Space Heater Safety Tips
Although it is still Fall, it feels like Winter is already here, with temperatures reaching mid to low 30s. Keeping your house warm can be a struggle and many people turn to space heaters to help get the job done. If you use space heaters to help with warmth, check out these safety tips to ensure they don’t pose a hazard to you, your family and your home.
- Always follow the 3 feet rule. Ensure you keep heater 3 feet away from beds, curtains, papers, sofas, or anything that could cause a fire due to too much heat.
- Make sure the heaters plug is securely plugged into the power outlet, so that it doesn’t come loose and fall out.
- Make sure your heater is on level surface. This helps ensure it doesn’t pose a risk of getting knocked over.
- Turn the heater off whenever you are unable to keep an eye on it.
- Before you start to use your heater, make sure you smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
- Plug your heater directly into the wall, if you must use an extension cord use a 14-gauge wire or larger.
- NEVER use heater near water or in damp like conditions.
Share these tips with your family and friends to ensure they’re using their heaters properly.
Refrigerators and Water Damage
Most of the time when we have water damage, we don’t know until long after damage has already been done, especially when it comes to a leaky refrigerator. Since the fridge blocks our vision of the wall and floor behind it, we don’t notice it has a leak unless it creates a puddle visible to us. Refrigerator damage doesn’t always happen abruptly, it usually happens over time due to a crack in the plastic water line, ice maker leaks, and condensation. If you notice water by your fridge and the water has only recently been there, then moping it up and letting it dry, should avert any real damage. Make sure that the walls are dry as well, this will help with mold growth. If your fridge has caused water damage over a long period of time, you’ll more than likely need your flooring and wall replaced. This is where SERVPRO of Bath can help! If you want to prevent any possibilities of this happening to you, you should regularly check and maintain your fridge. You’ll want to clear away the debris and dust from behind, then check for hard water build up in the water line. It is also suggested purchasing a battery-operated water alarm. If the alarm contacts water, it will set it off, letting you know you have a leak of some sort. This helps with permanent damage due to water sitting for too long.
Fire Safety when Burning Candles
A lot people enjoy burning candles for many different reasons. For some, it’s the tranquility and beauty of having a tad bit of light in a dim room. For others, it’s the smell the candle gives off, filling your house with a delightful scent. Whatever your reason may be, a candle is still an open flame that is a fire hazard. There are an estimated 8,700 house fires each year from burning candles. Here are some safety tips to safely burn a candle inside your home.
Before lighting your Candle
- Before you burn your candle, always trim your wick to 1/4 inch. Crooked or long wicks could cause uneven burning, flaring, or dripping. If you don’t have a wick trimmer, don’t worry, you can use nail clippers or scissors as well.
- Always use a candle holder. Candle holders are sturdy, heat resistant, and will catch any dripping.
- Burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Avoid air currents, vents, and drafts. This will help prevent excessive dripping, sooting, or uneven burning.
- Do not burn candle longer than 4 hours and give the candle 2 hours to cool before relighting.
- Use long matches or long-reach lighter when lighting your candle. Make sure you keep loose clothing and hair away from the flame.
While Candle is Burning
- Stop burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains, never burn your candle all the way down.
- Never put a candle someplace where your child or pet could get a hold of it or knock it over.
- While your candle is burning keep it away from anything flammable. Curtains, books, bedding, furniture and paper.
- Never move a candle while it’s burning or while the wax is liquified.
- Never leave the room while a candle is burning, always put it out.
- Never use your candle as a night light.
When Putting out your Candle
- Never extinguish your candles flame with water. Water may cause the hot wax to splatter everywhere, causing the glass container to break.
- The safest way to put out your candle is with a candle snuffer.
- Before exiting the room, make sure your candle is completely out.
Enjoying the comfort of candles in your home can be nice and relaxing. Using these candle fire safety tips can help prevent a fire from starting
Take time for Fire prevention this Fall
For those ready to warm up their homes, the National Fire Safety Protection Association offers the following tips to help minimize fire risks in your home:
- Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a professional.
- Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a professional. Make sure they are checked for creosote buildup, which is the leading cause of chimney fires.
- Make sure wood burned in the fireplace is dry and seasoned.
-Remind children to stay at least three feet away from fireplaces, oil stoves, and space heaters.
- Make sure your space heaters have an automatic shut off and those shutoffs are functioning.
- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functional.
-Review your family's fire escape plan and what to do in case of a fire.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
Common Causes of Workplace Fires
Recently, we talked to you about common causes of household fires and how to prevent that. Given that in 2018 there was an estimated 111,000 fires in non-residential buildings, i.e. the workplace, we wanted to flip the scene around and talk to you about common causes of the work place fires. Below are some of the most common causes of workplace fires, and some tips on how to prevent them.
Electronics and Equipment
Damaged, faulty, or misused electronics and equipment are one of the most common causes of workplace fires. This can be avoided by conducting regular tests, maintenance, and check-ups on all building electronics. You’ll need to be on the lookout for loose cables, damaged electronics, and overheating appliances that occurred during improper or over usage.
Clutter and Combustibles
When was the last time your office space was thoroughly cleaned? A lack of consistent cleaning and proper removal of combustibles such as paper, wood, or cardboard can often lead to workplace fires.
Prevention begins with regular worksite inspections. Check all rooms and open ventilation to see if you have any blockages or buildup of combustible material. You can take it a step further by cleaning electronics and equipment of dust and other particles so their vents can run properly.
While not the most common, Arson still carries a large percentile of fires that occur in the workplace. You can reduce the risk of this happening to your business by installing intelligent video fire detection systems as well as up to date security systems for your workplace, like motion-sensor lighting and CCTV. Good security measures will deter potential arsonists.
Where there are people there will be human error. From improper use of equipment and failing to follow health and safety guidelines, to simply errors in judgment, there will be accidents on the job that lead to workplace fires. To combat this, have all employees take part in regular fire safety programs. Use the program to reinforce protective policies that the company already has in place.
On top of that, roughly 36% of fires (commercial and non-commercial) are caused by smokers’ materials. It’s important to have dedicated smoking areas on your property at least 10 meters from your building.
With these tools in place you’ll be able to greatly reduce the chances of workplace fire. However, if tragedy were to strike know that SERVPRO of Bath is here to help you get back to business.
Common Causes of Household Fires
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A house can easily catch fire from the misuse of appliances to smoking in bedrooms. You can take measures to avoid a fire in your home and ensure the safety of your family. Below are some of the most common causes of household fires, and some tips to take precautions.
Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and leaves cooking unattended. Always stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food, when cooking on hotplates.
Keep portable heaters at least 5’ away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes and even you. If you have a furnace, get it inspected once a year to make sure it is working to safety standards.
Smoking in bedrooms
Bedrooms are best to be kept off-limits for smoking. A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay alit for a few hours. It could burst into flames if it came into contact with flammable materials, such as furniture. Did you know that fires started in the bedroom or lounge, make up 73% of all house fire fatalities?
An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A power point that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from overuse of electricity. A power point extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Double-check the appliances and power points in your home.
Candles look and smell pretty, but if left unattended they can cause a room to easily burst into flames. Keep candles away from any flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. Always blow a candle out before leaving a room. Did you know that in Perth last year 34 house fires started as a result of candles?
Kids can cause a fire out of curiosity, to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Keep any matches or lighters out of reach of children, to avoid any curiosity turned disaster. Install a smoke alarm in your child’s room and practice a home escape plan with your children and family in case there was a fire. Inform your kids about the importance of knowing their address and if they needed to, call 911.
Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. Some signs to see if you’ve bad wiring are: 1) Lights dim if you use another appliance; 2) For an appliance to work, you have to disconnect another; 3) Fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently. Have a licensed electrician come and inspect your house, or contact your landlord if you have any of the above occurrences.
Barbecues are great for an outdoor meal, but should always be used away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Keep BBQs regularly maintained and cleaned with soapy water and clean any removable parts. Check the gas bottle for any leaks before you use it each time.
If you have any flammable liquids in the home or garage such as petrol, kerosene or ethylated spirits, keep them away from heat sources and check the label before storing. Be careful when pouring these liquids.
Lampshades and light fittings can build up the heat if they are very close to light globes. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they can be knocked over easily, and so should be removed if they are. Check that downlights is insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.
The above tips are a good guide to avoiding a fire in your home. If you do have a fire and need assistance with the cleanup, please call SERVPRO of Bath!
Signs You Might Have Carpet Mold
Don't let carpet mold take control of your home or office, call SERVPRO.
Mold is extremely invasive and can cause health effects for those living or working in an environment that contains mold. Make sure when liquids are spilled, no matter how small, you clean up properly, and check over time to see if mold has grown within the area. Mold thrives in dark, damp places and underneath your carpet is no exception. Not sure if you have mold in your home? Read the list below to learn the main signs of mold growth!
Do you have musty odors that are smelling throughout your home or business?
This a sure-fire way to know if you have mold in your home! However, if you spend a lot of time in your home it can be hard to detect a musty odor. Pay close attention to how your visitors react when they step into your home and take note if they mention a musty smell.
Does your space have a damp carpet?
Any floor that remains damp for more than 24 hours could begin to grow mold. If you notice that your carpet has become damp, the most common cause is a leak from underneath typically in your basement. If your basement has leaking pipes, there is a high chance that your nearby carpet has mold growth.
Have you looked under your carpet for mold?
Stay on top of mold growth by continually checking underneath your carpet for mold growth. Once you lift your carpet, thoroughly look for discolored flooring/patches, and any musty odors.
Do you see white, green, or black spots that have appeared that were not there before?
If you see these spots on your carpet, then your mold growth has reached an advanced stage. These color patches are caused by the mold growth multiplying onto your carpet.
Have you tested your carpet for mold with a mold test?
There are mold-testing kits available for you to test the airflow across your carpet. If there is mold in your home then the mold spores will land on your testing kit and begin to multiply. SERVPRO of Bath offers an exclusive guarantee with our mold testing services. Reach out to us today to learn more!
These are MAIN signs that you have mold growing under your carpet! Mold can be extremely difficult to eliminate once it begins to grow. Contact us today for mold testing in your home!
Mold Prevention Tips
This ceiling has been affected by mold.
Mold is a common household problem, developing in warm, damp environments. Mold can be colored green, purple, white, and orange. While mold plays an important role outside in the environment, breaking down dead plants, mold is unwelcome in homes.
Showers and bathrooms are a common location for mold to grow, but mold can grow anywhere in a home. Mold can come inside a home from an outside growth through inadequately sealed windows or doors. Mold spores cannot be eliminated, but they will not grow if the environment is dry and well ventilated. Mold growth can be prevented by ensuring if water damage occurs, clean up occurs quickly. Using air conditioners during humid seasons and exhaust fans in the kitchen can help prevent mold from growing.
Other areas to monitor moisture to prevent mold growth: exterior walls and surfaces in need of insulation where condensation can build, air conditioner drip pans, check for leaks around the refrigerator, ensure crawl spaces are well ventilated and check for leaks around a tub.
These are a few simple tips for making sure mold is not growing in your home. If you do discover mold growth, SERVPRO of Bath provides mold remediation services for all types of residential and commercial properties. Are you worried there might be too much mold in your home? Contact us today for our new mold testing!
SERVPRO of Bath Handles the Entire Remediation Process
Don't let water damage ruin your home, call SERVPRO of Bath for your entire remediation process.
Water damage can come from many different sources, with varying intensities, danger levels, and reach of damage. Ultimately, many different objects, surfaces, and materials in a home can suffer water damage from the same event, and many homeowners question how a company such as SERVPRO of Bath handles a comprehensive water damage cleanup job. In this blog post, you'll learn about some of the techniques our technicians use to control and repair water damage in local residences.
Identifying the Source and Water Type
Before any restoration, the water damage must be correctly defined by water type and we must find the source. Did it come from a storm, flood, or even a pipe burst? There are several different types of water which will affect the safety and cleanup protocols we use. The water categories are either clean, gray, or black. If necessary, our team of specialists will work to stop the water flow as efficiently as possible, to avert further damage to your home.
Surveying Damage and Mold
After we understand what type of damage we’re dealing with, our technicians will search the home to find any objects that have been affected and what needs to be done. We do this two different ways, visually and with moisture detection equipment. Additionally, we look for signs of mold growth, which often takes priority in a cleanup operation.
Furniture and Water Removal
The next step is to remove all furniture from affected areas, and then pump out any additional water. We use industrial-grade machinery to pump water from the interior to the exterior of the home, with either a portable or a truck-mounted pump.
Drying and Odor Treatments
At this point in the remediation process, we bring out additional heavy-duty machinery to begin drying and deodorizing the affected area(s). We do this to make sure no more damage or mold growth occurs, and to remove any bad odors.
Carpet Removal and Final Cleaning
In many cases, some or all of the carpeting in a room will need replacing. We make sure to evaluate carpeting carefully for moisture so we do not incur extra expenses. Sometimes, a cleaning may only be necessary, particularly when water damage is contained early on. After that is completed, we clean up and sanitize all of the walls and objects, and bring back any furniture that had to be taken out during this process.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive water damage cleanup company, call SERVPRO of Bath today! Don’t wait! The earlier water damage is contained, the less damage that occurs.
Top 6 Fire Damage Restoration Tips
We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Bath frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire. Most people can put these six tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.
Here are six of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration:
Remove Smoke Damage
With any fire, you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint it, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.
Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps
Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter, and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
Get Rid of Mold & Mildew
Firefighters are great. They save many lives and many homes. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of Bath highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s cleaned up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.
Replace Carpets. Clean and Dry Your Floors.
Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of Bath recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.
Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing
Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes in the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners if any have experience with post-fire laundry.
Scrub, Soak, and Cleaning Dishes
Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.
Help is Here
Call SERVPRO of Bath @ 252-923-0213