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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How to Streamline your commercial cleaning strategies

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Streamline Cleaning with Smart Strategies

Every minute that you save in a busy day adds to productivity and boosts your bottom line. Streamline the time you spend on routine chores with these smart cleaning strategies:


Store all supplies in one location, and keep them portable. Fill a lightweight plastic basket or wheeled cart with dusting spray, glass cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, paper towels and microfiber wipes.

• Shine keyboards and monitors with disposable towelettes designed to pick up crumbs, dust and debris. Discourage desktop lunches and snack breaks.

Designate a central closet for the office vacuum, but don’t bury it behind supplies. Keep it ready to roll for regular cleaning and emergency pick-up duties.

• Garbage patrol goes faster when you keep refill trash liners in the bottom of bins. Just pull out the full bag, pop in a fresh liner, and save extra steps to the supply closet.

Disinfectant wipes come in handy on restroom counters and break room tables. Encourage employees to use them on door knobs, faucets, fixtures, fridge handles and microwave controls.

• If you don’t use a cleaning service, designate and post routine duties, but let employees trade assignments. To keep things fair, rotate jobs on a regular basis. Using a checklist can help keeping everyone on top of all the important things you’d like to see taken care off.

Facts about mold and mold allergies

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

MOLD ALLERGIES

A mold allergy comes from mold spores that float in the air like pollen and can occur indoors as well as outdoors causing uncomfortable mold allergy symptoms. Outdoor molds often appear during warmer months, but can be found year-round in the South and on the West Coast. Indoor molds shed spores all year, usually hiding in damp environments.

Where mold typically lives

Whether indoors or outdoors, mold spores typically settle in damp spots.

Outdoors: Soil, plants, rotting wood or dead leaves
Indoors: Basements, bathrooms, cellars, attics, laundry rooms, refrigerators and windowsills

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Some common symptoms of a mold allergy may include sneezing, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and nasal congestion. Allergy testing by an allergist can verify whether you’re reacting to mold or have an allergy to another substance, such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander.

Smart tips for Mold Allergy Sufferers

Clean house

Help prevent mold with regular bathroom, laundry room and basement cleanings. Don’t leave damp laundry lying in the washing machine for long periods of time. Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles, grouting and fixtures with mold-killing and mold-preventing solutions. Use machine washable bath mats in the bathroom.

Humidity check

Keep the humidity in your house below 50% to help discourage mold growth. If humidity is high, use air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Turn it on

Use an exhaust fan over the stove and in the bathroom to remove extra humidity from cooking and showering.

Clean, cold and clear

Clean the refrigerator and empty the water pan regularly. Discard spoiling food promptly to help minimize mold growth.

Let there be light

Mold doesn't like sunlight, so try to keep your curtains open during the day.

Check the label

For pillows, mattresses and furniture that are filled with foam rubber, be sure to check the label for “hypoallergenic.” Without this label sweat could make them moldy.

Flood Tips

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Flood Tips

Devastating floods occur throughout the U.S. every year. Ninety percent of all presidentially declared natural disasters involve flooding. Flooding is usually divided into two categories: flash flooding and river flooding. Both can cause death, injury and property destruction. If you are building or retrofitting your home consider these recommendations and consult with your building official:

  • Elevating your home above the base flood elevation (the elevation associated with the "100-year flood") is the best method of protecting your home. For new and Substantially Improved homes, it is a requirement and is the only allowable option. The term “100-year flood” is misleading. It is not the flood that will occur once every 100 years. Rather, it is the flood elevation that has a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded each year.
  • Elevating your home at least one foot above the base flood elevation. This additional elevation is called freeboard and is a required minimum provision of today’s model building codes. This minimum elevation has many proven benefits including reduced physical damage and lower flood insurance premiums.
  • Wet flood proofing your home allows flood water to flow through the uninhabited parts of a structure. An example of wet flood proofing is installing flood vents that create permanent openings in the foundation. Another aspect of wet flood proofing is raising utilities above the base flood elevation.
  • Dry flood proofing your home prevents floodwaters from entering the building. Dry flood proofing involves a combination of measures such as installing new brick veneer over asphalt coating, applying polyethylene film over existing walls,installing watertight shields over doors and windows, and installing a drain system. Dry flood proofing has some limitations to discuss with your building official.
  • Construct non-supporting, break-a-way walls designed to collapse under the force of water without causing damage to the foundation.
  • Use flood damage-resistant materials below the base flood elevation.

Regular carpet cleaning not only means cleaner carpets, but can also contribute to a healthier home environment.

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Regular carpet cleaning not only means cleaner carpets, but can also contribute to a healthier home environment.

Carpet cleaning can improve the appearance of your home and extend the life of your carpet, but perhaps the most valuable benefit from the process is improving you and your family's health.

According to the American Lung Association, if members of your household suffer from conditions that can affect their breathing, such as snoring or asthma, it's especially crucial that you vacuum your carpets at least three times a week.

Beyond vacuuming regularly, you may also benefit from having your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you're not fully convinced of the benefits of professional carpet cleaning, consider the following top three ways the process leads to a healthier home:

1. Carpet cleaning eliminates trapped pollutants.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a dirty carpet can retain several sources of indoor air pollutants, including pet dander, cockroach allergens, lead, particle pollution, and everyday dirt and dust. Toxic airborne gases can adhere to these particles and also get trapped within the carpet.

These toxic gases can be released through everyday activities such as vacuuming and walking across the carpet, which can cause them to contaminate the air in your home. Professional carpet cleaning services kills these bacteria through special shampooing formulas and can remove deeply trapped pollutants with high-powered vacuums.

2. Carpet cleaning can clear out dust mite infestations.

Many homes have dust mite infestations, yet most homeowners aren't aware of the infestation, because the creatures are microscopic. Dust mites themselves aren't allergens, but they often leave behind feces and body fragments which are.

Because of the microscopic size of these particles, they can easily be inhaled when the area is disturbed, which can exacerbate allergies. Many professional carpet cleaning companies utilize a technique known as steam cleaning when performing carpet maintenance work, which exposes your carpet to high temperatures that dust mites can't survive.

3. Carpet cleaning can help prevent mold growth.

Especially in areas with high humidity levels, dirty carpets are at a high risk of developing mold growth when exposed to moisture. In precipitous weather, moisture frequently gets tracked into the home and can sink deep in the carpet fibers if not dried and vacuumed immediately.

Having your carpet cleaned regularly can prevent mold and mildew growth, because professional carpet cleaners have high-powered drying tools that annihilate moisture. By eliminating moisture, you can prevent mold growth that can be harmful to your health if ignored for too long.

When you're ready to call on a carpet cleaner, call on your friends at SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties.

Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.

Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today 1-740-534-9210

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, they can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. Their highly trained technicians can offer the following services:

Did you know that SERVPRO also cleans up sewage backups?

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO also cleans up sewage backups?

Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Water damage can be classified by the three types of contaminated water. SERVPRO technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our specialists are always here with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup?
Call our office today 1-740-534-9210 or 1-740-442-4631

Mold Damage Tips

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem? Call Today 1-740-534-9210

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties for mold remediation services.

What NOT to 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 Commercial Services

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

  • Retail Facilities
  • Education Facilities
  • Property Management
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Hospitality Facilities
  • Food Service Facilities

Have Questions? Call Today 1-740-534-9210

Commercial Building Restoration Services

We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to get the job done right the first time. They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Service.

Safely Using Cords and Electric Outlets

1/25/2017 (Permalink)

Be smart about how your use your outlets.
Electric plug and cord safety
  • Only use certified extension cords listed by a recognized certification organization such as Underwriters Laboratories ("UL listed").
  • Don't drape electrical cords or wires over radiators, pipes or other metal objects.
  • Don't overload wires. Electrical wires are designed to carry only a certain amount of power. Overloading causes wiring to overheat and creates a fire hazard. Make sure the cord is large enough to carry the electricity necessary to operate the tool or appliance.
  • Never cut off the third prong. Three-pronged plugs ensure proper grounding for appliances and power tools.
  • Replace older cords that have non-polarized receptacles and don't have safety closures. These cords expose young children to shock hazards as well as mouth and burn injuries.
  • Use proper extension cords outside. They should be specifically marked for outdoor use. Improper use could result in a fire or shock hazard.
  • Check the wattage rating on cords to avoid a potential for a cord overload. Then, add up the wattage ratings of all the products that will be operating at the same time on the cord. If the wattage rating on the cord is lower than the wattage rating of the products, eliminate one load, and check to see if the cord can handle the remaining products. For cords that don't have a wattage rating, multiply the number of amps by 125.
  • Don't run extension cords under rugs or carpeting.
  • Replace frayed cords.
  • Pull the plug, not the cord, to disconnect an appliance.
  • Don't overload circuits with too many plugs.
  • Install socket guards in all outlets not in use. This helps avoid injury to small children.

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Air Filter?

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

Knowing When Is The Safest Bet On Changing HVAC Filters

“I only change my furnace filter when it looks dirty.” Although this is a common assumption of how to know when to replace a furnace filter, it is not good advice. If you can see a buildup of particulates on your filter then it should have most likely already been replaced. A dirty filter not only reduces the efficiency of your furnace but more importantly, negatively impacts the quality of the air you and your family breathe.

 

But how do you know when to change your filter? The correct answer is: it depends. Many manufacturers recommend that you change your furnace filter every three months. But this is only meant as a guideline. As you might have guessed, every household is different.

A variety of factors may determine how often you change your filter. They include the type of filter, specific conditions in the home, and furnace usage patterns, to name just a few.

If you’re looking for a quick and simple answer to when to replace your furnace filter, skip on down to the “Basic Guidelines …” section. But if you’re the inquisitive sort that wants to know everything there is to know about furnace filters, well, you’re on the right site. Feel free to read on.

DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR HVAC FILTER?


Air filters in your home central heating/cooling unit don't last forever. They filter dust, pollen, bacteria and mold from your air, so what you breathe is clean. A clogged-up air filter kills your unit's energy efficiency. If neglected long enough, it can send air pollutants, dust and spores all over your house, and can eventually clog the vents as well. Clogged vents can cause pressure to build up, causing leaks in several places over time, which effectively defeats the purpose of having them. If you have recently discovered having allergies, or sinus or breathing issues, it could be due to not having clean air running through your house.

 

Additionally, having your system running efficiently helps it do its job better in extreme weather. During the summer, when you're faced with extreme heat, a cleaner air filter is going to allow your AC to run more efficiently, keeping you safe, and costing you less. During the winter, clean filters will help you stay heated without your central heating system working too hard, saving the motor and again, saving you money.

FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO FILTER REPLACEMENT


Not all homes are alike, a number of factors can determine when to change the air filter. The type of filter, the number of occupants in the home, the number of pets, the amount the furnace/AC is used, and whether or not doors and windows are left open are some of the main factors to consider when deciding to change an air filter. Be aware of the size and thickness of the filter as well, as it will contribute to the filter’s effectiveness and lifespan.

 

In addition to these factors there are individual needs and preferences to consider when deciding to change an air filter. For instance, if a person in the home has Asthma, severe allergies, or other respiratory conditions changing the air filter more frequently is recommended. A fresh filter can help relieve or prevent some potential issues and should be considered when determining a timeframe for filter replacement.

BASIC GUIDELINES FOR REPLACING A FURNACE FILTER


As mentioned earlier, a number of factors will determine when to change your furnace filters. However, below are some guidelines you can use as a general reference.


- Average suburban home w no pets – 90 days
- Average home w pet – 60 days
- More than one pet or allergies – 30-45 days
- Vacation home or single occupant (no pets, no allergies) - up to 6 months

 

There you have it. When to change your furnace filter depends on more than the thickness and appearance of the filter. Although every three months is the standard, it will ultimately depend on a variety of individual factors. But in general, it is a good idea to err on the side of caution. Changing your filter more often will only ensure the quality of the air you breath while also saving you money on the operation of your furnace.

7 Ways To Help Prepare Your Home For Winter

1/3/2017 (Permalink)

Protect your largest asset from the weather.

Winter is on its way and, for most of the country that means freezing temps, wind, snow, ice and heavy jackets.

To prepare your home and your household for the colder months ahead, review this handy checklist, which is designed to help you be more prepared for whatever old man winter has in store. Please keep personal safety in mind when checking items off this list, and connect with a trusted professional or contractor for help with anything you are unable to do yourself


1. Invest in weather stripping

Weather stripping is a good way to help seal warm air in and cold air out of your home. Available in almost any hardware store, weather stripping installs quickly around windows and doors and can help prevent air leaks.

Before winter arrives, check the following parts of your home for leaks or drafts:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Vents and fans
  • Plumbing areas
  • Air conditioners
  • Mail chutes
  • Electrical and gas lines


2. Clean your gutters

Clear gutters help drain water away from your roof and your house. If they're clogged however, especially in colder months, they're more apt to freeze, causing additional blockages. Blocked gutters can allow melting ice and snow to seep into your roof, or flood your home's foundation, causing damage.

If it's safe to do so, take some time before winter hits and clear out your gutters, or work with a trusted roofing professional or contractor to have your gutters cleaned.


3. Evaluate your roof to prevent ice dams

While a roofing professional is cleaning the gutters, see if he or she can evaluate your roof for ice dams too.

In cold weather, heat escaping your home can melt and refreeze ice and snow on your roof, leading to ice dams. These block off drains, and let water and ice continually build up on your roof – and possibly under it – weakening your roof and putting your home at risk.

To help prevent ice dams:

  • Insulate your attic - Your attic should have plenty of insulation to prevent too much heat transfer from your living areas to the attic. Check parts of the attic that may not be well insulated, like:
    • Pipes and vents
    • Chimney systems
    • Light fixtures
       
  • Ventilate your attic - If your attic wasn’t built with a ventilation system, contact a trusted professional or contractor about ventilating your attic before winter. Proper ventilation allows cold air into the attic, while the insulation seals heat in your living areas. This can help prevent warm air from melting ice on the roof, leading to possible damage.


4. Buy a roof rake to keep snow from building up

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IIBHS), an average roof can handle up to four feet of fresh snow before it’s stressed. However, as snow packs down from multiple storms, could cause a roof collapse!

If you expect a lot of snow this winter, invest in a roof rake. It can help you easily clear snow off your roof and protect your home during those blizzard months.


5. Prune trees around the house

If there are long tree branches hanging near your house, your roof, or your gutters, prune them before it gets too cold. Branches broken from heavy snow and ice can cause all kinds of damage to your home. A few hours with the pruner now could save you thousands of dollars in damages later this winter.


6. Stock up on basics

You know what happens when the news calls for bad weather; stores flood with people, all buying milk, bread, batteries, flashlights, and duct tape by the truck load. How do you avoid this mess?

Stock up on basic supplies before winter, and stay cozy in your home.

Strong winds, blizzards, ice, and snow can cause blackouts and power outages, which can wreak havoc on your home in the winter. To prepare, keep supplies on hand, and read more about the types of alternate heating sources available for purchase.


7. Protect pipes from freezing

According to the IIBHS, a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage! Thankfully, you can do something to help protect your pipes from freezing in bitter cold weather.

Don't turn the heat down too much when you’re out of the house. You may not be there to enjoy it, but your pipes need the heat to prevent freezing.

Let faucets drip during serious cold snaps to provide relief for your pipes.

Give your home a once over for any exposed or vulnerable piping, and wrap them with insulation. Hardware stores usually carry foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves for pipes, which are easy to install.

Caulk up cracks or holes in your walls to keep cold air away from pipes. This might not be practical for the average homeowner, so speak to a trusted contractor.

If your pipes do freeze, and water stops flowing from faucets, call a plumber immediately!

Safety Tips on Using Space Heaters

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

Safe Use of Space Heaters

Space heaters can be very effective, but they have a bad reputation as fire hazards. Here are some tips for using portable heaters as a safe alternative to heating the entire house.

When Jack Frost comes nipping at your nose, it's time to turn up the heat. For many people, this just means raising the temperature on the central heating system's thermostat. In many cases, though, you only need heat in a small area for a brief time, and it makes more sense to use a space heater than to heat the whole house.

The best way to use a space heater to save money is to only heat one room, but leave the rest of your home cooler. That said, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reminds us that space heaters account for 1/3 of all home fires and 4 out of 5 home heating fire deaths, so paying close attention to safety is a must.

Whatever your reasons for using a space heater, here are tips to help you choose, use, and maintain yours so you can stay safely toasty warm, even when the weather outside is frightful.

SAFETY FIRST

No matter what type or brand of space heater you opt to use, follow these safety tips from the NFPA to reduce the chances of fires and injury:

  • Keep anything that can burn, including bedding, furniture, and curtains at least 3 feet away from a space heater.
  • Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around space heaters and never use a space heater in a child's bedroom.
  • Run power cords on top of carpet and step over them to avoid abrading the cord. Do not use extension cords.
  • Turn off space heaters when going to bed or leaving a room.
  • Don't use a space heater in a damp or wet area unless it's specifically made for that purpose.
  • Turn space heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never put a space heater on a countertop unless it's specifically designed for it.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and test monthly.
  • Only purchase "UL Listed" heaters which display the UL mark on their label. This is an independent organization which tests for safety.
  • Don't use gas- or oil-burning space heaters indoors, only outdoors or in spaces open to the outdoors like tents or porches.
  • Read and follow all manufacturer's directions for your space heater.

 

HOW THEY WORK

Space heaters heat you and the room they occupy in two ways: through radiant heat and convection. Radiant heat is like the warmth you feel when sunlight hits your skin. The closer you are to the space heater, the more of the radiant warmth you'll feel. Convection happens when air surrounding the heater is heated. That hot air rises toward the ceiling, pulling surrounding cool air toward the heater, where that air is heated and also begins to rise. Air at the ceiling then begins to cool and fall, until it's drawn toward the heater once again. This is called a convection loop and, while air toward the ceiling will tend to feel warmer, the convective loop will eventually help to heat the whole room. A heater with an integrated fan will naturally spread more of the heat farther from the heater than relying on convection alone, warming a room more evenly and quickly.

GAS- AND OIL-BURNING SPACE HEATERS

Gas/propane/kerosene space heaters, due to the fact that they produce dangerous combustion gases from burning fuel, should only be used in well-ventilated areas open to the outdoors. This includes areas like tents, screened porches, or new construction homes before the windows and doors are installed. It's best to find a model with a low-oxygen shut-off or oxygen depletion sensor. This safety feature automatically detects when oxygen levels are getting dangerously low in a space, and stops fuel from flowing to the heater, shutting off the flame.

Output for gas- and oil-burning space heaters is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Smaller heaters may have outputs of 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs, which is enough to heat a 200 square-foot tent. Medium-sized heaters will have outputs of 12,000 to 30,000 BTUs, which will heat a space of 600-800 square feet. Larger, commercial grade propane heaters combine propane heat with a powerful electric fan to heat much larger spaces. These units can reach 150,000 to 200,000 BTUs and can heat spaces over 3,000 square feet.

Caution: While "vent-free" gas heaters for residential use do exist, they are only safe if very carefully monitored and maintained. The safety of vent-free units relies on all of the catalytic and safety elements to be clean and in good working order to function properly at all times. If sensors or elements become dusty or dirty, the performance of a vent free unit can be compromised. Even with a properly maintained unit, burning of gas creates not only dangerous combustion gases, but also a surprising amount of water vapor. Aside from safety issues, excessive use of a vent-free gas heater indoors can result in moisture problems like mold, mildew, and condensation damage of wooden windows. Ideally, all gas heaters for indoor use should have sealed combustion chambers which are properly vented to the outdoors.

ELECTRIC SPACE HEATERS

For indoor use, electric models come in many shapes and sizes, but all work in a similar way. They pass electricity through a poorly conducting substance, which resists the electricity passing through it, producing heat. That's why this type of heat is also called "resistance heating." Regardless of whether the heater uses wire, ceramic, quartz, or radiator-type elements, they all work essentially the same way. Some will use a highly reflective backing to concentrate radiant heat in one direction. Ceramic and quartz heaters aim to keep the surface of the heater cool to the touch.

The best electric space heaters employ safety features like a tip-over switch, overheat sensor, and touch sensor (which shuts the unit off if the grill is touched, to prevent burns), to make them as safe as possible. A space heater that features a longer, heavy-duty power cord will mean you won't need an extension cord. Under-sized and frayed power cords are a major source of fire danger.

To determine how much heat an electric space heater will produce, look at the output, which is measured in watts. Generally speaking, outputs range from 400 to 1,500 watts. Most modern models will allow you to adjust the output over a given range.

One of the more advantageous features on an electric space heater is a built-in fan. A built-in fan will spread heat over a wider area as it circulates air through the heater and the room. An integrated fan also means that a heater will heat up an area faster. Space heaters with a thermostat will automate the heater's operation, so you don't have to continually turn it on and off manually to keep a space from getting too warm for comfort. Larger units may even include faux wood cabinets and faux flames for a warmer, fireplace-like look.

THE LONG RUN

If you've turned to a space heater because your home is constantly cold and drafty in the winter, you may end up spending more money on energy in the long run than necessary. Electric space heaters are inherently inefficient as a heating source. As a matter of fact, the Department of Energy's EnergyStar program doesn't certify space heaters in the EnergyStar program for this reason. A central heat pump or gas furnace, even an older model, is likely much more efficient at heating your home. That's why it's important not to use a space heater as anything more than a temporary bandage for spot heating. Instead, solve the real problem: the poor efficiency of your home's shell. Spend a modest amount of money to insulate and air-seal your home to stop cold air infiltration and retain heat from your existing central heat system. Improving the energy efficiency of your home's shell will save you money and make your home a more comfortable and safer place to live in the long run.

Smoke Detectors

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

In addition to a home fire escape plan, a working smoke alarm can give your family the early warning they need to get out of your home safely if ther

Having smoke detectors in your home should be a no-brainer. After all, the consequences of not getting your family out of your burning home in time is pretty obvious, and smoke detectors are fairly inexpensive, readily available, and easy to install.

Smoke Detector Statistics


The importance of smoke detectors make the results of a 2008 phone survey easy to understand. It found that 96% of households in the United States reported that they had at least one smoke detector.

Unfortunately, the results of that smoke detector survey isn't corroborated by the fact that smoke detectors aren't found in just over 30% of home fires.

More smoke detector statistics:

About two-thirds of the deaths in home fires are in homes that either didn't have a smoke detector (40%) or didn't have a working smoke detector (23%).
Just over two-thirds of people report having battery-only smoke detectors, even though hard-wired smoke detectors with a battery backup are thought to work better and are more likely to sound an alarm during a fire.


Many people don't know that they should replace their smoke detector every ten years.


Most smoke detectors don't work because the smoke detector battery is dead or has been removed or disconnected.


Smoke Detector Tips


Fires are one of the leading causes of death in children. In 2007, 477 children died in fires, almost all of them home fires, which makes it important to learn about fire safety and prevention, with smoke detectors being a key part of your home fire safety plan.

You usually can't just put one smoke detector in your home and think you have done all you can do, though.

To keep your family safe, you should:

Install a smoke detector in every bedroom of your home and in the hall that leads to one or two bedrooms, and make sure there is at least one on each floor of your home, even in your basement. You should usually avoid putting a smoke detector in an unheated attic and garage.

Interconnect all of your smoke detectors, a feature on most newer hard-wired smoke detectors and wireless smoke detectors. Interconnected smoke detectors will all sound an alarm when any one of them detects smoke or a fire.


Choose a hard-wired smoke detector that has a battery backup, so that it will work even if the power goes out. Hard-wired smoke detectors are reported to be more reliable in fires than those that are powered by batteries alone.


Get a smoke detector that has strobe lights that flash and/or vibrates if there is someone with hearing loss in your home.


Be sure your smoke detectors are installed properly, either in the center of a ceiling (although away from ceiling fans), or on the wall, at least 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling, and away from air vents, windows, or other high air flow areas.


Choose a combination or dual photoelectric and ionization smoke detector, since each type responds best to different types of fires, or install each type of smoke detector in your home and interconnect them. In general, ionization smoke detectors are best for detecting flaming fires, while photoelectric smoke detectors are best for detecting smoldering fires.

Replace your smoke detector batteries at least once a year and especially when you hear the warning signal that the battery is low. It might be even better to replace the batteries whenever you change your clock at the beginning or end of Daylight Saving Time.


Test your smoke detector each month and replace it if it doesn't work or if it is already 8 to 10 years old.


Regularly clean your smoke detector according to your smoke detector's instructions, which usually involves vacuuming around the outside of the smoke detector when you change the batteries.


Move any smoke detector that causes too many nuisance alarms -- for example, if it routinely goes off when someone is cooking.


Consider getting a smoke detector that includes a recordable voice announcement, which some experts think may be more helpful in waking children versus standard beeping smoke detectors.

Since your smoke detectors are simply early warning signals of a fire in your home, to be safe you also need a good home fire escape plan so that you can take advantage of that early warning and extra time and quickly get your family out of your home.

Best Smoke Detectors


Although there are many brands and types of smoke detectors, the best smoke detector is going to be one that is properly installed and has certain features, including that it:

  • is hard-wired with a battery backup.
  • can be interconnected with all of the other smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • has dual photoelectric and ionization sensors (although it may be best to install an interconnected photoelectric smoke detector near the kitchen and near any bathrooms, since steam may trigger false alarms in the ionization sensor of dual sensor and ionization smoke detectors).
  • has a mute or hush button to temporarily silence false alarms.
  • includes a compliance label from a recognized testing laboratory, such as the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and/or National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
  • At this time, the only smoke detector that seems to have all of those features is the Kidde PI2010 hard-wired, dual sensor smoke alarm.

If you have a home security system, you may even be able to add smoke detectors and heat sensors to your security system so that your security monitoring company can notify you and the fire department if there is a fire in your home.

Smoke Detectors vs. Smoke Alarms


It is easy to get confused by all of the terms used when talking about smoke detectors, such as dual sensors, interconnected, ionization, and so on.

One thing that shouldn't be confusing is the difference between smoke detectors and smoke alarms. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but technically they are different. A smoke alarm actually consists of a smoke detector, which senses the smoke, and an alarm-sounding device to alert you that it detected smoke nearby. In addition to the smoke detector sensor in smoke alarms, separate smoke detector sensors are available that can be connected to fire control panels or other alarm systems.

However, practically speaking, if you go to the store to buy a smoke detector or smoke alarm, you will be getting the same thing.

Sources:

National Fire Protection Association. Smoke Alarm Basics. Accessed October 2010.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Your Home Fire Safety Checklist. Accessed October 2010.

National Fire Protection Association. "U.S. Experience with Smoke Alarms and Other Fire Detection/Alarm Equipment" by Marty Ahrens, September 2009.

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 10 Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury Deaths, United States, 2007.

Fire Safety & Candles

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

Candles are lovely but safety must come first!!!

There’s a special beauty and tranquility to candles, but a lighted candle is also an open flame, and a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored. In fact, accidental candle fires account for approximately four percent of all U.S. residential fires.

A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that 85 percent of candle fires could be avoided if consumers followed three basic safety rules:

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

The National Candle Association urges consumers to always follow the basic rules of fire safety when burning candles.

What Makes a Safe & Quality Candle?

NCA invites you to view the webinar, What Makes a Safe & Quality Candle?This webinar is designed to to educate and inform the retail community on candle basics, safety standards, and testing of candle products. This is a must for compliance personnel and candle buyers.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • An Overview of Candle Basics: Wax and wick types, the difference between dyes and pigments, why fragrance does more than just smell nice, and how changing just one of these elements affects the entire candle.
  • The ASTM Safety Standards in Plain English: What it means when a flame is too high, what “secondary ignition” and “end of useful life” mean, and the requirements for glass and plastic containers, candle accessories, warning labels and more.
  • What to Ask For and Expect from Your Test Lab: What determines if a candle passes or fails the ASTM standards, the common causes of test failures, and what to do if you think you need additional testing.
  • Plus: Tips for Success and Q&A

How to Burn a Candle Safely

 Before lighting

  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use.

 While burning

  • Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container).
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
  • Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
  • Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Never use a candle as a night light.
  • Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure. Never use a candle during a power outage to look for things in a closet, or when fueling equipment – such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.

 When extinguishing

  • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
  • Never use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container.
  • Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
  • Don’t touch or move the candle until it has completely cooled.
  • Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.

Download a complete list of candle safety rules.

Candle Fire Statistics

Nearly 10,000 residential fires are caused each year by the careless or inappropriate use of candles.

The National Candle Association urges consumers to always keep a burning candle within sight, keep candles away from anything combustible, and to keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

  • These bedroom fires caused 32% of deaths associated with candle fires and 47% of associated injuries.
  • On average, 25 home candle fires are reported per day.
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
  • More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations, compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Are you ready for School?

8/9/2016 (Permalink)

Make your list to make going back to school easy!!!!

Back-to-School To-Do List: Preschool and Kindergarten

 

In this article

Preparing for School

Sending your young child off to preschool or kindergarten can be an emotional time for both of you. WebMD offers this to-do list to help you get a head start:

  • Call your child’s school or check the school’s web site to prepare for enrolling your child. You may need proof of residence or vaccination records.
  • Schedule a visit with the doctor's office for a flu vaccine and other vaccinations that are required.
  • Fill out emergency contact information and names of people who can pick up your child. Also, notify the school about your child’s health needs, medications, or allergies.
  • Call neighbors and friends about carpooling. Introduce your child to the other drivers and riders before school starts. That will help make your child more comfortable about riding in a carpool.
  • Arrange for after-school care. Make sure your child knows where to go each day, and how to get there.
  • Review the school’s policy on sick days, and figure out who will care for your child on sick days.
  • Prepare a plan for what to do if your child gets sick and has to stay home for a few days. Keep your child home for at least 24 hours after he no longer has a fever, and keep any siblings home, too.
  • Routines to Make Life Easier

    • Practice walking to school or the bus stop.
    • Plan some appealing healthy snacks and lunches with your child that he can help pack. Teach your child how to choose healthy foods at school.
    • Set up a place in your home to put things that go to school (backpacks, papers, books, etc.). Take a few minutes before bed each night to put things there for the next morning.
    • As part of your child’s bedtime routine, plan a bit for the next day. Set out breakfast foods and clothes with your child.
    • Set a bed time and stick to it. Calming rituals -- bath, reading, and soft music -- will help. Your child will awaken fresh, with less fuss, if you set a regular schedule.
    • One simple rule can reduce chaos and distractions in the morning: No TV before school.

    Chats to Have With Your Child

  • Find a quiet time to talk with your child about her feelings about starting school. Find someone other than your child to talk with about your own anxieties.
  • Help your child memorize your home address and the phone number you use most often.
  • Help keep your child healthy. Teach your child to cough and sneeze into a tissue or elbow or shoulder if a tissue isn't available. Also, talk about healthy hand washing and healthy sharing of toys and personal items.
  • Review with your child guidelines about talking with strangers and getting into other people’s cars.
  • Talk with your child about being kind to others, making friends, and how to handle bullying and teasing.
  • Things to Buy for Your Child

  • Pick up basic school supplies, such as pencils, paper, art supplies, a backpack, and lunch box.
  • Choose mix-and-match back to school clothes. Be sure you have gym clothes if needed, and jacket or coat.
  • 2 weeks before school starts: 

    • Familiarise yourself with the school website.
    • Purchase the school uniform from the appropriate stores.
    • Label all items of clothing with cute labels that you can get here.
    • Make a list of school supplies you’ll need to purchase as well as any other necessary school related items such as: a new bag; lunch boxes; water bottles etc.
    • Form a plan of the shops you will need to visit for that week.

    1 week before school starts: 

    • Organise after-school child care arrangements.
    • Organise routines and enforce bedtime curfews as well as waking up times each day.
    • Shop for groceries for next week’s school lunches, choose healthy food.
    • Label the lunch boxes with your child’s name.
    • Wash and iron school clothes.
    • Discuss any procedures your child should expect.

    The night before the first day of school: 

    • Lay out clothes ready for the morning.
    • Have your phone ready for some cute first day morning pictures.
    • Get plenty of sleep.
    • Prepare lunches for the next day.
    • Prepare backpack.

    Heat Stroke Vs. Heat Exhaustion

    7/11/2016 (Permalink)

    Knowing the is the Best Way to Prevent It!!!!

    Do you know the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion in children?
     
    Children's bodies do not adapt to hot weather as well as adult bodies. The difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion in children is important for every parent to understand in order to prevent health problems for their child.
     
    The school year has begun, and children are practicing various athletic activities such as football, baseball, band, color guard and cheerleading.
     
    When practice is held outdoors, knowing the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion are critical to your child's well-being.

    What is the difference?

    Heat exhaustion occurs when a person has not been properly hydrated. In children, ensuring proper hydration while they play or participate in athletics is vitally important.
     
    Children produce more body heat during physical activity that adults, but they sweat much less. This reduces their ability to get rid of body heat and can quickly lead to dehydration.
     
    Heat stroke is the most sever form of heat illness and is a life-threatening medical emergency. When a child is suffering from heat stroke, their body loses the ability to regulate its own temperature. Your child's temperature can soar to 106 degrees or higher, leading to brain damage or death if it's not treated quickly. Prompt medical treatment is required.

    Heat Exhaustion:

    Heavy sweating

    Weakness

    Cold, pale, and clammy skin

    Fast, weak pulse

    Nausea or vomiting

    Fainting

    What You Should Do:

    • Move to a cooler location.
    • Lie down and loosen your clothing.
    • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
    • Sip water.
    • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

    • Heat Stroke:

    • High body temperature (above 103°F)
    • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
    • Rapid and strong pulse
    • Possible unconsciousness
    • What You Should Do:
      • Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.
      • Move the person to a cooler environment.
      • Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
      • Do NOT give fluids
    • How can you prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

      • Have your child drink lots of fluids before beginning outdoor activities, even if they are not thirsty.
      • Dress your child in loose-fitting, light colored clothing
      • Limit your child's exposure level by allowing outdoor activities only before noon and after 6pm.
      • Teach your child to stop playing and come inside whenever they feel overheated.
      Knowing the signs, symptoms and treatments can prevent your child from suffering from either of these dangerous conditions.

    What is Sewer Backup??

    7/5/2016 (Permalink)

    Cleaning Up after Sewer Backup

    While floods are probably best known for causing extensive water damage to homes and businesses, they can also cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into houses through drain pipes. These backups not only cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.

    Most homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup unless specific sewer backup coverage is added to the policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). “Obtaining an insurance rider on a homeowners or business policy would cover such damage if it occurs,” said Loretta Worters, vice president, I.I.I. 

    “Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost, usually $40-$50 on an annual insurance policy,” she said.

    Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral – the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located under the street, and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that may extend into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the possible sewer backup problems.

    Causes of Sewer Backup

    Blockages due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture can make their way into sewer line cracks causing extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. They can also travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If you suspect that city trees are responsible for sewer line damage, your plumber can contact the city and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes a blockage is the result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and property owner.

    Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately so that a city operator can investigate.

    Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab which allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. Thus, water can show up in a basement which has never had a water problem. This frequently happens when the ground is saturated after repeated or heavy rain storms. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Homeowners can also prevent flooding by water-sealing the basement.

    Homeowners and business insurance do not cover flood damage: Only flood insurance will cover your losses in the event of a flood. Federal flood insurance policies can be purchased directly from an insurance agent or a company representative, and are available to communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. Nearly 100 insurance companies write and service NFIP policies. In order to find an agent or company servicing your area, visit www.floodsmart.gov or call (888) 379-9531. Your insurance agent or broker can handle the claim for you.

    Ways to Prevent Backups in Your Lateral and in the City Main

    Dispose of Grease Properly: Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly, after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water can cause significant problems. As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.

    Dispose of Paper Products Properly: Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers, and feminine products can cause many problems in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main because they do not deteriorate quickly, as bathroom tissue does.

    Replace your line with new plastic pipe: One way to prevent tree roots from entering your line is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe. If you still have problems with tree roots growing in your lateral, you may have to have roots cut periodically.

    Illegal Plumbing Connections: Do not connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.

    Install a Backwater Prevention Valve: A backwater valve is a fixture installed into a sewer line, and sometimes into a drain line, in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in. Property owners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of backwater valves. The cost to install one depends on the type of plumbing in your home or business and the difficulty of installation. Check with a qualified plumber.

    What to do if you Experience a Sewer Backup

    A sewer backup can lead to disease, destruction of your valuables, damage to your house or business, and can even result in electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of the affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold and further damage. In the event of sewer backup, immediately arrange for the cleanup of your property.

    Give SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties a call and we can take care of it for you!!! 740-534-9210

    How to Prepare for Floods

    6/24/2016 (Permalink)

    Be prepared for a flood.

    SERVPRO Corporation has a long standing partnership with the Red Cross.  We hope that the below information helps you to be prepared for any flooding that might affect you.

    Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

    You will likely hear weather forecasters use these terms when floods are predicted in your community:

    •Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.

    •Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

                           Prepare

    How to Prepare for a Flood

    You’ll be better prepared to withstand a flood if you have the following items available – packed and ready to go in case you need to evacuate your home

    •Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day

    •Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food

    •Extra batteries

    •First Aid Kit

    •Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)

    •Multi-purpose tool

    •Sanitation and personal hygiene items

    •Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)

    •Cell phone with chargers

    •Family and emergency contact information

    •Extra cash

    •Emergency blanket

    •Map(s) of the area

    •Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

    •Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

    •Tools/supplies for securing your home

    •Extra set of car keys and house keys

    •Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

    •Rain gear

    •Insect repellent and sunscreen

    •Camera for photos of damage

                          Respond

    Responding Appropriately During a Flood

    •Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)

    •Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

    •When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

    •Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon 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.

    •If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are 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.

    •Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

    •Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.


    Recover

      Flood Recovery Tips

    •Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.

    •Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.

    •Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.

    •Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.

    •If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.

    •If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.

    •Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

    •Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.

    •During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

    •Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!

    •Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula!


    How to Prepare for Bad Weather

    6/20/2016 (Permalink)

    When storms hit are you Prepared???

    Whether winter or summer, bad weather can strike at any time. So it's smart to prepare for bad weather in advance by preparing an emergency kit and stockpiling items you will need to stay safe. Here are a few ways that you can prepare yourself for bad weather.

    Get a battery operated weather radio. It needs to be battery operated in case the electricity is out during bad weather. Make sure that you also have extra batteries. One great option is to get a solar powered weather radio. These run on the sun's rays with a backup battery supply as well.

    • If you live in an extremely cold area you should consider getting an emergency generator to be on the safe side. Buy it during the summer or fall because it will be cheaper and generators also sell out very quickly in the winter when it gets snowy.

    • Stockpile bottled water, prepackaged dry food and canned goods that can be stored for long periods of time. Some foods include granola bars, pop-tarts, dry milk, and pretty much anything that comes in a can. Always check the expiration dates to make sure they are safe to eat.

    • Don't forget to stock items in your car as well. You never know when you may be stranded in your car during bad weather so have the following items in your trunk to stay safe: granola bars, bottled water, a first aid kit and blanket.

    • https://weather.com/safety/thunderstorms/news/home-electrical-safety-lightning#/1
    • If the storms damage your property reach out to SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties and let us help make it "Like It Never Even Happened."  We provide mititgation services to remove water and can repair the water damage.

    Power Strips: Their Uses and Hazards

    6/13/2016 (Permalink)

    Do not let this be a fire hazard!!!!!

    A power strip is a length of electrical sockets attached to the end of a flexible cable that plugs into an electrical receptacle. It is used where electrical appliances in proximity demand more wall receptacles than are available. Inspectors may encounter these on the job while inspecting older homes that lack enough permanent electrical wall receptacles for the needs of today's families.  Inspectors who understand the proper uses and limitations of power strips can advise their clients of a potential electrical hazards caused by their misuse. Power strips range in appearance from plastic-coated heads to banks of plug-in outlets encased in large metal boxes, often accompanied by LED switches that indicate when the units are turned on.  Some models include a push button that automatically trips if the strip becomes too hot for safe operation. Inspectors can check for the following defective conditions:

  • “daisy-chaining,” where power strips or surge protectors have been plugged into other power strips and/or extension cords. The supply of available electrical outlets or receptacles in some older buildings may be insufficient, which encourages some homeowners to interconnect surge- protected power strips and/or extension cords. Such an arrangement violates National Electrical Code (NEC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations because the strip or wall receptacle may become overloaded, resulting in failure or fire;

  • the power strip is “permanently secured to building structures, tables, work benches or similar structures,” according to the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Observe the photo at right where InterNACHI inspector David Nasser encountered an obviously dangerous condition;

  • routing of power strip cords through walls, ceilings, floors or similar openings;

  • overloading, which may be result in fire or electrocution, and may be caused by the following unsafe conditions:
  • one wall receptacle serves multiple high-use power strips;
  • the power strip serves an excessive number of appliances; and
  • the power strip serves high-voltage items that are not intended to be plugged into ancillary power sources, such as refrigerators, microwaves or space heaters.

  • wound or knotted cords. Power strip cords should be straight while in use;

  • no UL sticker describing the power strip as a “relocatable power tap.” Unlisted items have not been tested for safety and may contain defects such as insufficient protective coating over the wires;

  • the plug is hanging out of the receptacle. Plugs should be inserted fully into the receptacle so that no part of the metal prongs are exposed;

  • melted, burned, frayed, discolored or otherwise damaged wires. Discard any cord with exposed wires, cracks or splices;

  • the device is hot to the touch. If the power strip feels hot, unplug it immediately;

  • it is located in an area where air circulation is limited, which may lead to overheating, such as beneath carpeting or behind furniture;

  • it is located in a moist environment (see photo at right);

  • it is used as permanent wiring, which is defined as wiring used for a period greater than 90 days, according to the U.S. Office of Compliance;

  • its grounding wire has been cut off to fit into an ungrounded electrical receptacle;

  • its cord length is excessive, as this may present a trip hazard. According to the UL, “The length of the power-supply cord, as measured from the outside surface of the enclosure of the relocatable power tap to the plane of the face of the attachment plug, should not exceed 25 feet (7.62 m) nor be less than 1.5 feet (0.46 m).” Other sources, however, warn against power strip cords of shorter lengths; and

  • it is in use at a construction site, such as a building site for a new home, to power high-voltage equipment;

  • it is in use at a healthcare facility to power medical equipment.  The UL states that power strips “have not been investigated and are not intended for use with general patient-care areas or critical patient-care areas of healthcare facilities.”
  • Note that while power strips are designed to distribute electricity, they do not regulate power flow or block electrical spikes or surges. Surge protection is incorporated into some power strips, but it should never be assumed that a power strip offers surge protection without inspecting the unit for the proper UL designation. The misconception that power strips are also surge protectors can lead to costly damage to electrical equipment during a power surge.  

    In summary, power strips are lengths of electrical sockets that allow multiple appliances to be powered; however, as with all types of extension cords, they should be used sparingly and temporarily with small appliances and electronics, rather than as a substitute for a permanent wall receptacle.  Inspectors who observe their improper use may wish to warn their clients of a potential shock or fire hazard. 

    Keep Your Home Safe on Vacation: 9 Essential Tips

    6/6/2016 (Permalink)

    Protecting Your House While Your Gone!!!!

    Murphy's Law for travelers: If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong while you're on vacation -- which is arguably the worst time a household calamity can strike. Coming home from your honeymoon, African safari or Mediterranean cruise can be gloomy. But returning from a memorable journey and learning something has gone seriously wrong at home can be downright devastating.

    To make matters worse, a house or apartment left empty while its owners are traveling is a tempting target for criminals. We don't want to scare you -- or leave you fearing for your treasured belongings while basking on a Caribbean beach. But it's imperative that every traveler take certain key steps to keep his or her home safe and sound while seeing the world. Basic preventative measures (which take only minutes to complete) can work wonders to help you avoid power surges, broken pipes, home invasions and more.

    1. Ask a Friend to Help

    A simple, albeit crucial, way to gain peace of mind while traveling is to ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you're away. First, bribe your friend with some freshly baked cookies or cupcakes. Next, ask him or her to drive by your home once every day or so and check on the place. Give this person a key so that he or she can bring your mail in, feed your cat, water your plants, rake your leaves, etc. If you don't use a garage, you may also want to give this person a key to your car -- you never know when your vehicle may need to be moved. He or she should also have your contact information and a copy of your itinerary in case of emergencies.

    Do you have more than one person visiting your house while you're away? If so, tell them about each other! If the neighbor you asked to keep an eye on your abode calls the police on your elderly cat sitter, don't say we didn't warn you.

    You may want to consider using AWatchfulNeighbor.com, a subscription service that allows anyone who notices anything amiss about your home to notify you, even if you haven't asked them to keep an eye on things. The neighbor contacts the service, which then reaches out to you via phone, text or email. A subscription costs $50 a year.

    2. Don't Tip Off Criminals on the Web

    In a world where it seems everyone is blabbing about their business on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it's important to stop and think: Who exactly is reading this stuff? The anonymity of the Internet can encourage us to share personal information without fully realizing that there may be hundreds of complete strangers receiving our daily musings. Would you announce to a crowd that you will be leaving your house unattended for two weeks this December? If not, then you should think twice about posting your detailed vacation plans on Twitter or Facebook -- especially if that information is visible to Internet users other than your friends and family (and it probably is).

    Be careful what you say on your answering machine or voice mail too. Callers don't need to know that you're not home -- they just need to know that you can't come to the phone right now.

    3. Do Tip Off the Police

    Consider notifying the police if you're going on vacation. No need to let the cops know about a weekend getaway, but do call them if you're leaving town for longer than a week. It's possible the police may go out of their way to drive by your house while on patrol, especially if you live in a small town. If you have a security alarm, leave a house key and the code with someone you trust, and provide the police and alarm company with their name and phone number. You may also want to contact your local neighborhood watch program if there's one in your area.

    4. Curtains Closed -- or Open?

    Before you leave for vacation, you may decide to close your curtains to prevent people from peering inside your home to see whether you're there. However, closed curtains also stop those who aim to help -- the police, your neighbors or friends -- from seeing inside your house. So what's your best bet? Leave your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you're home, since noticeable changes could hint that you're not around anymore -- especially if your curtains are uncharacteristically left closed for two weeks. Move expensive items, like jewelry or computers, out of plain sight if they're visible from the window.

    5. The Lights Are on But No One's Home

    Don't leave your lights on at home throughout your entire vacation in an effort to make it look like someone is in the house. Your electric bill will end up more costly than your mortgage, and, of course, leaving the lights on is not exactly "green" behavior. Plus, house lights blazing throughout the night might look a bit odd.

    Instead, purchase a light switch timer that can turn your lights on and off automatically according to a programmed schedule. Criminals keeping an eye on your house will notice lights flipping on and off, and will probably assume someone is doing the flipping. Nextag.com offers a comprehensive list of light switch timers available online at a variety of price points.

    6. Stop Your Mail

    Either place a "stop" order on mail and newspapers (we also recommend this in 10 Things to Do Before You Travel), or arrange to have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail while you're away. Otherwise, a week's worth of papers piled on your front step could signal to criminals that this particular homeowner is out of town. It's easy to put your mail on hold at USPS.com.

    7. Put That in Your Pipe

    If you live in a cold region of the world and your pipes are in danger of freezing during winter, you have another compelling reason to leave a house key with a friend while you're traveling. Ask your friend to stop by and check your faucets. If he or she turns on a faucet and only a few drops of water come out, your pipes may be frozen.

    Take other precautions like making sure your pipes are properly insulated or keeping your heat on while you're away. Show your key-bearing companion the location of the water main shut-off in case a pipe breaks.

    8. Pull the Plug

    Unplug your television, computer, toaster oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges. Do this to save power as well. According to the Consumer Energy Center, many appliances use power even when they're turned off.

    9. Remove Your Spare Key

    That plastic rock isn't fooling anyone. If a criminal figures out you're away on vacation, it's likely that he or she will check your porch for a spare key. So reach under the mat, into the mailbox, above the door frame or into the flower pot and remove your spare key before you leave on your vacation.

    General Grilling Safety

    5/31/2016 (Permalink)

    Grilling Safely

    With more Americans lighting their grills than ever before, it’s important to remember that a fun barbecue is a safe barbecue.


    The following safety tips are designed to guide you through the grilling process. Remember, anytime you work with fire, there’s a chance of getting burned. So, take precautions. Common sense and planning will prevent injuries. 

  • Read the owner's manual.
    Always read the owner's manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have specific questions. (Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.)
  • Grills are for outside, only.
    Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
  • Use in well-ventilated area.
    Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.
  • Keep grill stable.
    When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).
  • Follow electric codes.
    If electrically-operated accessories are used (rotisseries, etc.), be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local codes. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.
  • Use long-handled utensils.
    Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
  • Wear safe clothing.
    Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
  • Keep fire under control.
    To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.
  • Be ready to extinguish flames.
    Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher. 
  • Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill.
    These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.
  • Never leave a grill unattended once lit.
  • Stay away from hot grill.
    Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.
  • Don’t move a hot grill.
    Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.
  • These tips are not intended to be an exhaustive review of safety guidelines and should not be interpreted as precluding other procedures, which would enhance safe barbecue grill operations. Issuance of these safety tips should not be construed as an undertaking to perform services on behalf of any party either for their protection or the protection of third parties. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association assumes no liability for reliance on the contents of this information.

    Printable Fact Sheet:

    http://www.hpba.org/consumers/barbecue/hpba/fileadmin/factsheets/product/FS_SafeBBQ.pdf  

    Summer Safety Tips for Kids

    5/24/2016 (Permalink)

    Make the Summer of 2016 a Safe One

    The final school bell has rung, the pencils and notebooks are packed away and the kids are ready for some summer fun! Children love the hot summer months, because they provide the perfect opportunity to spend lots of time outside. Whether it’s swimming in the pool, hiking through the woods, taking long walks, or going for a bike ride, there is something for everyone, no matter how young or old.

    We hope that everyone enjoys this special time of year, but we want to also remind parents that there are potential dangers during the summer months, and it’s important to be aware of what they are. The more information one learns about how to prevent illnesses and injuries, the less likely they will occur.

    There are many areas to cover when it comes to summer safety, and we’ll review just a few here. Please keep in mind that this is a brief list of tips. For more information check out the web sites recommended at the end of this article.

    Tick Bites

    Ticks are responsible for a variety of illnesses including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These diseases can be very serious. Learn ways to protect your family. Some suggestions include:

    • protective clothing (long sleeves, long pants, tucking pants into socks)
    • tick/bug repellant
    • insect repellant for pets
    • staying in the center of paths, keeping away from overgrown areas and not sitting directly on the ground
    • performing tick checks on all family members every day
    • being aware of signs/symptoms of tick-related illnesses
    • calling the doctor for any concerns and questions

    Helmet Safety

    • An appropriate helmet must be worn whenever a child is “on wheels.” This means bicycles, scooters, skates, rollerblades, skateboards and more!
    • The helmet must fit properly.
    • Helmets can be life saving and can protect a child from serious injury.
    • Be sure the right type of helmet is being used. For example, a bike helmet needs to be used for biking.
    • Moms and dads should wear helmets as well.

    Pedestrian Safety

    • Teach children to walk, not run, across the street.
    • Children should cross only with an adult or an older, responsible child.
    • Whenever crossing the street, try to make eye contact with any drivers nearby, to be sure they see you.
    • Teach children to avoid running out from between parked cars.
    • Use sidewalks whenever possible.
    • Always hold your child’s hand near any moving or parked vehicles.
    • Adults always need to set a good example!

    Water Safety

        Adult supervision is of paramount importance. Parents need to focus on their children 100% of the time. No distractions!
    • Practice “touch supervision” (a term used by the American Academy of Pediatrics). This means that at all times, the supervising adult is within an arm’s length of the child being watched, when near or in the water.
    • Remember, no child or adult is “drown proof.”
    • Keep in mind that children can drown in many different water sources including: bathtubs, toilets, buckets, baby pools, backyard swimming pools, community pools, streams, creeks, lakes, rivers, oceans and other places.

    Sun Protection

    • Avoid sun exposure during peak sun hours (10 AM – 6 PM).
    • Wear protective clothing and a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses (with 99-100% UV protection).
    • Sunscreen is a must (on sunny and cloudy days)! Look for products with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 15 (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Association of Dermatology).
    • Sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapplied every two hours or sooner if swimming, sweating or toweling off.
    • Look for shade whenever possible.

    Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

    • It’s the oil from the leaves of these plants that cause the potential allergic reaction.
    • Consider wearing protective clothing to help decrease the amount of exposed skin.
    • Learn how to recognize what poison ivy, oak and sumac look like, so that they can be avoided.
    • Avoid bushy, overgrown areas and places which may contain these plants. Try to stay on paths.

    Summer First Aid Kit

    • Every family should have at least one first aid kit at home which is well stocked and readily accessible.
    • It’s also helpful to keep a first aid kit in the car and one to bring on trips.
    • Kids get lots of cuts and scrapes during the warm summer months, so it’s nice to be prepared.
    • Don’t forget to restock the kit once an item has been used.
    • Be sure to keep a list of emergency numbers where they are easy to find. This list should include: emergency medical services (911), the doctor’s number, the dentist’s number, poison control, a number where mom and/or dad can be reached and any other important phone numbers.

    Dehydration and Heat-Related Illnesses

    • Keeping well hydrated is very important.
    • Children (and adults) must remember to drink.
    • Do not wait until a child says he is thirsty before offering fluids. At this point, he is already dehydrated, so be sure to provide plenty of fluids before going outside, while out in the heat and afterwards.
    • Playing in the hot summer sun means lots of fluid losses, so avoid strenuous activity during peak sun hours (10 am- 6 pm). Look for shade and take lots of breaks.
    • Seek medical attention immediately for any signs of heat-related illness.

    Grilling

    • Never let children near the grill. Remember, it can remain very hot even after it is no longer being used.
    • Be sure to check the internal temperature of foods on the grill, to be sure everything has been cooked appropriately.
    • If picnicking outdoors, avoid leaving out foods that require refrigeration and/or foods that can quickly spoil.

    Let Us Take Care of Your Cleaning Needs

    5/16/2016 (Permalink)

    We can cover all your day to day commercial cleaning needs.

    In today's crazy times it is hard to find good help and keep them.  Especially in the janitorial field.  Let us take that burden off your shoulders. You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges your property you should call SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.  We can do this as a one time event or we can set up a schedule where we do the cleaning for you at set times.

    Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning  services, SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

    • Small Office Buildings
    • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
    • Apartment Buildings
    • Restaurants
    • Hotel/Motels
    • Small Retail Stores
    • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
    • High-Rise Residential
    • Manufacturing & Industrial
    • Government/Military

    Have Questions? Call Today – (740) 534-9210

    2016 Annual Ironton, OH Cleanup Day

    5/9/2016 (Permalink)

    Ready to clean up Ironton!!!!!!

    This past weekend our employees and family members spent Saturday morning helping to clean up our home town of Ironton, OH.  It was a beautiful day and we had 13 people working with us.  Besides donating our time we supplied buckets, pick up sticks, garbage bags, and bottled water for anyone who participated.  We also donated one of our large box trucks to gather up garbage as volunteers bagged it up. 

    We worked with Mayor katrina Keith and her supervisors on the riverbank and then we moved up Park Ave.  At the conclusion of the event the city provided a hot dog cookout for the volunteers.

    It was a great day and awesome to see our employees giving back!!!!  Helping Ironton make it "Like It Never Even Happened!"

    Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

    5/2/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties.

    We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
    Call Today - 740-534-9210

    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 Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties 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)?

    About SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

    Does Your Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties Home Have A Mold Problem?

    4/29/2016 (Permalink)

    In Southern Scioto & Lawrence counties, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours

    Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

    • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
    • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
    • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
    • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
    • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
    • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

    If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

    If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 740-534-9210

    IICRC Certified Firm

    4/28/2016 (Permalink)

    We are an IICRC Certified Firm

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

    IICRC Certified Firms must

    • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

    • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

    • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

    • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

    • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

    The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

    The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

    Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

    About SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property

    http://www.SERVPROsouthernsciotolawrencecounties.com/restoration-training-certifications

    Southern Scioto & Lawrence Smoke and Soot Cleanup

    4/27/2016 (Permalink)

    Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties Home.

    Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

    Smoke and soot facts:

    • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
    • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
    • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

    Different Types of Smoke

    There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

    Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

    • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

    Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

    • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

    Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

    • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

    Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
    Call Us Today – 1-740-534-9210

    When Storms or Floods hit Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties, SERVPRO is ready!

    4/26/2016 (Permalink)

    Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties.

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

    Faster Response

    Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

    Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

    When storms hit Southern Scioto & Lawrence Counties, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

     http://www.SERVPROsouthernsciotolawrencecounties.com/storm-flooding-restoration

    Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 1-740-532-9210

    Restoring Your Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

    4/25/2016 (Permalink)

    Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

    Flooding and water damage events in a Southern Scioto and Lawrence counties commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

    Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

    Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

    About SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

    Certifications

    • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
    • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
    • IICRC Certified Firm

    Be prepared for your next disaster

    4/19/2016 (Permalink)

    Being prepared ensures the future of your business. Fifty percent of small businesses never reopen after a major fire or water disaster. That is where SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties can help. We are available 24/7 to help mitigate any disaster no matter the size.

    What have you done to ensure you are not in that fifty percent? If you can't answer this question we have a process that can help.  It's called an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) and it is something that we here at SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties specialize in. At no cost we will provide comprehensive building assesment as well as peace of mind to you and your employees. Since we don't schedule disasters we provide you 24/7 access through our Ready Plan App customized to your business. We have provided this service to many local businesses. You can contact us at SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties 740-534-9210.

    Make your house look like New!!!!

    4/5/2016 (Permalink)

    Making it look like New!!

    When the grass starts to grow, the trees start to bud, and the birds are building nests we know that spring is upon us. 

    This is also the season for spring cleaning, most of us start with the inside of our house but often neglect the outside.  It is amazing how dirty the siding, sidewalks, and drives can become over the course of a year.

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties offers full service pressure washing.  Let us come out and give you a demonstration.  We can pressure wash all surfaces including siding, wood, concrete, and stucco.

    Take a look at the results in the before and after pictures.  Making your siding look like new is our goal! 

    To schedule a demostration call Debbie at 740-534-9210

    Our files are ruined ..... Document Recovery after a Disaster!!!!

    3/31/2016 (Permalink)

    Document recovery is just as critical as facility recovery!!!

    When an event occurs at your place of business or document storage facility there must be a plan in place to recover your documents, SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties has your answer.  As part of our restoration process we have the means and a process by which we can save your documents.

    Documents can be damaged in many different ways from smoke, to water, to water that is contaminated with bacteria and each of these has a different method for recovery.

    We follow these steps to ensure the best recovery possible.

    Inventory

    We barcode every box using the iCat system, allowing us to know the location of any box in our facility at any time.
    All Documents will be inventoried at the location of the loss prior to packaging.

    Drying

    Process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation.

    Decontamination / Gamma

    High-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (Cobalt 60) producing ionization (electron disruptions) throughout a product. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.

    Gamma Irradiation is a process that is used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods.

    In a CAT 3 situation (Sewage or Flood water) documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. As you all know in most storm situations you are dealing with CAT 3 water, therefore most of the affected documents that you will encounter will be contaminated; if this is the case than de-contamination is always a must.

    Cleaning

    We will go through each box page by page to wipe down and remove dirt, soot, or other contaminants.
    We have 3 levels of cleaning based on the type of soiling, and how heavy it is. 

    Deodorizing

    Many times documents that have been affected will hold residual smells of contaminants, or mildew, and should be deodorized before being returned to your client.

    Digitizing

    With the new age of technology digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water, or smoke, and needed to be cleaned, dried, or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need to have 100’s or even 1000’s of documents and records in storage.

    Certified Destruction

    Often times facilities will still have documents they no longer need to hold on to and would simply like to have them disposed of properly.

    As you can see we are very thourgh in our process which can give you some relief during a very trying time.  It is our desire to make it "Like it never even happened."

    Clean ducts .... Clean air .... Better Breathing

    3/28/2016 (Permalink)

    Let Us Professionally Clean your HVAC System

    We all make sure our house is clean but, do we clean all the unseen areas?  We all know the answer to that question is NO!!!

    One place that is often overlooked is the HVAC filter and ducts. Your furnace/heat pump/air conditioning system's filter will remove over 90% of dust and pollutants, but over a course of years the 10% missed can build up in the duct work.

    This build up can lead to pollutants in the air that circulates throughout your home. The best way to cure this problem is to have your duct work professionally cleaned.

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties offers comprehensive HVAC duct cleaning services from large to small systems.

    http://www.SERVPROsouthernsciotolawrencecounties.com/airduct-cleaning

    Spring is the season of cleaning let us give you an estimate on getting your duct work cleaned. We are offering a 25% discount on all duct cleaning jobs between now and May 15th.

    Need Your Carpets Cleaned???

    3/25/2016 (Permalink)

    Is that new carpet? Now just a good cleaning!!!!!

    If you answered Yes to that question let us HELP!!!!

    Having a consistent cleaning program not only keeps up the appearance of your carpet but will help extend the life of the carpet.  Most carpet manufactures suggest having your carpet cleaned at least once every 12 months, more if a heavy traffic area. 

    http://www.SERVPROsouthernsciotolawrencecounties.com/carpet-upholstery-cleaning

    SERVPRO of Southern Scioto and Lawrence Counties offers 6 levels of carpet cleaning services ranging from Bonnet Cleaning, a surface cleaning, to Showcase Cleaning, a multi step deep cleaning. 

    Give us a call at 740-534-9210 to get an estimate, if you mention that you saw this blog post we will give you a 25% discount on that cleaning.

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