Minimize the Risk of Fire Danger in Your Home
Install an adequate number of smoke detectors throughout your home
Fire is a word no one likes to think about, much less experience in his or her home in . The loss of a home’s structure, contents, and harm to family members in a home fire is a devastating and traumatic experience. The good news is that risks can be minimized with careful fire preparation practices.
Your home and family are unique and so will your preparations be, but there are some basics that should be attended to in order to prevent a blaze from breaking out. Here are some of the basic items to attend to.
Basic Steps to Fire Preparation
- Make sure the furnace and water heater are in good working order and well-maintained
- Never operate space heaters or candles near curtains or other flammable materials or leave them unattended
- With your family, make a plan for escape in the event of a fire and make sure they all know how to call for help
- Use fire-safe procedures when cooking and don’t allow oil or grease near heating elements or allow to overheat
- Install an adequate number of smoke detectors throughout the home and keep working fire extinguishers at easy reach.
Involving Your Household
Fire safety is a family event. Together with household members, discuss the steps needed. Let everyone be involved in helping – get them excited about fire preparation and prevention rather than afraid of a potential home fire. Tailor your rules to each person as needed - Don’t allow a teenager to burn an open candle in their bedroom for instance. Make sure any family members who smoke do so safely, not smoking in bed and making sure all cigarettes and any matches are fully extinguished.
An emergency building restoration company in Mansfield, Ohio can do much to help repair and salvage your home after a fire. But with proper fire safety practices, and participation from your family, a blazing disaster is much less likely to happen in your home.
Three Tips for Maintaining Your Sump Pump
When flooding hits Mansfield,Ohio your home’s sump pump can be the first line of defense in keeping your basement dry. The pump is designed to drain away water in case of a flood and send it to a designated drainage area. While you might not always need your pump, proper maintenance can keep it running at top tier and have it ready to go if flooding should occur.
1. Check the Float
Checking the float in your unit can help you gauge how effectively it is working. To do this, plug the sump pump into a power source and pour a full bucket of water into the well. If the pump is working correctly, the float will rise and the system will turn on. You can perform this check every few months and a few weeks before the rainy or thawing seasons.
2. Wash or Replace the Screen
During normal pump operation, your unit may draw in debris from flood water that might clog the inlet screen. Leaves, twigs and other small bits of trash are usually the most common culprits. After every few uses, it is a good idea to pull the inlet screen and give it a thorough washing. A clean screen may allow the pump to run with more efficiency and give the motor a longer life.
3. Have the Pump Professionally Inspected
A yearly inspection and testing by a qualified storm damage and restoration company can ensure that your unit is running properly and that no parts are damaged or need replacing. This kind of pump maintenance can give you peace of mind that your basement is guarded against flooding, especially if you live in an area that sees a lot of rain during the spring or fall.
Flooding in South Richland County, Ohio can cause water damage to your basement and foundation. However, ensuring that your home’s sump pump is ready for action can help you avoid the time and cash it takes to deal with the aftermath of a flood.
Frozen Water Pipes are a problem. Don't use a blowtorch to thaw.
Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during very cold winter weather. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure at over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture almost any pipe filled with water, which provides no place for the ice to expand. A burst pipe can spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, and that equates to thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when they are located:
- in an outside wall
- in a cabinet under a sink (especially near an outside wall)
- in an unheated crawl space or basement
If your pipe is frozen but not yet ruptured, you must thaw it right away. There are a few thawing techniques to try, depending on where the frozen pipe is located.
Warning: Never use a blow torch or other open flame to thaw a pipe. This presents a serious fire hazard and can damage the pipe.
A frozen pipe that hasn't burst yet often reveals itself at a faucet: when you turn on the faucet and no water comes out or it has slowed to a trickle, there's probably a blockage of ice somewhere in the line. It's time take immediate action:
- Shut off the water to the faucet locally or at the home's main water shutoff valve.
- Open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe; do this even if you don't know where the blockage is.
- Identify the frozen pipe and locate the blockage: Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas, such as an exterior wall or unheated crawl space. Look for areas on the pipe that have frost or ice; it may also be slightly bulged or fisured.
When you find that the frozen—but not yet burst—pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you've got a challenge on your hands. You have three options for thawing the pipe:
- Turn up the heat in the house and wait.
- Cut out a section of the wall or ceiling to access the frozen section of pipe, then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe (see next slide).
- Use an infrared lamp to help heat the wall section in front of where you believe the pipe is frozen. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because they pass through the air without heating it and will direct more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.
If the frozen pipe is exposed, you have several options for thawing it. Whichever remedy use use, heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. This allows water to flow out as the ice melts.
- Hair dryer: Usually the easiest and safest way to thaw a pipe. If the pipe is close to the wall, place a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help radiate heat onto the backside of the pipe.
- Heat lamp: You can use an infrared or incandescent heat lamp. As with a hair dryer, if the pipe is close to the wall, use a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help reflect heat onto the pipe.
- Portable heater: A small, powerful heater works great for warming pipes under a kitchen or vanity base cabinet. Direct the heater onto the frozen section of pipe. It will work like a hair dryer on steroids!
- Electric pipe heat tape: Heat tape is a ribbon-like wrap that contains electrical heating elements. You wrap it around the pipe you want to heat and plug it into the wall. The temperature of the tape is controlled with a thermostat. Heat tape can also be used to prevent pipes from freezing in critical areas; you can leave the heat tape on the pipe and plug it in only when needed.
There are a few things you can do to prevent the problem of freezing pipes from occurring again:
- Leave the faucet dripping slightly during the coldest time of the day or night.
- Open the cabinet doors to allow the heated air from the room to reach pipes inside the cabinet.
- Wrap the problem pipe with electrical heat tape.
- Insulate problem pipes with foam insulation wrap, especially those that run through unheated spaces. Note: Insulation merely slows the transfer of heat and will not prevent a pipe from freezing if the surrounding air is cold enough.
- Heat unheated areas with a permanent heater, just to keep the temperature above freezing, or about 40 degrees F. Warning: Do not use portable heaters, which should never be left running unattended.
- Remove garden hoses attached to outdoor faucets (hose bibs or sill cocks). If the faucet is not a frost-proof type, turn off the water to the faucet inside the house and drain the exterior section of the pipe and faucet.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Winter Storm Preparedness: Prevent Frozen Water Pipes
Winter storms are here and it won't be the last.
The National Severe Storms Laboratory categories a winter storm as having snow, sleet, or freezing rain. In Gilman, we can see any of this type of precipitation throughout the winter months. When the temperature is below the freezing point and precipitation is in the forecast, that’s when our office knows what types of calls we’ll be getting: water damages.
How Water Pipes Freeze and Break
A water damage during a winter storm happens when your pipes freeze. When water freezes, it expands and creates pressure inside the pipe, which can cause it to break. The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those outside the home that are exposed. Other vulnerable pipes are those indoors that don’t have access to heat, like those under your kitchen cabinets or in the garage.
Indoor Frozen Pipe Prevention
- Before temperatures reach freezing, insulate exposed and vulnerable pipes. You can do this by installing pipe sleeves or even wrapping the pipes with newspaper.
- Close the garage door to prevent cold air from coming in.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Keep your home heated above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
What To Do Until Help Arrives
If your pipes still freeze and you have a water damage, give us a call immediately and follow the following steps:
- Don’t delay. Call us as soon as you notice your water damage. The longer water stands in a structure, the more damage it will cause. As soon as you call, we will schedule a crew of technicians to travel to your home and begin remediation.
- Cut off the water source, if possible.
- Get textiles off the floor. Many homeowners rush to put down towels to stop the water flow, and that’s okay. Towels can easily be cleaned at our textile cleaning facility if need be. What you want to look out for are small fragile textiles or objects on the floor that can be damaged by water.
- Begin documentation. Start with the point of origin and all affected areas. While our technicians will also take the document, it's important to start documenting as soon as possible to prove your loss to your insurance company.
Be Aware of the Weather
Keep your eye on the weather forecast. Not only will you be prepared to travel safely, it’ll also give you to valuable time to prepare your home and keep it, and everyone living inside it, safe.
SERVPRO of South Richland County
We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (419)526-2701
“Like it never even happened.”
Signs of Winter Storm Damage
With winter approaching, there’s often more to worry about than shoveling snow. Winter storms and temperatures can cause extensive damage to your home, but SERVPRO of Richland County is ready to help if you experience a winter disaster from common issues including the following.
Brisk temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and break, which can lead to flooding in your home.
When snow melts unevenly and freezes at the edge of your roof, an ice dam is created which prevents melted snow from draining off of the roof. The water can then leak under the shingles and into the home and cause significant water damage.
Snow and ice can damage your roof and even cause the roof to collapse if enough weight has accumulated. Water can get into cracks and expand when it freezes, causing larger cracks.
Winter can be an extremely dangerous time for your home. Be sure to check the pipes and roof of your property for signs of potential water damage and warning signs. If you experience a storm disaster, SERVPRO of Richland County.
Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher for Your Business
At SERVPRO of Richland County, we see fire and water disasters everyday in situations where sometimes, a fire extinguisher can greatly decrease the intensity of an event. Choosing the right fire extinguisher can greatly help your business in the long run.
Class A: This is the most common extinguisher and is used to put out fires in cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and plastics.
Class B: These are used when flammable liquids are involved, such as grease, gasoline and oil.
Class C: This is used when fires involve appliances or equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
Class D: These are used for flammable metals and are usually found in factories working with those metals.
Class K: Usually found in commercial kitchens, they are used when vegetable oils, animal oils or fats in cooking are involved.
Choosing the right fire extinguisher is an integral component of your business when it involves preparation for unexpected disasters such as a fire event. If your business suffers a fire loss, contact the fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Richland County. We specialize in restoring any size disaster with 24/7 emergency services so you can be confident that your business will remain standing when the smoke clears.
Source: National Fire Protection Association
Helpful holiday hint from SERVPRO
Did you know...
A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.
The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency.
Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.
- Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended
- Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used
- If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible
- Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water
- Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire
- Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring
- Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially those things like tea towels and potholders
- Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen
- Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!
Keep these quick tips in mind, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!
Water Damage information
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of South Richland Co. Professional will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO of South Richland Professionals will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
SERVPRO of South Richland Professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO Professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.
EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Disasters Can Happen be prepared.
As a business owner, insurer or property manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers and community to follow.
This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes.
As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster. You can do this by taking three simple steps:
- Plan to stay in business
- Encourage your employees to become ready
- Protect your investment
We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are ready. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to begin preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency.
Protect your Assets
Protect Your Assets
You have so much time and energy invested in your home. Choose SERVPRO of South Richland Co. Franchise Professionals to protect your most valuable assets!
Your home is a reflection of you and makes an impression on all those who enter it.
You invest your time, energy and hard-earned resources to maintain, protect and increase the value of your home.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services.
If you need help due to a fire or water damage to your home, call someone you can trust. SERVPRO of South Richland Co.
Our trained professionals will carefully and respectfully care for your personal items.
We have a heated warehouse to store your belongings till your ready for them.
Like it never even happened.