What to do when thunder and lightning occur
What causes thunder?
Thunder is caused by lightning. When a lightning bolt travels from the cloud to the ground it actually opens up a little hole in the air, called a channel. Once then light is gone the air collapses back in and creates a sound wave that we hear as thunder. The reason we see lightning before we hear thunder is because light travels faster than sound!
How do you know if lightning is nearby?
If you see dark clouds, then lightning could be present, but the best thing you can do is to listen for thunder. If you hear thunder, then you need to go indoors or get in a car. Don't be outside, where lightning could strike! If your hair stands on end or your skin starts to tingle, lightning maybe about to strike. Get down on your hands and knees and keep your head tucked in. Do not lay flat, because it can give lightning a better chance of strike you.
Thunderstorm Safety Tips
IF YOU’RE OUTDOORS: Keep an eye at the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing winds. Lightning often proceeds rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin. If you hear the sound of thunder, go to a safe place immediately. The best place to go is a sturdy building or a car, but make sure the windows in the car are shut. Avoid sheds, picnic areas, baseball dugouts and bleachers. If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as far as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder. If you’re with a group of people stay about 15 feet from each other. Stay out of water, because it’s a great conductor of electricity. Swimming, wading, snorkeling and scuba diving are not safe. Also, don’t stand in puddles and avoid metal. Stay away from clotheslines, fences, and drop your backpacks because they often have metal on them. If you’re playing an outdoor activity, wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike or thunder.
SERVPRO of Texarkana. 24 hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Texarkana provides 24 hour Emergency Water Damage Service.
WE ANSWER THE PHONE READY TO HELP.
CALL TODAY - 903-832-4400
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Texarkana has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
Things to Know When Water Damage Occurs
After you have experienced water damage the first thing you should do regardless of the type of water damage is to shut off the water source if possible. Once the water source is stopped contact SERVPRO of Texarkana at (903) 832- 4400. The faster mitigation begins, the less damage is sustained to your home or office. While awaiting our services there are certain steps that can be taken:
For clean water losses:
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture o a safe placed.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is a potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
For contaminated water:
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/ or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated items.
We are always here to help, where the water loss is big or small, clean or contaminated water and are a phone call away at (903) 832-4400.
Keep Outside Firewood Dry to Stop Termites
Termites will eat away your home so take any precautions you can.
Keep outdoor firewood dry, away from water, to avoid termites that can wreak havoc on the structural wood of a home.
Dampwood termites typically are found in the western states, from Washington to Montana and down through California and Texas. They also can be found from central to southern Florida
These termites most often are found in damp wood, such as logs, stumps and other decaying wood. Most dampwood termites do not require soil contact.
The Right Fire Extinguisher for the Right Fire
Fire extinguishers come in a wide variety of types — each one designed to put out a different kind of fire. Classification systems have been developed to help users know what sort of extinguisher they’re working with.
To employ the extinguisher with proper technique, just remember the acronym “PASS.”
- Pull the pin.
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Hitting the tops of the flame with the extinguisher won’t be effective. You got to smother the sucker at its base.
- Squeeze the trigger. In a controlled manner, squeeze the trigger to release the agent.
- Sweep from side to side. Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is put out. Keep aiming at the base while you do so. Most extinguishers will give you about 10-20 seconds of discharge time.
Slowly back away. Even if the fire appears to be extinguished, don’t turn your back on it. There might be unseen hot spots or hidden fires that can ignite into a large flame at any moment. You want to be on guard for that.
Stay Ahead of Ice Dams
Icicles can damage a roof more than you would think.
Icicles may be pretty but they can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up into your house. Here are prevention tips, fast fixes, and long-term repairs. Icicles hanging along the eaves of your house may look beautiful, but they spell trouble. That's because the same conditions that allow icicles to form—snow-covered roofs and freezing weather—also lead to ice dams: thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves. Dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your house. When that happens, the results aren't pretty: peeling paint, warped floors, stained and sagging ceilings. Not to mention soggy insulation in the attic, which loses R-value and becomes a magnet for mold and mildew.
First, heat collects in the attic and warms the roof, except at the eaves. Next, snow melts on the warm roof and then freezes on the cold eaves. Finally, ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam. Meltwater from the warm roof backs up behind it, flows under the shingles, and into the house.
If You Encounter a Grease Fire In Your Home
So many brave firefighters, thank you for what you do. For the after affect of a grease fire, call SERVPRO of Texarkana. We are available 24/7.
If a grease fire starts:
- Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Leave the cover on until it has cooled.
- Turn off the heat source.
- If it’s small and manageable, pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the fire.
- As a last resort, spray the fire with a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.
- Do not try to extinguish the fire with water.
- Do not attempt to move the pot or pan outside.
Do not use flour, baking powder or other cooking powders that resemble baking soda or salt – they have a different chemical makeup and will not react similarly. They will make the fire worse.
If you are unable to extinguish the grease fire:
- GET OUT! You and your family members need to leave as soon as you can to prevent injury or loss of life. Do not try to be a hero.
- Close the door as you leave to help contain the fire.
- Call 911 as soon as you are at a safe distance from the fire.
- Do not re-enter your home until the fire has been contained by firefighters.
Use Baking Soda for a Grease Fire, Not Water
If ever you experience a grease fire at your home, don't use water! H20 could cause the fire to spread. Instead, try to extinguish the fire by smothering or using baking soda.
How Safe is a Space Heater
Space heaters can really help warm a place up but you have to be careful. If you have any accidents this winter call us, SERVPRO of Texarkana!
Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Fire and electrical hazards can be caused by space heaters without adequate safety features, space heaters placed near combustibles, or space heaters that are improperly plugged in.
Safety should always be a top consideration when using space heaters. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it’s cold outside:
- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
- Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.