How to Stay Safe in the Kitchen
Have you ever thought about how you’d react in the actual event of a fire? Let’s hope it never happens – but if it did, here are some guidelines to help reduce long-term damage.
If there’s a fire in your oven or microwave:
First, turn off the oven or microwave. And whatever you do, don’t open the door – the lack of oxygen should suffocate the flames. But if flames remain, call 911.
If there’s a fire on your stove:
Never use water to put out a grease fire. Water can make things worse by further splattering the grease.
If the fire is small, try the following:
- Turn off the stove and put a lid on the pan
2. Throw baking soda on the fire – but don’t mistake it for flour, which can further exacerbate the flame
3. Use a wet cloth or towel and throw it on the fire
4. Pull out that fire extinguisher you just had installed
5. If the fire is growing, call 911 immediately
Thinking about potential kitchen disasters can be alarming, but that shouldn’t stop you from letting loose in the kitchen!
Cooking is fun, and as long as you stay mindful of these kitchen safety guidelines (while also installing all your preventative measures), you can continue to whip up some culinary masterpieces – crisis averted.
Energy Efficiency Tips for Commercial Buildings
1. Regular HVAC Maintenance: Water, steam and air flow metering and monitoring can measure HVAC system efficiency and identify “leaky” valves or other potential system inefficiencies.
2. Damper and Actuator Maintenance: When working properly, dampers and actuators enable free cooling controls/programs to do their job. Maintenance performed every 3-6 months can cause a 5 ton compressor to operate only 20 hours less, energy savings can equate to $0.10 per kWh.
3. Heat Exchange Coil Cleanliness: Dirty condenser and evaporator coils reduce cooling capacity and make compressors work harder. Supply and return air temperature measurements with outdoor air resets is one of the most cost-effective maintenance steps that can be done on HVAC systems.
4. Demand-controlled Ventilation: Too little outside air is a health concern … too much is an energy waster. Using a CO2 sensor and controller helps you get it just right.
The 7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Fire
1.Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year. Purchase smoke alarms here.
2. Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
3. Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.4.Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another. 5.Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out. 6.Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1. 7.Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire. Source: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/home-fire-preparedness.html
Top 3 reasons for a commercial water loss
As many may know flooding can happen very quickly. What starts out as a small storm can suddenly turn into something larger, and cause a lot more damage than anyone expected. For example, during heavy rain a small leak on the roof can turn into a large downpour of water that floods an entire section of the property.
Almost every office building has a kitchen or break room. And typically these rooms have a refrigerator, a sink disposer, and possibly a dishwasher. When these appliances fail, they can leak a significant amount of water, flooding the entire room or more.
Backed up Sewer Lines
Bathrooms are another source of possible problems. It is not uncommon for the sewer lines to get backed up, releasing contaminated water into the building. This type of water damage is extremely dangerous because the water is filled with hazardous waste and other contaminants. Bathroom toilet supply lines are also notorious culprits of water damage.
Water damage isn’t something that you want to happen on your commercial property. But when it does, you want to hire the right company to clean up the damage and get your business back to normal as quickly as possible. Call SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom today at (916) 987-0400
Staying Safe During an Earthquake
If you are indoors
- If you are INDOORS, stay there.
- If able to do so, DROP, COVER and HOLD ON or LOCK, COVER and HOLD ON for wheelchair or walker users.
- If there is a sturdy table or desk available, get under it and HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
- Do not run outside or inside your home, since debris may fall and injure you.
If you are in bed
- If you are in BED, stay there.
- COVER your head and neck with a pillow or blanket.
If you are in a vehicle
- If you are in a VEHICLE, pull over and stop in a safe area away from buildings, trees, overpasses, underpasses or utility wires.
- Make sure to set the parking brake so that the vehicle does not move during the shaking.
- Stay inside your vehicle until the shaking subsides.
If you are in a high-rise or public building
- DROP, COVER and HOLD ON if able to do so or LOCK, COVER and HOLD ON or for wheelchair or walker users, or protect your head and neck area as best as possible.
- Expect fire alarms and sprinklers to be activated.
- Do not use elevators.
- When the shaking subsides, move to the designated zones or areas for evacuation and evaluate your next safe action.
- Do not run outside or inside a building, since debris may fall and injure you.
If you are in a Sports Stadium or Theater
- If you are in a SPORTS STADIUM OR THEATER, stay at your seat, or if able to do so safely, DROP to floor between the rows, COVER by protecting your head and neck with your arms and HOLD ON if possible.
- Do not attempt to leave until the shaking stops.
- Then, follow the instructions from the sports stadium or theater staff or officials. Walk carefully, watching for anything that could fall or injure you if there are aftershocks.
If you are Outdoors
- If you are OUTDOORS, stay there.
- Move away from wires, buildings and anything else that could fall and hurt you, but only if you can safely do so.
- Otherwise, stay where you are and DROP, COVER and HOLD ON if able to do so or LOCK, COVER and HOLD ON for wheelchair or walker users or protect your head and neck area as best as possible.
If you are near the shore
- If you are NEAR THE SHORE, if able to do so, DROP, COVER and HOLD ON until the shaking subsides.
- If severe shaking lasts 20 seconds or more, immediately move to higher ground as a tsunami might have been generated by the earthquake.
- It is recommended to move inland two miles or to land that is 100 feet above sea level immediately.
- Do not wait for officials to issue a warning. Move quickly, and avoid debris and other hazards.
If you are near slopes, cliffs or mountains
- If you are NEAR SLOPES, CLIFFS OR MOUNTAINS, be alert for falling rocks and landslides.
Prevent Summer Storm Damage
Yes, summers are full of vacations, nice weather, and days off. Summers can also bring furious storms. A summer storm can clear the air and cool things off, but storms also provide intense wind, rain, hail, thunder, lightning, and the potential to destroy. Protect your home against damage from summer storms with these suggestions.
A windstorm can bring down large branches or trees. That’s a threat to your roof, garage, vehicles, power lines, and your family members. Take a walk around your property to check for dead or dying trees and broken or weak branches. Look for loosely attached limbs, rot, disease, or insect infestation. Hire a professional to trim your trees or if necessary, remove one or more.
A power surge is an unusually high amount of electricity briefly surging through your home’s wiring. Power surges can ruin or damage your sensitive electronic devices and appliances like computers, digital washing machines, and televisions. To prevent damage, install surge protectors. Do remember that surge protectors are not foolproof. If the forecast for your area includes severe weather, unplug individual devices or power strips from their outlet (rather than just switching them off.)
Stock up on emergency lighting such as flashlights and an electric generator. Never use fuel-burning designed for outdoor use only, such as gas or kerosene grills. When using fuel-burning devises inside your home they can produce carbon monoxide.
If you’re dealing with damage from summer storm call SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom at (916) 987-0400. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Smoke Damage in Your Commercial Building
What YOU can do after a fire to reduce smoke odors and soot
- If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the facility to reduce smoke odor
- Change the air filter on the furnace if it uses forced hot air
- Tape damp cheesecloth over returns and supply registers to capture loose soot in the air
- Do not touch anything with bare hands. Oils from hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing additional damage
- Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue
When a fire impacts your place of business, burnt equipment and charred possessions are just the damages you can see on the surface. Even after the flames have been put out and the smoke has cleared, your business is still in trouble. Since smoke and soot are highly acidic, they can damage a wide range of materials they come in contact with.
This amount of smoke damage can easily overwhelm for any business owner. That's why it's important to call in a professional soot cleaning and smoke odor removal service to restore your building to a clean, healthy and safe condition for yourself and your employees. Soot cleanup is a specialized job that requires advanced tools, professional know-how and the steady guidance that you'll get from SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom.
If you're experiencing smoke damage in your commercial building give SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom a call at (916) 987-0400.
Commercial Building Fall Maintenance Tips
While each commercial building’s needs will be different according to the tenants it holds, its purpose, and its location, consider the following tips when preparing your property this season.
Before tenants start to crank up the heat to combat colder temps, make sure your building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is running efficiently and effectively. Replace filters, inspect and repair broken parts, identify and respond to cracked ductwork, drain line clogs, and make sure your HVAC system is the proper size for your unit. While doing so, store or cover air-conditioning units that will go unused during the fall and winter seasons.
Service your fire prevention and safety equipment, making sure all sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and fire alarms are in working order. Also, update emergency fire procedures and schedule a fall or winter season drill so tenants can practice how best to respond.
Winterize your landscaping, including trimming trees and shrubs to reduce exterior damage. Ensure that vegetation and grass are properly graded to avoid water and ice sitting against your property’s foundation. This can lead to interior water damage. Also, inspect the exterior of your building for cracks, stains, and leaks, which could lead to potential for safety and security breaches.
Decreased daylight means your tenants may be more at risk for falling should hazards not be easily identifiable. Install proper exterior lighting on your commercial property, and check bi-annually that light bulbs and fixtures are clean and in working order. If public walkways have cracks, potholes, or other trip hazards, repair and seal to reduce hazards, or install signage to make people aware.
Inspect and repair your commercial property’s roof for loose shingles or damage to existing flashing. To prevent the potential for ice dams to form, clean gutters and make sure they are properly secured to the building. Fall is also a good season to increase the insulation in existing attics. Doing this can decrease heat costs while also further reduce ice dam formation.
Inspect windows both inside and outside to ensure they are properly sealed. Doing so can reduce energy bills while simultaneously preventing excess moisture and mold risks. Replace windows that are showing signs of aging to avoid potential interior or exterior building damage.
Colder temperatures put pipes at higher risk for freezing and bursting. Leaving your commercial building at risk for water damage. Avoid the wet mess by insulating and sealing cracks and openings around exposed pipes. Also, set internal thermostats (and instruct tenants to do the same) to keep interior temperatures at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check in with tenants regarding any maintenance requests or building concerns they may have. Living and/or working in your commercial property means they are on constant alert to their surroundings. If they see–or hear or smell–something, ask that they say something.
Don’t leave your commercial property out in the cold as the fall and winter seasons move in. With the right precautionary measures, you can avoid costly damage to your building and unnecessary stress to your tenants. Work with your service team and call in skilled, professional vendors to keep your buildings running efficiently and effectively.
5 Tips To Prepare For a Commercial Fire
1. Employee training: One of the biggest concerns during a fire should be the safety of the people inside of your building. Make sure your employees or tenants know how to get out of the building safely by holding regular fire evacuation drills. You should post evacuation plans around the property and ensure everyone knows the best way out.
2. Restoration: Part of being prepared has to be centered on the potential fire damage your building may sustain. How are you going to take care of possible roof damage, or other structural damage (windows and doors may need to be boarded up or the cleaning and restoration of your contents that have been effected by heat and soot. Finding a quality fire restoration specialist prior to a fire loss can make your recovery process much simpler when an emergency strikes.
3. Contingency: Depending on what type of business you have and what it does, a fire could potentially shut down your company for an extended period of time. Part of your emergency recovery plan may be how you deal with a potential halt of work. You can get insurance to help cover financial losses or rent a temporary workspace to reduce the downtime.
4. Inventory: Your fire emergency recovery plan should also include a list and pictures of all the equipment, records and property you have in your commercial building. Knowing what's there before a disaster strikes can make creating a lost inventory list for your claim easier. Take pictures of your building in and out, figure out the cost of replacing your equipment annually and record your inventory.
5. Safety Equipment: install Smoke alarms, fire sprinklers and other safety equipment that can help mitigate the damage done by a fire. Installing these tools before a disaster is often a good idea.
Do You Have a Plan For a Roof Leak?
Roof leaks are serious business. Not only can they cause immense damage to your roof, but they can also damage your home, lead to mold, flooding, and extremely expensive repair bills. So when you discover signs of a leak forming in your roof, you need to take action quickly to minimize the effect of the leak and prevent as much damage to your home as possible. However, many people don’t actually have a plan in place for the event they discover a leak. While most people know what to do in the event of a blizzard, fire, broken pipe, or so much more, not being prepared for this kind of a disaster could prove costly.
If you’re one of the many people who doesn’t have a plan in place for the event you discover a roof leak, then this blog is for you. Here are a few things you should have in your plan when you discover a roof leak so that you can better protect your home from potentially serious damage.
PROTECT THE INSIDE OF YOUR HOME
The first step to combating roof leak damage is to get everything out of the way which could suffer from water intruding into your home. This means moving all furniture, computers, electronics, and other possessions away from where the water is getting in. This may be hard work, but you simply have to get it out of where the water may be getting in. If you need to, just move things a little bit for now and then more once you have the situation under a greater degree of control.
FIND THE LEAK IN YOUR ATTIC
Once you’ve taken care of any immediate damage or loss threats in your home, it’s time to look for where the water is coming in. Just because the leak is in one point in your home doesn’t mean that’s where the water is getting in—it’s not uncommon for the signs of water damage to your ceiling and the actual source of the roof leak to not directly align. Head up into your attic and find where you’ve noticed the water damage in your ceiling, then look at the wood in your roof and see if you can spot the source of the water. Generally, a good place to look is along seams between boards, and directly up the slope of your roof. After a quick search, you should be able to find the source of the leak and then take action.
TEMPORARILY SEAL THE LEAK
There are a few temporary repairs you can do which may help you keep the leak at bay. Roofing cement is one option, as is roofer’s tape. Both of these materials can seal the gap, prevent water from getting through, and minimize the damage to just one small, localized area that’s easier to fix. This also helps prevent water from leaking into your home down below. Alternatively, you may also wish to tarp off the area impacted by the water drip, and even keep a bowl or bucket handy in case water sneaks through again. Ideally this won’t happen, but you want to be prepared just in case.
You can also temporarily seal a leak from the outside using a tarp. However, you shouldn’t do this if the rain is still falling, if thunder and lightning are present, and if your roof surface is still wet. Walking on the surface of your roof is already immensely dangerous, and doing so in high-slip conditions increases the risk of an injury exponentially. However, if you have an opportunity to cover the leak spot with a tarp, be sure to pull it as tight as possible, seal the highest point of the tarp with roofer’s tape to prevent water from continuing to leak through, and weigh the tarp down with something fairly heavy to prevent it from blowing away.
CALL FOR HELP
Once you’ve got the leak under control and stopped for the time being, reach out to a professional and get your issue fixed as soon as possible. When you’ve got a roof leak, letting it sit un-repaired usually only allows the damage to grow and get worse, and that means an even more expensive repair, or worse, a total replacement of your roof that could have otherwise been prevented.