Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seven Places Fires Lurk During the Holiday Season

Every year, hundreds of families start into the holiday season looking forward to good food and happy times with family only to experience the loss of a fire. Many families affected by holiday fires are not aware that fire statistics increase over the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. The US Fire Administration reports that "each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage."
With the increase of fire incidents over the holidays, these seven reasons are the most common culprits for fire
1. Candles. Many people enjoy the atmosphere and scent of candles around the holiday seasons. While the beauty provides a good ambiance and decoration during Thanksgiving and Christmas, flameless candles can give you safety and decoration without the hazards of open flames around children and surrounding materials.
2. Lights. Holiday lights can easily overheat and become a fire hazard during the holiday season. From Christmas trees to outside decorations, lights are popular with everyone; however, danger starts when lights are left unattended, displayed in large quantities, or attached to flammable materials.
3. Christmas Tree. Every year, people decorate Christmas trees and leave them surrounded with hot lights and paper wrapped presents on a carpeted surface. Combined with ill watering practices, Christmas trees become brittle and resemble match sticks waiting for the right spark.
4. Fireplaces. Although fireplaces provide warmth and the perfect backdrop for holiday activities, fireplaces left unattended can spew hot coals onto nearby rugs and packages. Carefully tending and extinguishing fireplaces will decrease the possibility of related fires.
5. Wall Plugs and Sockets. While connecting lights and displays, it is easy to overload wall plugs and sockets with currents struggling to support the flow of electricity. By distributing plugs and installing surge protector, home and residential fires are less likely due to electrical reasons.
6. Cooking and Baking. Conservative estimates note that cooking is the number one reason for fires during the holiday season. Without doubt, it is easy to get caught up entertaining while food is cooking. Cooking ahead of time frees everyone to socialize and slowly warm food to reduce fire hazards.
7. Fire Alarms. Managing these common pressure points for fire during the holidays are important, but even the best plans need a good backup. Nothing replaces a good fire safety system that has been properly installed and consistently tested are the key to saving lives. "After all, it is estimated that 23% of home fire deaths occurred in residences with fire alarms that did not sound," notes fire alarm and safety expert Larry Dolin, President of American Security Systems.
Some easy fire prevention precautions coupled with good sense during the holiday season, the memories will be filled with food, family, and friends.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Water Damage Restoration 101 - Why Use a Water Damage Restoration Company?

While in the midst of a recent job, the insurance adjuster came out and asked why we are continuing to dry when the floor looked dry upon the adjuster's visual inspection. An insurance adjuster, presumedly, is better qualified and has more experience in water damage restoration than a homeowner who is dealing with an emergency remediation service for the first, and hopefully final, time. The sincere question of said adjuster prompted this article as if someone who is supposed to be professionally educated and experienced in this arena does not understand what dry means, then it stands to reason that the in duress homeowner does not know and can reasonably question the time and effort we expend in doing a professional water damage remediation.
Let's face it, money is always a consideration. Any person, in a purely fiduciary and cost accounting point of view, could make the reasonable determination that removing water from a structure can be accomplished by simply using a store rented machine, a shop wet vacuum, or by any carpet cleaning service found in the phone book. This reasonable and cost controlling assumption that any of the water removal methodologies just outlined is correct as any of the aforementioned water removal methods should be able to remove the top layer of water but NONE of those water removal methods can remove the water that has penetrated the flooring, base boards, or drywall. Unfortunately, the moisture not removed by these methods is, often times, the underlying catalyst for costly structural damage and can create the optimal conditions for mold growth. While this approach to save money is understood and appreciated, this approach is unnecessary as, in many cases, a professional water damage remediation company can handle such work for little to no out-of-pocket cost to the homeowner.
In addition to the cost savings the professional water damage remediation company may afford the homeowner, a professionally trained and intra-industry certified company will know the industry established dry standard for the region they serve and will ensure that the moisture content of the affected area will be dried to the established drying standard and not to a level that looks, feels, and otherwise appears dry upon a casual inspection. The benefit of this is simple... the potential for structural damage is abated and the potential for mold growth is minimized thus saving the homeowner untold expenses in home repair and medical costs.
So what does dry mean? When is something dry? Dry does not mean a moisture content of zero as even in the desert there is moisture - if you know where to look and how to extract it. Dry, in the context of water damage remediation, refers to a point in the intra-industry drying standard at which the moisture content is stated to be dry. Each region, by virtue of its unique ecology, has its own established drying standard. The outline of each region is beyond the scope of this article but any interested party can easily find the established drying standard for their region online. It is to this point that a professional water damage remediation company will dry to, or beyond, to ensure your home indemnified to its preloss condition. Then, and only then, is your affected home / structure able to be deemed as dry.
As outlined in this article, there really is a lot that goes into a water damage remediation service... far more then is apparent at first glance. Now that you have a reasonable understanding of the time, money, and risk you can offset via the contracting a professional water damage restoration company, you now know that your fiduciary responsibility and cost saving intent is BEST served by using a professional water damage remediation company whenever water damage occurs.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Cleaning Up After A Fire Should Be Left For Professionals

Fires can be very devastating. If you're unlucky enough to be a victim of a fire, you're faced with the reality that your home is damaged. You feel as if you're down and you can't wait to go back up. Because of this, you can't wait to clean up the damage and try to restore things back to normal. You just want to go on with your life.

So what do some people do? They try to clean up after the fire themselves. They enter their house and try to restore it. But some people don't realize that this can be very dangerous. Why should cleaning up a fire should be left for professionals? Here are some reasons:

1. Cleaning up a fire is very dangerous

This should be pretty obvious. Fires damage your house. There are damages that you can and cannot see. Sure, you can probably see the burnt wall and you can avoid it. But there are damages that you can't see. There are damages to the foundation of the house itself. One wrong step can lead to part of the house falling down. After property damage, the least thing that you need is loss of life or limb. There's also the issue of fumes and smoke that are unsafe to you and your family.

2. Risk of doing more damage

If you don't know what you're doing, you can actually do more harm than good. Cleaning up a fire should be left for professionals because they have the expertise in dealing with it. They know what they can and cannot do. If you try to do it yourself, you can damage things that could have been restored in the first place.

3. Emotional and physical instability

The devastation that fire brings can make anyone emotionally and physically unstable. This can slow you down or even put you in danger. You're emotionally and physically tired and there's a very big chance that you're not up to the job. By hiring a professional, you're assured that it will be handled accordingly. They have the training needed to restore your things to its original state.

They have the equipment that can help you restore your properties instead of throwing it away. There can also remove any smoke residue that is harmful to you and your properties. They can also help you clean and sanitize your home so that you don't have to suffer anymore with the after-effects of a fire. If you can't wait to go on with your life, hiring a professional company is the way to go. They'll do it right and that's the most important thing aside from your safety.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Mold Growth in Your Home: Why It Happens and What to Do for Mold Removal

Mold growth is quite common and can occur almost anywhere in a home or other building. Mold spores, which are tiny and invisible to the naked eye, can end up inside if they become airborne and then land on a wet surface. Water or moisture is essential for sustaining mold growth, so this is the first issue that must be addressed if you notice a mold problem. Once you notice mold growth in your home, it is important to act quickly to avoid any possible health problems associated with mold. However, it is equally important to understand how to prevent this issue in the future.
Moisture is the main cause of sustained mold growth, so always be sure to dry water leaks or spills immediately, as in most cases this will thwart the start of mold growth altogether. There are several common problem areas in your home that you should monitor to keep water--and mold--issues at bay. These include clogged roof gutters, the area around your foundation, air conditioner drip pans, and walls, pipes, or windows if humidity is high. The appearance of condensation on walls, etc., can be a sign of high humidity, which is a major factor for mold starting to grow on a surface in your home or business.
Since molds produce allergens, irritants, and sometimes even highly toxic substances, they do have the potential to cause health problems, such as allergic reactions, asthma attacks, or eye and skin irritation. Therefore, if you notice mold growing on a surface in your home or office, it is very important to take immediate action, such as hiring a mold removal company.
According to most experts, if the size of the mold problem is less than about ten square feet, you can likely take care of the mold cleanup on your own. However, if you notice mold growing in a very large area, or you are simply unsure about the severity of the contamination, you'll definitely want to hire a professional service to do the cleanup. This is where a mold remediation company comes in.
A remediation company can send a mold specialist to identify and assess the problem and suggest a course of action for the removal of mold, complete the mold cleanup, and implement corrective action to prevent the problem from recurring in the future. Since mold growth does imply potential health hazards, be sure that the mold cleanup company is fully professional and very experienced in this field. An expert should be able to advise you on how serious or widespread the problem is, assess which affected items can be salvaged, use the appropriate tools and agents to fully remove the mold, and suggest and implement a plan to prevent future outbreaks. Preventing future mold growth can be achieved by eliminating the source of the water leak or excess moisture in the contaminated area. Your mold remediation company should be able to assist you in remedying this.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

How to Use a Portable Fire Extinguisher Training Video

This video was created by the Fire Equipment Manufacturers' Association to train viewers to learn how to assess a potential fire situation and use a portable fire extinguisher in the event of a fire emergency.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SERVPRO Commercial - Helping Businesses

SERVPRO video of action team members helping a business recover from water damage.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is Mold Remediation?

If there is a toxic mold (fungus) problem, the first step after the source is identified is to eliminate it. This is done through a process known as remediation. If the problem is only a minor one, it's often easier and less costly for the homeowners to do it themselves. However, if it's a major problem, it's almost always recommended that the homeowner hire a professional for several reasons. Some are more necessary than others.
If there is a large amount of fungus present, special equipment is necessary to aid in the removal of the fungi and minimize the effects of toxic exposure. This may include, rubber gloves, respiratory masks, protective rubber suits or disposable paper overalls, eye goggles, polyethylene sheeting, fungi removal products, wet vacuums, HEPA vacuums, HEPA fans and in extreme cases a decontamination chamber or airlock.
If the area affected is in small areas such as a crawlspace or attic, it's less of a hassle for a professional to clean up the area since they're already familiar with this type of a situation.
If the problem is an extremely large one, it's more than likely that the homeowner has already been exposed to the toxic fungus and should minimize further risk of exposure by staying away from the affected area.
All in the company's entire goal is to remove and/or clean any toxic molds that are present in your home and keep the fungus from re-growing in the affected areas. You should be aware however, that in some cases if the molds are extremely bad, it may be recommended that the home be condemned due to health risks and costs.
And finally, you should keep in mind that when you are considering hiring a professional, inspectors of molds are not qualified to remove the fungus. An inspector's job is to inspect your home for mold and prevent their findings only, so make sure that the company you intend on hiring is qualified for mold remediation, otherwise you'll just be wasting everyone's time and your hard earned money.
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SERVPRO Cleaning Services

Air Ducts / HVAC Cleaning

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.
The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.
For more information on duct cleaning contact your 
SERVPRO of Fairfield 
(707) 207-0122

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Professional Carpet Cleaning Benefits

There are not a lot of people that really enjoy housework. Keeping the house clean on a regular basis can become a tedious endeavor that is very time-consuming. In this day and age, many of us have much better things to do with our time, and there is often not enough time in the day to get everything done. Few homeowners pay as much attention to the cleaning of their floors anymore than is often necessary. Carpet cleaning is one of the most tedious house cleaning tasks there is.

Vacuuming and spot cleaning seldom does a good enough job of keeping dirt and germs at bay, and stains are often allowed to sit for longer periods of time. The only way to guarantee that your carpets are as clean as they should be and help protect your family's health is to call on a professional carpet cleaning company. These types of services use professional steam cleaning equipment and cleaning compounds that can penetrate deep down into your carpets and leave your home feeling cleaner and fresher than ever before.

In addition, cleaning technicians are considered experts in their field and often have extensive knowledge regarding the proper care of carpets and stain removal. While not many of us have the time to put into such detailed cleaning, these kinds of carpet cleaning services can do the job quickly. Having your carpets cleaned professionally a couple of times a year can save you both time and money. In addition, it will give you added peace of mind knowing that your family's health is safe from lingering dirt, germs, and bacteria that can invade our carpets.

Professional carpet cleaning may cost a little more than running the vacuum across the floor, but it is worth it in regards to the way that it will make you feel about your home. Not only can a carpet cleaning service make your carpet look like new again, but they can also save you from the added expense of having to replace your carpets early on.

If you feel that you are lacking in the time needed to give your carpets a thorough cleaning and want to do more to protect your family members' health, then it may be time to look into hiring a professional carpet cleaning service. One floor cleaning can leave your home feeling revived, and your carpet will be fresh and free from germs and odors.

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If your carpets are in a need of serious cleaning call the pro's atServpro of Fairfield
(707) 207-0122