Summer Fire Hazard: Reducing Grill Fire Risk
This grill was destroyed after its' flames were left unattended; the damage done to homes by a grill fire could be even more devastating.
As summer begins and holidays like the Fourth of July approach, families and friends will be gathering for outdoor celebrations, cookouts, and barbecues. However, these fun summer activities can soon lead to disaster when grills and bonfires are left unattended. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), more than 5,000 grill fires occur on residential properties each year, and outside fire pits and bonfires caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires in 2016.
It is important to make safety a priority when it comes to hosting family cookouts and other events this summer. You can avoid a fire-related accident with these six safety tips:
- Ensure that your grill is on a flat surface, kept clear from overhanging branches and away from flammable materials
- Keep your grill a safe distance away from where people will be playing games, walking or sitting
- Use long-handled grilling tools to give plenty of space between you and the flames
- Pick your fire pit spot wisely and make sure the weather conditions are appropriate for a fire
- Build the fire at least 15 feet away from trees, shrubs or flammable materials
- Always make sure to completely extinguish the fire when you are done by letting it burn down to ashes, pouring water over the embers and stirring everything in the pit with a shovel
Thunderstorm and Flood Safety
The aftermath of a severe thunderstorm in North Central Ohio; this house was all but destroyed by a tree that was knocked over during a storm.
April showers might bring May flowers, but North Central Ohio’s recent summer storms can bring major water damage into your residential or commercial property. As we transition from spring to summer climates, there are a few different weather-related risks that could cause serious damage to your home or business.
Thunderstorms can occur anywhere at any time of the day, however they are most likely to happen in the afternoon during the spring and summer months. These storms are created by cumulonimbus clouds, and can produce extreme winds, lightning, and hail. Lightning can be very dangerous as well; in fact, more people are killed by lightning every year than they are by tornadoes.
When a thunderstorm is predicted in your area, there are some precautions you can take.
- If you can hear the thunder produced by the storm from your residence or business, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning.
- Keep an eye out for storm signs such as quickly darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing winds.
- Postpone any outdoor activities, and avoid driving in storm conditions.
- Find shelter immediately, in the basement of your residence or business if possible, closing all windows and doors securely.
- If you are driving when the storm hits, pull over and take shelter in your car immediately.
- Refrain from bathing, showering, using plumbing, or swimming during storm conditions.
- Ensure that storm drains near your property are kept unobstructed.
- Keep trees around your property trimmed; a severe thunderstorm might cause and straggling branches to break and damage your residence or business.
Spring and early summer is the prime time for flooding. As the seasons change, heavy spring rains can overwhelm rivers and streams and cause flooding. When water rises rapidly along a stream or low-lying area, catastrophic flash flood may occur. It is good to be prepared and have a solid evacuation plan for your family or employees when a flood or flash flood warning is issued.
Some basic flood safety steps include:
- Avoid flood waters at all cost. Just six inches of rapidly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you encounter a flooded road while driving, turn the car around and go another way. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Gather your family or employees, some emergency supplies, and any important belongings and evacuate to higher ground as soon as possible.
- Store your most important items such as photo albums, family heirlooms, and business documents in tightly-sealed plastic containers to ensure that they are well protected from floodwaters. As well consider storing valuables in the attic rather than the basement.
The key when it comes to thunderstorms and floods is to make sure that you have a safety plan in place. Ensure that your family members or employees know to take shelter in the basement during a thunderstorm or to retreat to the highest level of your property during a flood. It is advisable to keep a supply of food, water, flashlights and batteries, and a first aid kit in the case of any emergency.
SERVPRO of South Richland County is dedicated to taking quality care of restoring your home or business after the inclement weather, so that the health and safety of your family and employees can be your main concern when a flood or thunderstorm hits.
When You Have A Biohazard Problem In Your Home
Not all biohazards are chemicals or come from a sharps box on your physician's wall. They can come with owning homes and sometimes with business and office buildings. Biohazards can affect people's health, and create situations that can seem unbearable. Wildlife that has entered into the roof of any home or other building, or is even nearby, can bring infestations with them. Mites, fleas, ticks, and even lice can become a problem when brought in by their original hosts, especially when their hosts leave them behind or worse when they die inside of your building or home.
In Mansfield, biohazard problems exist in many locations, often with no one becoming aware of the source. Because of this, experts need to be consulted. SERVPRO is trained in not only restoration but also in the control and elimination of biohazards. Birds often bring with them different strains of bird mites, and while these tiny parasites cannot burrow into the skin, their bites create a risk of allergic reactions, intense itching, and secondary infections. Lice, also from birds, can infest people, and create the same discomfort, but in a worse way. Because lice can infest people, a hot, soapy shower won't suffice like it will with bird mites. Treatment with a pediculicide often means neurotoxins, creating an additional risk.
Ticks and fleas can also carry disease directly, but these do not travel as quickly as lice and mites can, and remain closer to their original location. These should still be considered as risks and avoided. It is necessary to have a professional team conduct the cleaning of an infested area that has possible biohazards such as these blood-sucking parasites. Deceased animals also found can be disposed of properly at the same time, and the area thoroughly sanitized and made risk-free again.
Signs of an infestation include unexplained bites, scratching for no reason, lice infestations when the risk factor for such is very low, or even small black dots on the skin that move quickly. Those are mites, and their bites can be very tiny, but extremely painful. If this sounds like a biohazard situation that you may be dealing with, SERVPRO of South Richland County can help you eliminate the problem. Call us at (419) 526-2701 any time, day or night, and we will assist you in ridding your home of any biohazards that have been creating problems for you and your family.
How to Prevent Mold In Your Home
This dining room was completely taken over by mold that was allowed to grow without professional intervention.
Residential and commercial buildings alike can be difficult to prevent mold growth in because of the summer humidity levels that come with Ohio’s climate. Mold loves humidity and can easily survive and flourish on even the smallest amount of moisture within the walls or floors during a humid summer day. Because of this, indoor mold is most commonly found in the most damp, humid areas of the house, especially bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Mold can grow uncontrolled as well on ceilings and inside of walls if the building has been recently water damaged.
Mold is a common fungus, of which there are thousands of different species spread throughout the world. The only way to prevent mold growth is to make the building uninhabitable to the fungi life cycle. Here are a few ways to deter mold growth:
- Use mold inhibitors on walls before painting any area, especially potentially damp areas like bathrooms and basements.
- Use dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and fans to keep humidity levels steady and low enough that mold cannot grow, the ideal being between 30 and 65 percent.
- Make sure that the areas under and around houseplants are free from excess water
- Keep rugs from damp rooms such as bathrooms or basements dry and frequently cleaned. Spores can thrive in a damp carpet and cause a severe mold issue.
- Use sanitizing mold prevention products to clean areas after water damage or mildew growth to reduce the risk of future mold issues in your home..
- Contact a mold remediation professional at the first sign of water leakage under appliances or in bathrooms.
Sometimes mold attacks in unseen places after a flood or pipe leak. Once this occurs, removing the water is not enough to eliminate the fungi entirely. Mold can survive for years without water, only to reemerge when exposed to liquid. Seeking the assistance of a remediation expert may help prevent future contamination and water damage. Our experts at SERVPRO of South Richland County know how to disinfect infected areas and completely kill mold colonies in your residence.
Air Conditioner Fire Risk
This air conditioning unit caught fire and caused unexpected damage for these homeowners.
There is no better feeling than walking out of the blistering summer heat and into the cool climate of your air conditioned home. However, what many people don’t know is that the same AC unit that makes summer temperatures more bearable can sometimes be a major fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, air conditioner fires caused 20 deaths and an estimated $82 million in property damage across the nation in 2016. There are several reasons why these potentially catastrophic fires might occur.
With sweltering temperatures outside, you might not think twice about letting your air conditioning unit run all day and night. However, prolonged overuse can cause serious issues and create a risk of your unit catching fire. Continuous use of the AC can lead to parts of its internal machinery breaking down and can shorten the lifespan of your unit as well as making it a fire hazard. Instead of leaving the air conditioner to run all day, consider shutting it off whenever you leave the house and turning it back on when you return. Turning the AC off at night when temperatures are less unbearable is also advisable to keep your unit running well and home safe from fire.
Another potential cause of air conditioner fires is improper maintenance of the unit. Annual checks should be performed on your AC unit to ensure that all of its pieces and parts are in proper working order. Filters should be inspected and cleaned regularly and replaced when needed. It is also important to never use extension cords when plugging in you air conditioner unit, and to make sure that it is securely attached to the window. As well, it is essential to keep the space around your AC free of debris, as any stray materials might get sucked into the unit and catch fire.
When the temperate begins to cimb, many homeowners rush to take their air conditioning unit out of storage and reinstall it immediately. While the heat might be unbearable, it is nothing compared to the tragedy of losing your home and belongings to a house fire that could have been avoided. When setting up your AC, take some time to check that all the equipment is in the same state as it was when you last put it away. If there are any broken panels or loose wires, the unit might not be safe for use. If you stored your air conditioning unit in a garage, shed, or storage unit throughout the fall and winter seasons, the wires could have been tampered with by mice, rats, or other small rodents. One chewed up wire inside your unit is all it takes for a fire to start.
In the case that your air conditioning unit does catch fire and cause significant damage to your home, our clean-up and restoration experts at SERVPRO of South Richland County are here to help. Our employees are experienced, well-trained, and have all the necessary tools to restore your property after a fire “Like it never even happened.”
Fire Damage Services Can Eliminate Smoke Odors
A fire in your home can be a stressful experience. Strong smoke residues can settle on your furniture and can linger inside your house. Also, fires can burn or char materials and contents inside the home as well as parts of the structure, which can cause odors.
Professional SERVPRO of South Richland County can restore your home when possible. It is best to call professionals to remove offensive smoke odors from inside your home. Our highly skilled techs can use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean smoke residues from the affected areas effectively. We have the tools and equipment to restore your home, which is why contacting professionals like us right away can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Our techs can remove materials from the home that cause odors like charred furniture, curtains, clothing, and carpeting. Any items that we save are cleaned, and sanitized and stored in a safe place on or off-site. We return the items to your home after the restoration is complete. The crew can also utilize air movers to move large volumes of air quickly. The team may also employ air scrubbers to reduce the level of smoke in your home. These top-grade machines clean particles from the atmosphere that may be causing smoke odors. Our crew can also use thermal fogers if the odor remains in the home. Thermal fogging neutralizes smoke odors, which improves indoor air quality.
SERVPRO technicians are well-trained in fire damage restoration. The team may use cleansers to clean soot and dirt from the floors, walls, and ceilings. They may also use odor removal products to eliminate odors from items and materials affected by the fire. The team can use several methods to remove soot and dirt from surfaces inside the affected areas. We use special cleansers that remove grease and tools that lift and eliminate dirt, soot, and debris from your walls, floors, and ceilings.
SERVPRO of South Richland County fire damage restoration can return your home to its preloss condition when possible. We are available 24/7. Contact us at (419)526-2701
Flash floods happen unexpectedly and at any time of the year in Mansfield,Ohio. Snow cover cannot guarantee that flooding cannot happen during the winter, just as a drought cannot prevent one from affecting a neighborhood.
Homeowners in Mansfield, Ohio often find flood damage within their homes after these short-lived flooding events. Flooding brings many problems to your front door, all of which we can help you resolve. We know that floodwaters carry parasites and pathogens that can cause illnesses in people and their animal companions, so we carry out extensive cleaning and sanitation efforts to rid your home of tangible debris and any accompanying microbes.
Just as our Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) ensures the effective reduction of any pathogens, we also can eliminate odors left behind after a flood. Our Odor Control Technician (OCT) understands where odors originate and removes these from their sources. The debris found inside a flooded house carries organic matter which produces foul smells. We remove the majority of the debris, but it only takes a small number of these compounds and microbes to foul up the air you and your family breathe.
Cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing your home helps tremendously in protecting your family's health, but we also must protect your structure.Flood damage poses the risk of water damage and microbial infestation. Both can create extensive damage to your home in the future. Drying out your property through the use of heaters, air movers, and dehumidfication equipment can help prevent such problems.
Other ways that your home becomes dry enough for your family to return include our removing of water-logged sections of drywall and saturated carpet and padding. Heat-producing equipment dries your floor's underlay so we can have new padding and carpeting installed.
The interior of walls can also harbor mold spores, making it imperative that we dry these areas quickly and completely. Many changes happen in your house while we work, but we always repair these details. These include small openings needed in walls and ceilings to allow for directed air flows.
SERVPRO of South Richland County wants your family to live in a home that provides the protection they deserve. We can solve the problematic situations that flood damage causes and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us at ( 24/7 for our 24-hour services. We are always ready to not only take your call but to also respond to all your emergencies.
Did You Know SERVPRO Offers Commercial Cleaning?
If you are the owner of a commercial business you probably don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, tag us in. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning your flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your work space look, smell, and feel it’s very best.
SERVPRO of South Richland County will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:
- Award-winning training
- Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
- More than 100 exclusive cleaning products
We also offer these specialized services:
We are here in your time of need ! Give us a call (419)526-2701
Flood Damage to your floors
Flood damage typically hits one area of a home before any other: the floor. Because carpets, wood, tile, and area rugs often get drenched, many fear that they'll have to throw it away or spend money for complete replacements. If you're a homeowner facing flood damage in Mansfield, you're probably wondering what the fate will be of your carpets, flooring, and rugs. Here's how SERVPRO can help restore the floors in your home and save you money in the process.
Flood Damage not only rots and warps wood, but it can also be difficult to extract the longer that the water is allowed to sit. This type of floor is also vulnerable to mold and mildew growth, which is why it's key that you call us as quickly as possible after your home is flooded. Our technicians will use advanced equipment to extract water from your wood flooring to prevent any further damage and get it back in good condition.
If you've noticed that your vinyl or laminate flooring has started to peel up or discolor after flood damage has transpired in your home, it's still possible for us to save it from being thrown away. SERVPRO has a range of highly effective techniques and equipment that not only extract water from laminate and vinyl flooring but cleanse it, so it looks great again.
Carpet and Rugs
When flood damage affects carpets and area rugs, it can be tricky getting them back to normal. If the flooding in your home was the result of clean water or gray water -- which is dirty water without the presence of solid waste -- we can extract moisture, deodorize, and save carpeting and rugs. Even if there's some color bleeding, our skilled technicians can still help.
Proven Tips For Responding to a Fire Damage Situation
Fire Debris Removal for Your Home.
While you cannot entirely avoid the possibility of fires in your Mansfield,Ohio home, you do have a direct influence on the professionals selected to restore this damage fully after the incident. One of the key factors that can aid you in this choice is the team that can arrive whenever disaster strikes, with a 24-hour response that features the full measure of skilled professionals and advanced equipment to lessen the loss in your home in this troublesome time.
The need for debris removal services is immediate. The longer that problem areas persist within your property after a disaster, the more that debilitating effects can continue to spread throughout the property and become harder to clean and restore. Our SERVPRO professionals offer emergency response services 24/7 to be there for you whenever you need us with the equipment and expertise that can make a difference quickly for your damaged house.
Our team has a production truck stocked with the tools we need and personal protective equipment to keep us safe throughout the debris removal and inspection phases of the restoration process. Debris removal is vital to prepare your damaged home for the reconstruction and later restoration efforts that it requires to return to preloss condition. It is a careful process in which our SERVPRO professionals assess materials and areas of your home for their structural integrity.
This process also hinges on the determinations of our estimator dispatched to your address after the incident as well. Our competent inspector works to catalog damages and loss, and can even comprise photographic evidence that your insurance provider requires to approve a damage claim for the disaster. We can work closely with your insurance adjuster through the mitigation portion of our work to help make this process as smooth and seamless as possible for you.
There are many phases to fire restoration for your damaged property, but it begins with the right personnel arriving quickly to protect your home from increasing threats. Give our SERVPRO of South Richland County rapid response team a call anytime at (419)526-2701.