Electric Space Heater Safety Tips
It’s winter, we are all turning to heaters to stay warm. They are the ultimate winter must have to keep your house/office nice and toasty. If you are using a space heater do not plug it into an extension cord power strip! Why? Doing so can result in a terrible fire hazard!
According to fire experts, extension cords and power strips are not equippedto handle the extra current flow needed to power a space heater and can overheat, eventually catching on fire. Firefighters state heating elements in a space heater can get up to more than 500 Fahrenheit to 600 Fahrenheit.
If you wish to use a space heater you should only plug it in directly it to the wall and keep an eye on it when it’s in use, meaning, unplug it before you leave the house/office. From 2009 to 2013, heating equipment involved an estimated 56,000 reported U.S. home fires which accounted for 156 percent to the total.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, out of those fires, 470 people died, 1,490 were injured and over $1 million in property damage was reported.
Safety tips for running an electric space heater during cold winter months include:
- Place the heater in a dry location, moisture can potentially damage its components.
- Do not plug other devices into the same outlet as the heater since they tend to draw a lot of power.
- Never run an electric cord underneath a rug or carpet, they could catch on fire and keep at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
- Unplug the heater after turning it off.
- When running your heater, don’t leave the room for a long period of time without turning it off.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet and place them on a flat surface. Do not use an extension cord or power strip.
SERVPRO hopes that you never have to handle a electrical fire but if you do call SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor, 970-353-1388, to get a speedy cleanup and get your house looking “Like it never even happened.”
HOLIDAY KITCHEN FIRES
As Thanksgiving approaches many of us are getting ready to cook up some of our favorite family recipes. Be sure to take some precautions to make sure that your kitchen doesn't end up in flames!
According to the National Fire Protection Agency Thanksgiving is the top day for home cooking fires (almost 3 times the daily average).
SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor wants to share some tips to help prevent a fire from ruining your Thanksgiving dinner!
- Be Present- Fires are often started when items cooking are left unattended. If you need to leave the kitchen for a period of time, turn off the oven or stove!
- Dress Accordingly- Avoid wearing lose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Lose clothing can easily catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
- Keep Kids Out- Enforce a "kid free zone" of three feet around the perimeter of the stove. If kids are present in the kitchen, use the stove's back burners whenever possible and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk that pots with hot contents will be knocked over.
- Clean, Clean, Clean- Be sure your stove top and oven are free of grease, which can easily catch fire. Additionally, keep all combustible cooking accessories, such as pot holders, oven mitts and wooden utensils, away from the stove top.A fire extinguisher should always be at hand to quickly extinguish any fires that may occur on the top of the stove. Of course, in the event of an emergency, never hesitate to call 911.
- The best defense against a fire is to prevent them from ever happening! If a fire should ignite in kitchen turn off the oven, unplug the appliance and remove any dish towels that may be hanging on the front of the oven door.
Call SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor for your emergency mitigation needs at 970-353-1388. We make it “Like it never even happened.”
Highly Trained Restoration Specialists
Our SERVPRO Professionals are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. The SERVPRO training program includes, but not limited to, the following:
- IICRC Training
- Employee Certification Training
- Initial Franchise Training
- Continuing Education Classes
Do You Know How Sprinklers Function During A Fire??
Fire sprinklers can assist with limiting the amount of damage your home or business sustains from a fire.
Fire sprinklers significantly reduce the extent of property loss and the risks to occupants of a commercial building. Read on to find out how a fire sprinkler can suppress or extinguish flames in a commercial property.
1. A sprinkler head turns on when it detects high temperatures. Fire sprinklers turn on when high heat triggers the system rather than being activated by smoke. Hot air rises during a fire and spreads across the ceiling until it reaches a sprinkler head and activates the fire suppression system. Many sprinkler head designs feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands when it comes into contact with air between 135 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid shatters the glass container when the surrounding air reaches temperatures in this range, activating the sprinkler head.
2. Sprinkler heads dispense pressurized water from the pipe system. Each fire sprinkler head is attached to a pipe that brings in water. When a sprinkler head becomes activated, a valve connected to the head opens and sends water out through the sprinkler head to douse the fire. Water pressure is important, as it causes water to spray out over a larger area.
3. Sprinkler heads function individually to limit water damage. Each sprinkler head in a sprinkler system functions separately. Many small fires can be extinguished with only one or two activated sprinkler heads. Sprinklers pose less of a water damage risk to a property than a fire hose. Some restoration specialists estimate that the average sprinkler system dispenses six times less water than a hose. A fire sprinkler can help to limit the amount of damage a commercial property sustains from either a fire or a fire suppression system. If you need to clean and restore damage caused by a fire or schedule fire sprinkler cleanup, contact a certified commercial restoration company.
SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor can offer you helpful assistance after a fire. CALL SERVPRO of GREELEY/WINDSOR, 970-353-1388.
Hot Water Tank Warning Signs
Hot Water Heater damaged? Call SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor for your emergency water mitigation!
Water heaters are essential elements of our home. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher, using the washing machine among many other things. Because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions, problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair it before it gets worse or extend the life of your water heater.
You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired.
- Hot water has an off smell or color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, have your hot water checked. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced, and that should eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.
- Corroded pipes can also cause an off color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.
Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is no water coming out of the faucet when you turn on the hot water at a faucet.
When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber.
If there is not enough water showers, etc. it could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank.
When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.
- Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All of the above mentioned items should be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.
It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see any of these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit.
Call SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor at 970-353-1388 for your emergency mitigation needs
Highly Trained Restoration Specialists
Our SERVPRO Professionals are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our SERVPRO training program includes the following:
- IICRC Training
- Employee Certification Training
- Initial Franchise Training
Managing Leaks Under Your Sink and 3 Steps for Minimizing Damage To Your Home
Sink leaks are a common household issue. However, when one happens in your home, it may feel like a major disaster. Flooding, broken pipes and a soaked floor can be costly and time consuming to repair. However, there are a few actions you can take to minimize the damage caused by leaks under your kitchen sink.
1. Shut Off the Water Turning off the water in your home can reduce the flood waters, especially if a broken pipe is causing it to gush out rapidly. Know where the shutoff valves are, this way you will not waste precious time looking for them during a plumbing flood. Turning off the water might also help you see what type of damage you are dealing with.
2. Call Your Insurance Company Calling your insurance company right away after a flood is a wise idea because it can help you file a claim the same day, which may result in a quicker payout for kitchen repair. Go over the details of the flooding with your agent. Let him or her know whether you need to take pictures or if the company plans to send a claims adjuster onsite. Reaching out to your agent quickly may also prevent delays later, when the claim is reviewed.
3. Call SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor for all your water mitigation needs. Our Production Techs can offer you helpful assistance after water damage has occurred at your home.
When a leak under the sink happens in your home, it can be a stressful experience. Knowing which immediate steps to take can help you minimize damage to your home and put you on the path to assessing and repairing the damage.
SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. . We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure.
About SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor
SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff are highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Three Common Questions We Are Asked, Almost, Daily About Mold
When it comes to mold growth it can be difficult to know what exactly you’re dealing with and how to deal with it. Below are three common questions to ask when you see or suspect mold problems.
- What Is Mold?
Simply put, mold is fungus. There are many types of mold, and they exist everywhere. When it comes to the mold that is bad for you, its technical name is stachybotrys chartarum, which is commonly referred to as black mold. The spores of mold are microscopic, so you won’t always have visual evidence of the presence of mold. Mold will generally have a musty smell very similar to the smell of mildew, which can be confusing to know whether you have a mold or a mildew problem.
- What Makes Mold Grow?
Generally, mold grows because of moisture and heat. High humidity can exacerbate mold problems, helping it form in as little as 48 hours. Not only does moisture come from high humidity, but it can also come from water damage, such as leaky pipes or roofs or condensation. Mold growth is also encouraged in dark, warm environments.
- What Is the Difference between Regular Mold and Problematic Mold?
The presence of most molds is usually visible to the naked eye. Mildew, a type of mold that isn’t as problematic and can be cleaned away, is usually gray or white. However, problematic mold is usually black or green with a “fuzzy” or shiny texture. Even if only one of these types of mold appears to be present, it is possible that the other is present as well, since they can go hand in hand. Even if you have a good understanding of mold growth, it can still be a good idea to contact a professional and let them deal with remedying the problem. Additionally, stay away from the mold area, turn off air conditioners and fans and do not attempt any sort of cleaning.
Restoring your home or business after a mold infestation is not always a simple process, but it is one that we can take care of for you. Call SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor at 970-353-1388.
Be Prepared For Colorado Spring and Summer Storms
Be alert of severe weather in your area.
Living in Colorado we have green grass, colorful flowers, relaxing rain showers and distant, whispering rumbles of thunder. Consider the notes below, Coloradoans, and take safe steps when dangerous weather is predicted for the Greeley/Windsor area.
Tornadoes- Spring can be the peak season for tornado activity. Tornadoes occur mostly on warm days between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m. However, tornadoes can occur anywhere, at any time of the year, at any time of the day.
The Red Cross has safety steps people should take now to be ready if a tornado warning is issued for someone’s neighborhood:
- Download the free Red Cross tornado app for mobile devices. The tornado app puts everything you need to know to stay safe in a tornado at your fingertips. The app can be downloaded from the iTunes or Google Play stores by searching for American Red Cross.
- Know your community’s warning system.
- Pick a safe room in your home where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. This should be a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
- Prepare for strong winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
- Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
- Know the tornado danger signs – dark, often greenish clouds, a wall cloud, cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or a roaring noise. The Red Cross has steps you can take if a thunderstorm is predicted for your area:
- Thunderstorms- Thunderstorms are most likely to happen during the afternoons and evenings. However, like tornadoes, they can happen anywhere, at any hour of the day. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people every year that tornadoes or hurricanes.
- If thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning.
- Watch for storm signs like darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing winds. Postpone any outdoor activities. Many people who are struck by lightning are not where it is raining.
- Take shelter in a substantial building or a vehicle with the windows closed. Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Stay away from windows.
- Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.Flooding- Spring can be a time of the year for flooding in Colorado. Snow melt and heavy spring rains fill rivers and streams and flooding can occur. Flash floods occur suddenly when water rises rapidly along a stream or low-lying area. People should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice and head for higher ground when a flood or flash flood warning is issued.
- Other safety steps include:
- If you are outside or driving, there are things you should do to remain safe. Information can be found with the following link discussing what to do before, during and after a thunderstorm.
- 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.
Storm Damage? Call SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor, 970-353-1388. Never an answering machine or system, our phones are answered by SERVPRO employees, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
Fire Evacuation Plan, Do You Have One?
Do you have your Fire Evacuation Plan?
Smoke detectors are VERY important in a home/business safety plan, but do not forget a fire evacuation plan.
When was the last time you and your family or co-workers practiced an evacuation drill? Maybe, it has been awhile. It’s easy to forget about your overall evacuation plan, so it’s a good idea to schedule a drill quarterly to go over a complete Fire Evacuation Plan with your family/co-workers.
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
- Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home or business where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
- Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
- Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
- If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
If you experience fire damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor, 970-353-1388.
Do You Have Mold? What To Do If You Suspect Mold.
Just the idea of mold can cause panic for a homeowner. It can create structural issues and seriously affect your property value. But how do you even know if you have mold and how should you proceed if you do?
Did you know that mold is a fungus that’s an integral part of the earth’s bio-mass? It consumes and breaks down organic material, like leaves, wood, and plants. A problem can occur when mold colonizes in our buildings, consumes our building materials, and puts spores into our indoor air. This happens when there’s a moisture problem since mold cannot grow without water. When there’s enough moisture or humidity for colonization, that’s when humans begin to have problems.
The unfortunate reality is that problematic mold can really pop up anywhere that isn’t dry. It is most often seen in attics due to roof leaks, poor air circulation, and bathrooms that ventilate into the attic rather than outdoors; crawl spaces because earthen or gravel flooring allows moisture and spores to rise from the soil; basements that have flooding from foundation leaks or plumbing leaks; and interior living spaces with leaks, bad windows, and high humidity.
The following are criteria that you should be aware of:
- A musty odor is caused during the colonization of some fungal species, but can come and go depending on moisture levels and air current changes.
- If you have water staining or if building materials have discoloration that’s spreading over time… that may be a sign of mold.
- Mold spores that were already present will begin to colonize just 48 hours after a water event.
The remediation process (providing a remedy to a known mold issue) involves three things. Those three things are:
- Killing the fungi,
- Removing the dead mold, and
- Protecting against future mold growth/colonization.
There is a multi-step process that should be followed.
- Contain work area and apply negative air pressure HEPA air purifiers to prevent cross-contamination.
- Mist EPA registered anti-microbial to suspend and kill mold spores.
- Remove affected building surfaces.
- Bag and dispose properly
- Treat cavities/underlayment and dehumidify.
- Abrasively remove dead loose mold.
- Apply EPA registered protective sealer.
- Perform clearance testing.
- Remove containment materials.
It is always a good idea to consult with a mold remediation professional. If there’s an issue you can believe you can tackle yourself, they could give you recommendations about how to do so. Usually it is best to let a professional do the remediation to keep your family/employees safe while preventing cross contamination, killing mold, removing it and preventing new mold from growing.
At SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor our technicians are certified professionals in Mold Remediation
Have You Checked Your Smoke Alarms?
March marks the beginning of daylight saving time and serves as a good reminder for everyone to test their smoke alarms. Our local Fire Department is urging residents to test their smoke alarms before automatically changing the batteries. Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with 10-year batteries and some are tamper-resistant. Ionization-only smoke alarms that are solely battery powered to come equipped with a hush feature and a 10-year battery are highly recommended. Because of this technology, the national slogan "Change your clock, Change your battery" may not apply to property owners who have these ionization-only smoke alarms. Other types of alarms are also being sold with either a 10-year battery or a standard-life battery. So be sure to know what type of smoke alarm you have. Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family's safety from a home fire. As a reminder it is best to replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old or older To test your alarm properly we recommend you:
- Push the test button to be sure the battery is working.
- When replacing batteries, follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct battery type to use.
- Always retest alarms after installing new batteries.
- Replace any alarm that fails to operate after installing a new battery.
- Inspect your alarms to determine if they are 10 years old or older, and replace any smoke alarm 10 years old or older. Look for a date on the back of the alarm. If there is no date, your alarm is more than 10 years old and should be replaced.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for regularly cleaning your alarms of dust and cobwebs.
Working smoke alarms provide a critical early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape, which increase your chances of survival. Additional safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area (hallway).
- Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses.
- Use the smoke alarm's hush feature to silence nuisance alarms.
- Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with family members.
- Practice you home fire escape plan at least two times a year at different times of the day/night.
- Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Ensure that someone will help them.
Highly Trained Restoration Specialists
Our SERVPRO Professionals are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our SERVPRO training program includes, but not limited to, the following:
- IICRC Training
- Employee Certification Training
- Continuing Education Classes
- For your fire mitigation needs, call SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor, 970-353-1388, we make it “Like it never even happened.”