer wait periods for repair.
Check for positive feedback.
To highlight prior clients' reviews, reputable businesses frequently offer testimonials or connections to review sites like Google. Check up their most current reviews to be sure they have knowledgeable, pleasant workers that provide fast service.
SERVPRO has all this and more. We believe in community - a community of well trained, valued and skilled employees ready to give back to the community around us by providing gold standard service, when you need it the most. SERVPRO is a nationwide leader in restoration offering a comprehensive list of services, backed by a long history of good business, customer satisfaction and staying on the bleeding edge of technology for the mitigation industry. If your home or business has been damaged, give us a call and let us restore it "Like it never even happened."
What To Do With a Leaky Air Conditioner
Air conditioners are convenient, but they can be overtaxed. Make sure to keep up with its upkeep!
As we get deeper into Summer, people will begin using their air conditioners more frequently, kicking on the fans, or lowering their thermostats to accommodate for these sunny, Southern afternoons. With temperatures reaching up to 100 degrees, most people are starting to see the definitive line in the sand, and realizing that Summer is very demanding when it comes to trying to keep cool.
SERVPRO Kaufman County / Mesquite wants to extend a friendly reminder to our readers to check and service your air conditioning units, whether they’re window mounts, or central heating and air. Air conditioning units use the combination of electricity and the mechanisms inside the unit to cool the air that is expelled by the fans. These mechanisms usually involve some kind of coolant, and, you guessed it, water. And where there’s water, there’s the looming threat of water damage if that water ever becomes uncontained.
Leaky water from the attic can ruin ceilings and walls, and even floor-level mounts can leak and effect carpet and vinyl flooring below, leading to extensive and expensive work. But unfortunately, leaky air conditioning units happen to the best of us. Here’s what to do if you find yourself with a leaky unit:
- Keep the air conditioning unit turned off until the leak can be fixed. Mop up and standing water, and look at the extent of the damage. Make sure it’s a task that you can handle. If it isn’t, there are service professionals who can help.
- Start the drying process! Pull up affected carpet and vinyl flooring, use a shop vacuum to lift moisture from affected areas. Apply fans to help create cross-currents of fresh, moving air. A dehumidifier also helps speed up the drying process, so add at your discretion.
- Patch. You may need to patch up any affected drywall, or remove affected baseboards. Be on the lookout for signs of growth.
- Know when to call. SERVPRO Kaufman County / Mesquite is staffed by industry-leading professionals and full-time mitigation and restoration technicians, that can help you with whatever problem you have, big or small. We’re always here to help, and we’re eager to get you back to "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO's Duct Cleaning Process
Air ducts need a good cleaning every once in a while to ensure good, clean airflow throughout your home or business.
The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the duct work in your home or facility should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC 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 Kaufman County / Mesquite professional service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and duct work clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help you save money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals will inspect your HVAC system and duct work 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 of the health of your HVAC system and duct work.
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 Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals 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 to be cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine duct work 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 air stream. 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 Kaufman County / Mesquite at 972-329-4747.
The Do's and Don'ts of Fire Damage
Fires are incredibly dangerous; NEVER take one on by yourself. That's best left to professionals.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire at home or your business can be overwhelming. Fire is a dangerous and complex issue, and much of the damage it leaves behind requires professional attention to ensure the safety and soundness of your home or business going forward.
Beginning clean up and restoration as soon as possible, in a smart and efficient manner, can help get your home or business up and running again quickly. Yet, if you've been the victim of fire damage, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to do, or not do.
The Do's of Fire Damage:
Prioritize safety. A visual inspection is not enough to determine the structural soundness or safety of a building exposed to fire. Regardless of your own opinion, refrain from re-entering the building until it has been cleared by a professional. As well as structural damage, some fires can also appear to be extinguished and restart later, posing a massive safety risk.
Once you are cleared to be inside the building, limit movement to prevent the spread of soot, cover dry furnishings with upholstery sheets to protect them, open windows (if weather permits) to allow ventilation, remove clothing to be cleaned by fire damage restoration cleaners, and throw away any perishables and consumables that were inside during the fire.
Document wisely. Take photographs of all damage, as soon as it is safe to do so. Record conversations, keep correspondence, file receipts and stay organized. Devote a folder in your filing cabinet or cloud service to keeping meticulous records of all things fire related - this will help immensely when dealing with your insurance company to repair the damage.
Call your insurance company as soon as you can, then call SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite, and let our trained experts handle the restoration, and show you why our company motto is "Like it never even happened."
The Don'ts of Fire Damage:
Don't enter before a profession declares the building safe - worth repeating as this can literally be a life-or-death decision.
Don't start to clean up or wipe down. Everything needs to be assessed by the insurance company and you need to be given explicit go ahead before attempting any kind of clean up, even simply wiping soot from the walls.
Don't use items involved in the fire, unless appropriate. All food and drinks inside at the time of fire need to be discarded. Furniture and carpets, etc., should not be used until after they have been cleaned by a fire restoration professional. Electronic equipment also needs to be cleaned and cleared for use by professionals before being turned back on.
Don't turn on the gas, electric or water, until cleared to do so.
Dealing with the aftermath of fire is serious business. Fire and smoke damage is best dealt with by professionals who understand and are trained to provide a high quality clean up.
Call SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite as soon as possible. One of our fire specialists will arrive onsite to assess your property, quickly and professionally. Our team will provide you with a clean-up and restoration plan, as well as securing the building against further damage. By enlisting the experts, you have peace of mind that restoration will be handled to a high standard of safety, workmanship, and service, in a prompt and professional manner.