Holiday Fire Safety
Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. Sometimes there are multiple people in the kitchen taking part in the preparations of multiple dishes. It can be hectic and dangerous, so keeping fire safety in mind is important!
Look at the Facts:
- According to the NFPA, in 2014, nearly four times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as on a typical day.
- And, in the same year U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,730 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
- Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
For more information, please visit http://www.SERVPROrichmond.com/ to see what SERVPRO of Richmond can do to help if disaster strikes. We are available for 24-hour emergency fire and water services.
Info provided by: http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/wildfire-and-seasonal-fires/thanksgiving-safety
Fire Prevention Week
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.
That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:
- Draw a map of your home by using our grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
This week is an also an opportunity for local firefighters to visit schools and teach children the importance of fire safety. They want to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your family safe. Firefighters are also encouraging smokers to make sure they throw out butts and ashes correctly because it only takes something small to spark a fire if the conditions are dry.
For more info please visit: http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week
Biohazard cleanup is also known as crime scene cleanup or trauma scene cleanup. SERVPRO of Richmond's biohazard professionals provides this supportive service for victim’s families. During an emotional period for the customer, SERVPRO biohazard professionals have developed a keen sense of how to interact with the customer by providing a level of service victim's families need in a difficult situation. While the police and other responders may spend limited time with the family members, SERVPRO cleaning professionals work around the family longer, by performing the cleaning and restoration of the scene. By performing the cleaning and restoration, SERVPRO helps the family make a step beyond the tragedy, to hopefully carry on with their lives. Our staff is trained in all facets of property damage restoration, from training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
SERVPRO of Richmond understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Richmond specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO of Richmond can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
As the second largest SERVPRO franchise on the East Coast, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Richmond!
Thunderstorm Safety and How To Prepare
Last night's severe thunderstorms inspired us here at SERVPRO of Richmond to share some thunderstorm safety information and give some tips on how to prepare for a storm.
Did you know SERVPRO of Richmond is a proud partner with the American Red Cross? According to the Red Cross, A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down tree and utility poles - causing widespread power outages.
WATCH vs. WARNING
Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area
Warning: Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
Make Preparedness Kit
- Water—one gallon per person, per day
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation & personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family & emergency contact information
- Extra cash
Call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151 if your home or business experiences damages from a storm. We have the resources to handle any size disaster.
There's a reason they say we are "Faster to any Disaster!"
For more information, visit the Red Cross website: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/thunderstorm
September is National Preparedness Month
Hurricane Harvey has ripped through Texas leaving massive flooding and destruction in it's path. Now more than ever it is important to be prepared before a storm hits.
September is recognized as National Preparedness Month to remind everyone that “we must all take action, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit,” (ready.gov).
With the recent flooding in Louisiana in mind, the last thing you want to worry about is how to communicate and what to do during a disaster like this horrific event that killed hundreds and left many families without homes.
What you can do:
- Make A Family Plan – you may not be together with your family during a disaster.
- Set up emergency alerts from local officials
- Discuss family plans for disasters and plan where to go for safety.
- Collect information on paper including, phone numbers, emails, social media, medical facilities, doctors, service providers, school
- Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection and if you have pets think about animal-friendly locations
- Take Action – ensure you can go for at least 3 days without electricity, water service, access to supermarket, or other local services
- Prepare a disaster supply kit (water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, local maps)
- Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed on severe weather
- Learn about wireless emergency alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency
Consider the following disasters that can occur at any time: Learn more about hazards which can affect your community and ways you can take action to prepare.
- Earthquakes – can occur suddenly and be deadly. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
- Floods - Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere.
- Hurricanes - have the power to cause widespread devastation, and can affect both coastal and inland areas.
- Tornadoes - are one of nature’s most violent storms, and can cause death, injury, and destruction within seconds.
- Wildfires - can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture.
The Truth is, It's Everywhere
Let’s face it, mold is everywhere. It can be found indoors and outdoors. It can enter your home or business through windows, vents and HVAC systems. Mold from outdoors can attach to clothing, shoes, pets and can be carried indoors. It grows anywhere, especially where there is moisture. And the worst part is, it can cause a variety of health effects. Children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems are more likely to suffer the effects mold can have.
Mold’s Best Friend:
Water. Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours
Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation
Because mold is everywhere, removing all mold from your home or business is impossible. A qualified restoration company understand the science behind mold and mold growth and knows how to remediate the problem area. So what do you do when you find mold growth in your home or business?
- Step 1: Emergency Contact SERVPRO of Richmond 804.740.6151
- Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Step 3: Mold Containment
- Step 4: Air Filtration
- Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
- Step 7: Restoration
Everything You Need To Know For Power Outages
This summer, we have seen some major power outages across the nation. Power outages can not only be dangerous to you and your family, but they can also cause immense stress if you are not properly prepared.
According to ready.gov:
Before a Power Outage:
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
- Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.
During a Power Outage
- Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.
If you experience a water damage after a storm, call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151 to remediate your damage and restore you home to pre-storm damage condition.
Top 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires
Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
You experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151
ERP for Your Commercial Building
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a free assessment of your commercial facility. It is designed to give you all the information you need in an event of an emergency. Our SERVPRO of Richmond Marketing Representatives will come to your facility and record the details and information on their iPads such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. It will also identify the line of command for authorizing work to begin as well as establishing who to call in case of an emergency. Our marketing representative will take pictures of all exits, stairwells, elevators, electrical room, alarm location, water and gas shut off locations and many other detailed information.
The ERP can be accessed through the free mobile app that can be downloaded from the app store. We will also print out a copy of the ERP, if requested, so you always have a hard copy in reach at your office. This service that we provide our clients is has proven to be very help in a fire or water disaster.
Call SERVPRO of Richmond today to inquire about an Emergency Ready Profile for your facility! This free assessment of your building will help save you time in an event of a disaster and established SERVPRO of Richmond as your fire and water mitigation and reconstruction provider!