Why Should you Board-Up?
If you have experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. Aside from the safety side of choosing to board-up your damage property, it can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process quicker. SERVPRO of Texarkana offers full-service restoration specialists who can also assist in board-up services.
In a commercial setting, there may still be viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
Protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
Keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
Limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
How to Prevent Fire Damage from Grills
We all know what that means, it is time to fire up those grills! We all love the smells of freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs but if you aren’t careful, that smell you are experiencing could be the smell of fire damage! SERVPRO of Birmingham has seen fire damage and smoke damage caused by the early celebrations of springtime. Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills? According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 64% of households own a gas grill, 44% own a charcoal grill and 9% own an electric grill. A good grill master knows that being unaware of grill safety can be a factor for seasonal fires. Below are some tips we got from our friends at Nationwide to ensure your grill season is a safe one! Grill Safety Tips:
- Grill away from any structure.
- Make sure your grill is stable.
- Keep your grill clean.
- Check for propane leaks.
- If the flame goes out, wait five minutes before relighting.
- Keep an eye on what is going on around the grill.
- Be cautious when using a charcoal starter fluid.
- Don't wear loose clothing or clothing that can dangle.
- Be prepared to put out a fire.
If your property is affected by fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Texarkana at 903.832.4400.
Mold can be in your home and you may not even realize it. Whether you see the affected areas or not, here are a few things you can do! First, if you see visible mold, do not mess with it. When mold is disturbed, it can release microscopic mold spores. When this happens mold can circulate inside your home using your HVAC system and any fans you have on. This makes it so the affected areas grow and become larger. Check out what to do and not do.
What Should You Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and ALL fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Texarkana for mold remediation services.
What Should You Not Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold
SERVPRO of Texarkana specializes in mold remediation. We use specialized equipment and techniques to properly clean and resolve your mold problem quickly and safely. The safety and health of you and your family are our biggest concern. If you have mold in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Texarkana a call at 903.832.4400.
Flood Water Facts
During this time of year, we see a lot of rain in the Texarkana area. Across the United States though, flooding is one of the most commonly widespread weather-related disasters. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is always potential for flood damage. Though you may have never experienced a flood in the past, there’s no level of security to assure that you will not in the future. Did you know that 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities? According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following safety tips:
Stay away from floodwaters
If you approach a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
Driving on a flooded road
Turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and water is rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
Keep children out of the water
They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
Always be prepared and ready. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. SERVPRO of Birmingham is prepared to handle any size disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner your home or business can return “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 903-832-4400.
What to do until help arrives:
A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO of Birmingham South arrives. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.
-Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
-Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. n Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
-If electricity is off, empty freezer/ refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
-Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/ bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
-If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
-Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:
Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
Prevent use of medical devices.
PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:
Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
Check on neighbors.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS:
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
Did you know?
Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!
The picture is from a fire damage that our large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took our team a few weeks to completely clean the facility.
Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:
Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.
- Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
- Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
- First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.
Why You Should Recycle
Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic beverage bottles every hour.
The United States of America is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.
Americans toss out enough aluminum every 3 months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2 billion trees per year.
Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper.
Manufacturers produce more than 15 million tons of expanded polystyrene (aka, StyrofoamTM) each year, but we recycle less than 1% of it.
According to the EPA, yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 24% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream.
The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is "Mount Rumpke." It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.
The US population discards each year 16 billion diapers, 1.6 billion pens, 2 billion razor blades, and 220 million car tires each year.
4th of July Safety Tips
4th of July in Texarkana is always one of the cities favorite times. From the fireworks booming and celebrating in parking lots and pools as the night sky is lit up. Gathering with family and friends gather around for food, festivities, and fun. It can be easy to just get lost in all the fun going on but this can be one of the most dangerous times of the year with things such as fireworks, sparklers, bonfires, and BBQ's becoming possible fire damage.
SERVPRO of Texarkana has some reminders and safety tips to ensure this 4th is the best and safest it can be!
If you are choosing to build a bonfire this weekend make sure that you are using only dry material and make sure that all debris is at least 10 feet away. When you are finished ensure that you extinguish the fire, pour water on all embers until the hissing sounds stop. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by when having bonfires or grills going so you can keep any fire damage from spreading in the case of an emergency. While most kids love playing with fireworks, it is important to never toss or throw the fireworks at anyone. If dealing with fireworks, please consider the following safety tips and suggestions.
- Wear protective eye and hand gear
- Never carry fireworks in your pockets
- Always have a bucket of water nearby
- Keep unused fireworks in a closed box
- Make sure all spectators are 25 to 40 feet away
If you do have fire damage know that SERVPRO of Texarkana is a call and ready throughout the entire Holiday weekend! We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and/or smoke damage. We will ensure the highest care to get you back to celebrating the Freedom we have so graciously been given.
Recycling & Energy
Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy than making aluminum from raw materials, and produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.
Only 10% of the 140.3 million cell phones retired in 2007 were recycled. If we recycled all of the cell phones retired each year, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 homes for a year.
Recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to power 3,657 American homes in a year.
Recycling paper takes 60% less energy than making paper form raw materials.
Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
Recycling plastic takes 88% less energy than making plastic from raw materials.
Over a ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled, including 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash, 380 pounds of limestone, and 160 pounds of feldspar. Source: Keep America Beautiful
The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.