Halloween Fire and Safety Tips
For kids, Halloween is often one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Dressing up, trick-or-treating, candy, parties, hayrides and corn mazes make for great fun and amazing childhood memories. Unfortunately, Halloween has become a holiday with increasing numbers of home fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decorations were the first item ignited in an estimated average of 860 reported home structure fires every Halloween between 2009 and 2013. These fires resulted in an average of 13 million dollars in direct property damage per year. At such a high cost, it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to help prevent a fire from igniting in your home this season.
To help you enjoy a safer holiday, follow these important Halloween safety tips from the experts at SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY: DECORATIONS
Use these tips to help prevent your Halloween decorations from catching fire:
The traditional jack-o-lantern features a smiling or spooky face that’s illuminated from within by a candle. Placing candles inside a cleaned-out pumpkin is a fire hazard. In fact, any lit candle left unattended is a Halloween fire hazard. If they’re inside pumpkins, they can tip over, ignite surrounding materials and cause a fire. To stay safe, use a battery-operated candle or LED light to illuminate your festive pumpkins.
Using paper bag luminaries or lining a mantle, porch stairs or windowsills with lit candles can create an eerie effect for Halloween night. However, this type of decorating is a fire hazard and poses a risk of injury to you and your guests. To help prevent a fire from decorative candles, replace them with battery-operated, no-flame candles that still provide the same spooky ambiance.
Some decorations, both inside and outside of your home, can be dangerous if left near a heat source. Straw, hay bales, corn stalks and other dry materials are flammable. To protect your home from a fire, keep these decorations away from any kind of heat source, including fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, candles and outdoor fire pits.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY: YARD MAINTENANCE
Halloween has the potential to bring plenty of residents through your lawn. To help keep trick-or-treaters and their parents safe, check that your yard is properly maintained and has adequate lighting. Before night falls, complete these tasks:
- Remove large amounts of debris, including leaves or sticks, to help reduce the risk of trips and falls.
- Check that the exterior lights are working properly, including any path lights or Halloween decorations.
- Ensure that steps and railing are secure, if necessary.
By following these tips, you can help keep everyone safe. We hope you have a happy and fun Halloween this year!
Unfortunately, accidents still happen. In the event that a fire broke out in your home, call on the experts at SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties. We’re available 24/7 every day of the year to get your home back to normal after a disaster. With the proper expertise, tools and innovative equipment, we can restore your home fast. Learn more about our residential fire and smoke damage removal services before the unexpected happens.
How to Recover From Fire Damage
A fire can sweep through a commercial building quickly. The sooner the flames are put out, the less damage there will be. However, water is one of the main ways to stop a fire, and water damage can sometimes wreak just as much destruction on a property as the fire itself.
Water damage after a fire can occur from the water hoses firefighters use, as well as the activation of the built-in sprinkler systems inside a commercial building. Find out how your business can recover from both types of water damage after a fire with help from the experts at SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties.
THE TRUTH ABOUT WATER DAMAGE
Excess water can soak everything inside a building, including equipment, electronics, upholstery, flooring and building materials. The longer water sits, the greater the risk that your building's contents will be permanently damaged or destroyed. Beyond the physical damage water can cause, moisture can also cause mildew and mold growth. If mold has an opportunity to spread in your business, you could face additional damage or restoration costs in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. That's why immediate water extraction after a fire is crucial.
Whenever water damage occurs, take the following steps as soon as possible:
- DOCUMENT THE DAMAGE
After officials have declared it safe to re-enter the building, document the fire and water damage. Create a list of all items that were damaged or destroyed, and take plenty of photos before attempting any clean-up. Provide your insurance with as many details as possible about your losses so they can properly adjust your claim.
- CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible, and advise your agent about any repairs you intend to make immediately. The agent may advise you to wait for an adjuster to visit your commercial property before you make repairs or begin the clean-up process.
- REMOVE EXCESS WATER
Open doors and windows to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate and dry your building. If possible, use a sump pump to remove excess water.
- PREVENT FURTHER DAMAGE
Mold and mildew can begin to grow within one to two days of water damage. To prevent extensive damage to your property, contact a professional water restoration company right away.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM WATER RESTORATION SERVICES
In order to minimize damage, removing excess water as quickly as possible is of the utmost importance. A professional water restoration company will work to save as much equipment as they can, including saving your business's electronics after water damage. They'll also restore your commercial property back to its former state to help you get back to business.
When you call for water restoration services, you can expect professional technicians to help in the following ways:
- Use specialized equipment to quickly remove all water.
- Thoroughly dry affected areas, including wall cavities, flooring and other building materials.
- Get rid of remaining moisture in the building by dehumidifying affected areas.
- Conduct an expert mold and mildew inspection and provide treatments, if necessary.
- Conduct thorough bacteria inspection and treatment to ensure the building is safe to return to.
- Restore the building and any items that are salvageable.
Dealing with water damage after a fire can be challenging and stressful. When you call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties, you won’t have to go through it alone. Our commercial water damage services use state-of-the-art equipment to get your business up and running again. With a commitment to be at your side every step of the way, we'll work with you to develop a comprehensive plan that restores your building and helps you get back to business.
Flooding and your Business's Electronics
If you're like most business owners, your office electronics are the lifeblood of your company. In the event that a disaster strikes, all your records could be impaired and permanently lost, including invaluable company records, customer information, and even communication.
In the aftermath of a flood, it's important to know what to do to mitigate the effects of water damage on your computer systems and other electronics. If you act quickly enough, you may be able to save more information and get your business back on its feet faster. Find out what you should do after an emergency and when to call on the professionals after your equipment or technology has been damaged by high humidity, directly hit, or completely submerged in water with these helpful tips from SERVPRO.
DAMAGE TYPE: HIGH HUMIDITY
Humidity spikes can occur in a room with standing water or other significant water damage. Surprisingly, delicate electronics like computers, printers, work phones, fax machines and other devices can still be damaged even without direct contact to the water source. That's because in humid conditions, dust can turn into sludge and cling to wiring and circuit boards. This is even more likely if the flooding or high humidity was caused by an office fire that produced smoke damage to electronics.
What to do: In all instances of high humidity water damage, professional electronic restoration services are recommended to bring your equipment back to normal conditions. A professional cleaning provides a better chance that your costly electronics and devices can be fully restored to preloss condition.
DAMAGE TYPE: DIRECT HIT
Electronics can sustain a direct hit from running or splashing water without being completely submerged. This scenario can occur from accidental spills, water overflow, leaks, floods and virtually any other water-related incident. When direct hits to your electronics happen, try to remove them from the water source as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.
What to do: Often, computer water damage from a direct hit looks worse from the outside than it actually is on the inside. Commercial restoration and cleaning, including an adequate drying period, can remove contaminants left by the water and restore the equipment to proper functioning, usually at least long enough to recover crucial data. However, there is always a risk of circuit board corrosion. Over time, you may need to replace either essential components, or the entire device.
DAMAGE TYPE: SUBMERSION
Submersion occurs when the electronic equipment has actually been completely covered in standing water – and possibly even muddy silt and sediment – for a period of hours or days. This type of damage can happen in serious disasters where people are unable to get to the office for long periods of time, or during weekends or holiday breaks when a pipe may burst and nobody is notified until the next business day.
What to do: Unfortunately, electronics that have been submerged are not usually good candidates for electronic restoration services. This is because most submersion incidents cause the computers to short out and damage the internal circuits beyond repair. While you could potentially replace damaged parts and have the equipment professionally cleaned, it may be prohibitively expensive unless your items were specially designed or extremely costly. In submersion cases, we recommend completely replacing your electronics and notifying your insurance about each damaged item.
Remember, if your business has sustained flood or water damage, it is never safe to just turn on your electronics afterward to test them. You run the risk of electrical shock, and even further damage to your equipment. That's why you should call on us. Our water damage restoration services work quickly with the innovative tools and expertise necessary to fix your equipment. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties to learn how we can get your business back up and running fast.
Commercial Cleaners Create a Safer and More Healthy Workspace
Safety is a priority for a business owner for their employees and customers. The right janitorial company can play a crucial role in preventing workplace injuries and illnesses. It can also help keep your business in compliant with health and safety regulations. When a customer or employee walk into a facility a key factor to prevent an injury or an illness is to make sure the following items have been done:
Help prevent slips, trips and falls inside and outside your building:
- Parking Lots and Sidewalks – Check for potholes, uneven walkways, broken parking blocks. Properly mark any changes in elevation of walkways. Correctly mark all parking spaces.
- Inside Building: Install non- slip mats in front of doors to wipe wet feet. Place same mats in front of ice machines, sinks and drinking fountains. If there are wet floors, place caution signs.
Proper Lighting and Electrical Components:
- Make sure all emergency lighting is installed and checked regularly to make sure they are working. All exit signs are always visible and illuminated.
- In bathrooms and kitchens should have ground fault breakers. Make sure workstation outlets are not overloaded which could cause a fire.
Cleanliness of Workspace:
- Daily disinfecting of bathrooms and cafeterias to stop cross-contamination of the spreading of germs from colds and flu.
Emergency Fire Equipment:
- Make sure all fire alarms, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are hardwired with a battery backup and are checked on a regular basis.
- Check fire escapes to make sure they are functioning and clear of any objects or debris.
- Sprinkler System is up to code and has been inspected and records kept on file.
- Portable Fire Extinguishers should be kept on each floor of the building and easily accessible. Teach each employee how to properly use an extinguisher. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS: Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
A safe workspace keeps employees productive, attract customers, and protects your business from potential lawsuits. Keeping employees and customers safe isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also important for your business.
Looking for a commercial janitorial company, please call SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties at 270-580-2200
How to Locate a Bathtub or Shower Leak
If you suspect water damage in your property, contact SERVPRO
Though some water leaks throughout your central Kentucky, home can be easy to spot, there're a vast amount of others that require more than a casual glance. A shower or bathtub leak, for example, can fall into the latter category, as they're a variety of places for leaks to emerge from in these areas. If you need help identifying a shower water leak, read how to locate one without much hassle effectively. Once the source has been identified, contacting a trained water restoration team can ensure your home removes any water damage, as well.
Check the Common Sources First
Before tearing into the tile work or uprooting your tub, it pays to investigate the more apparent areas first. After a shower, inspect familiar sources such as the:
- Showerhead face,
- The O-ring between the showerhead and arm,
- Faucet handles, and the areas surrounding them, or
- Caulking at the base or surrounding of a shower/tub combination.
Leak issues are generally noticeable in these spaces and can be detected by sight after running water through your shower.
Have a Professional Inspect Your Shower Pan
A shower pan leak is another usual spot for an issue, especially in tiled shower designs. These leaks can start from the pan being too old and faulty or merely due to a new one being installed incorrectly. Therefore, it pays to have someone inspect this space as a potential cause for any shower or bathtub leak.
Determine the Severity of the Issue by Searching the Levels Below
There's no more precise indication of a bad water leak within your shower floor than through the ceiling or flooring directly below the shower itself. Look for signs of water damage or condensation on the ceiling beneath a second-story shower or throughout your crawl space below a first-floor shower.
When eliminating a bathroom leak in your home follow any of these efficient methods for a quick solo inspection before contacting a professional for further assistance. For additional questions, contact SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties.
4 Easy Tips to Prevent Water Damage
Follow these tips to prevent water damage in your Kentucky property.
With the school year coming to an end, this means kids will be “flooding” into homes this summer. View these suggestions from SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties for preventing water damage while your kids are home.
- Be Careful Where You Plant.
Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.
- Clean Out Roof Gutters.
On a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some severe water damage! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. If your gutters are too high, be safe, and get a professional to check them.
- Use a Drain Snake Instead of Unclogging Chemicals.
Most folks don’t realize these chemicals are eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is an excellent solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.
- Never Pour Grease Down Your Sink.
It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water; grease can still cling to your pipes and could even cause some severe damage and blockage. The safest thing to do is pour your grease in an empty can and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens, you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done. However, we know that water and flooding emergencies can happen any time, so we’re ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays.
Safety Tips During a Storm
Being prepared for a storm is the best way to stay safe!
Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These casualties are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.
1. Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.
2. Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.
3. Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.
4. Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.
5. Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.
6. If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.
Who Can Clean Up My Shop After a Sprinkler System Malfunction?
Water damage can cause unnecessary stress to a business owner. Contact SERVPRO 24/7 to remediate the damage.
Our team has a fast response to help protect your wares and goods after a water loss in your shop and to get you back up and running as soon as possible.
It can often be a considerable challenge to address not only standing water concerns in your shop but also the effect that these conditions can have on your stock. Direct exposure can be devastating to many materials, so our SERVPRO team needs to respond as promptly as possible so that more of these wares do not suffer the same fate. With a location right in Breckinridge County, we can mobilize quickly with the full measure of our extraction, drying, and cleaning equipment.
For as problematic as water damage in shops like yours can be, many property owners still often choose to address these concerns on their own. While it might initially appear to handle the issues more efficiently, there are many shortcomings with DIY restoration. From content management through drying efforts that can penetrate beyond surface damage, our professionals have the experience that can more thoroughly and completely remove moisture and water loss effects.
What Do I Do with My Stock After a Water Loss?
As a business owner, one of the most considerable investments that you make is in the wares in stock that you sell to your customers. When water losses occur in our area, these wares could be in jeopardy. One of the most effective methods for protecting this investment in your business is allowing our technicians to either relocate or remove these items to our nearby warehouse for more intricate and focused cleaning.
- On-Site Relocation - Undoubtedly, some items are within the path of the migrating water damage but have not yet become affected or damaged by this spreading threat. Our technicians can remove these items from the drying zone to a safer location. By doing this, our team can remove the need for cleaning and restoration of these items.
- On-Site Cleaning and Restoration - There are many instances where relocation might not be the best option for the wares in your shop. On-site cleaning utilizes many of our potent cleaning products and techniques to restore your stock where it is stored.
- Off-Site Recovery - Through our pack-out procedures, we can carefully protect and move belongings from your shop to our warehouse for focused cleaning efforts. Not only can we effectively dry these materials there, but we can also work on aspects like surface cleaning, deodorization, and safe storage.
How Does the Carpet Get Dried and Cleaned?
Carpeted areas are not uncommon in small shops here in the city. When sprinklers malfunction, however, these carpeted areas can become figurative magnets for pooling water and saturation concerns. With the use of several sophisticated tools, our professionals can work to remove trapped water from carpet and padding layers to protect the flooring from requiring removal and discarding. Some of the ways that our professionals can extract, dry, and later clean these flooring materials include:
- Carpet Wands
- Hot Water Extraction
Will SERVPRO Repair the Damaged Plumbing?
One of the biggest questions that property owners might have after a loss incident stemming from broken fixtures is what subcontractors are necessary to get the job done. While many look to our SERVPRO professionals to offer fast and reliable restoration, many do not realize that we also offer real-time construction solutions from the temporary board up and tarping through a full-scale reconstruction of areas where the material was discarded. Some of the highlights of having commercial and residential contractors on staff include:
- Licensed In-House Commercial Contractors – With licensed contractors on our roster, we can offer more precise controlled demolition, faster build-back, and a seamless and efficient transition from upgrading.
- Assessment – With experienced building trade professionals at the helm of this division, you get accurate assessments of structural concerns.
- Repairs – With specializing in areas like plumbing, flooring reinstallation, and general contracting, we can prioritize efforts like repairing the damaged sprinkler element so that this suppression system can get recharged and returned to operation.
How Soon Can My Shop Reopen?
An immediate concern of business owners is how water losses are going to affect their bottom line. It is always a priority of our SERVPRO team to get you back in business as quickly as possible. Depending on the affected areas, it can even be possible to contain the drying zone in a smaller portion of the shop floor, allowing you to continue operating in a limited capacity until restoration completes.
No matter what your business needs to get back to preloss condition, our SERVPRO team can help. Give us a call anytime at (270)580-2200.
Structural Fire Damage in Our Territory?
Call SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties today at (270) 580-2200 if you need help with professional fire damage restoration.
Every year, structural burns account for a large percentage of residential insurance claims. The most common cause of blazes is cooking mishaps. Once the flames ignite, the smoke coming from it can travel through your home and cause several other issues.
During many fire damage projects in our territory, our technicians find that smoke causes issues, including residue-coated surfaces and unpleasant smells. To completely restore your structure after it suffers from smoke damage, our SERVPRO team can take the following measures:
- Removal of Residues: Depending on the surfaces that got affected, we can use water-based solutions or dry methods to clean off of your walls, ceilings, or contents.
- Fogging Procedures: If burnt aromas are still prevalent after all surfaces have been cleaned, then we can utilize either an Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) or thermal fogger that dispenses deodorants into the form of a mist or fog.
- Ozone Generation: We can also use a machine that dispenses O3 into the air that oxidizes malodor molecules.
If you ever have a cooking mishap and a fire starts inside your house, call SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties at (270)580-2200.
Can Smoke Damaged Carpets Be Cleaned In My Home?
To schedule a service call, contact SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties at (270)580-2200.
SERVPRO Can Restore Carpets in Your Home
Fire can do more than damage your carpet, it can leave behind unpleasant odors. These odors can be the hardest thing to remove after a fire, especially from carpet. The odors can become trapped in carpet fibers leaving you with a constant reminder of the fire you want to forget.
Do I Have To Remove My Carpet?
As long as there is no burn damage, you do not have to remove your carpet. SERVPRO offers carpet cleaning services that will get your carpet looking like new again. We have a range of services, including:
• Bonnet Cleaning
• Hot Water Extraction
• Deluxe Precondition and Rinse
• Showcase Premier Cleaning
We can get any carpet clean and ensure that smoky odors do not linger. Should any of the carpet be permanently damaged, we will remove it for you.
Is The Carpet Safe Once The Odors Are Gone?
Fires cause enough damage, and the last thing you want to worry about is whether the carpet is clean and safe. Can your kids and pets sit or play on the carpet? The answer is yes. SERVPRO provides professional carpet cleaning that removes all traces of fire odor.
We offer SERVPRO Cleaned standards which meet the requirements of the Center for Disease Control and state health agencies. The deep cleaning service even removes any other build-up and debris that may have been trapped in your carpet, making it overall a safe place to have a seat.
What Is The Next Step?
Call us today to schedule an inspection. How far the smoke traveled through your home will affect the level of carpet damage. We will assess the damage and begin work right away. Cleaning time frames can vary, depending on how much damage was done.
To schedule a service call, contact SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties at (270) 580-2200.