Heating Hazards - Savannah Fire Safety Tips
The winter season is here. Even though Savannah usually has mild winters, there is still a need for heating homes or businesses at some point during the winter months.
Remember these tips when heating your Savannah home or business:
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free" zone around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be completely cooled before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from the home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always us the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO at 912-234-9690! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Is your Savannah building prepared for the New Year?
Each new year brings the opportunity for new beginnings! Make 2017 a year to remember and resolve to be READY! SERVPRO of Savannah wants to help ensure you enjoy a safe and happy new year by helping you be prepared for anything the year may have in store.
Did you know, up to 50 percent of businesses that suffer a disaster may never reopen? Of the businesses that do survive a disaster, the overwhelming majority had an emergency preparedness plan in place.
Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help you build an emergency preparedness plan for your property. The best part is, this is an absolutely free service...No strings attached!
Call SERVPRO of Savannah at 912-234-9690 and ask to speak with the marketing representative, Parker Roberson.
Let Parker help you make a resolution that will help protect you and your business so that you can be "Ready for whatever happens" in the new year!
Christmas Safety in Savannah
Christmas tree fires are very dangerous. Per the U.S. Fire Administration, on average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in death. This compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires. Christmas trees too close to a heat source account for one in every four fires.
Below are just a few important tips for fire safety during the Holiday season:
- Water your Christmas tree.
- Keep decorations away from heat sources.
- Inspect decoration electrical cords and follow the manufacturer's instruction.
- Always unplug your tree and lighted decorations prior to leaving or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
- Make sure your tree stand is sturdy and your tree is fitted in the stand properly.
If you or someone you know has experienced a fire, SERVPRO is here to help. Call 912-234-9690.
*Source: U.S. Fire Administration
Preventable Homeowners' Insurance Claims
We’re very fortunate that many homeowner losses are preventable. But because homeowners’ insurance may not pay a claim that could have been avoided with proper maintenance, it pays to take care of your home. Below is an example of preventable claims and tips on making sure that you avoid these issues.
- Washing Machine mishaps
- Its recommended that you replace your washing machine hoses every three years and inspect them regularly
- Leaks in your bath tub and shower
- Grout and caulking can decay or develop cracks over time. This will allow water into the walls and/or floors. Its recommended that you inspect and maintain your seals every year
- Toilet Issues
- Improperly installed and leaking toilets. Make sure that you regularly check that the seal of your toilet is not worn out and that there is not any water around the base
- Refrigerator water supply leaks
- The water lines that connect to your fridge can cause extensive home damage. The lines to your fridge should be checked regularly for kinks
- Roof Leaks and collapses
- Basic maintenance is key to a longer roof life
- Chimney and fireplace fires
- Dirty or plugged chimneys can cause fires. Implement fire safety best practices and maintain a regular cleaning schedule
- Hot water heater leaks
- Small leaks that go unnoticed can quickly turn into a major claim. Make sure to regularly inspect the water heater and the pipes around the unit for leaks, moisture, mold, buildup and corrosion
- Electrical Fires
- Make sure to check for loose-fitting plugs in electrical outlets and avoid overloading outlets
- Cooking or candle fires
- Cooking equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires injuries. Candles and cooking equipment should be monitored closely.
- Furnace issues
- Have your furnace inspected regularly and have a professional make any repairs
- Dishwasher leaks
- You should check all hoses for sign of wear and tear every three months. Ensure that you are cleaning your dish washer to prevent buildup and clogs that could potentially cause leakage later on
Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out
The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out”. Fire Prevention Week is designed to teach people the importance of home escape planning and practice.
A home escape plan should include:
• Working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas
• 2 ways out of every room
• A clear path to an outside meeting location
Here are 6 tips for coming up with your home fire escape plan:
1. Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, making sure to show two exits from each room and a path to the outside for each exit
2. Have a practice fire drill twice a year, practicing both ways out each time
3. Teach children how to escape
4. Make sure that the number of your home is clearly shown so that the fire department can easily find you
5. Close doors behind you as you leave to help slow down the spread of smoke, heat and fire
6. Once you get outside, stay outside
Having a fire escape plan ready and keeping these tips in mind will truly help in the event of a fire. And remember, “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out”.
Is Your Business Prepared for a Disaster?
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.
While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP).
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile, your business can receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
Call today to get started! (912) 234-9690 or visit www.SERVPRO.com/Ready
Flood Safety Tips
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, out in the country, or even in the desert, there is potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood.
Flood Safety Tips:
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
- If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals. Dispose of any food or personal hygiene items exposed to floodwaters.
If you experience residential or commercial water damage due to a flood, call SERVPRO of Savannah immediately! (912)234-9690
Escape Planning for your Business
An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, however, OSHA recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan:
- Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
- Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
- Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
These tips are provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The Silent Killer: Reduce Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Carbon monoxide, considered "the silent killer", is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Reduce the change of carbon monoxide exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce carbon monoxide. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys services annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
For additional carbon monoxide safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov
Not All Smoke Damage Can Be Cleaned With Soap!
When it comes to cleaning smoked-damaged contents after a residential or commercial fire, the variety of contents in a typical job requires restorers to utilize a variety of cleaning methods.
Here is a quick description of each method of content cleaning:
- Dry Cleaning - Removes light to medium nongrease-based soils.
- Wet Cleaning - Removes moderate to heavy residues. The process involves cleaning using water, with or without a cleaning agent.
- Spray and Wipe - Apply a cleaning product using a spray bottle. After spraying, wipe the surface with a clean white towel. This method is effective for materials possibly damaged if saturated with cleaning product.
- Foam Cleaning - Effective for light residues or delicate materials. Clean with the foam of a cleaning agent rather than the liquid
- Abrasive Cleaning - Agitates the surface being cleaned. Apply a cleaning product containing abrasive ingredients
- Immersion Cleaning - Dipping contents items into a bath of cleaning product. This bath is an ultrasonic tank filled with water and cleaning solution. High-frequency sound waves then create high temperatures and microscopic jet streams of fluid to agitate and scrub contents.
SERVPRO recommends that you DO NOT attempt to clean smoke-damaged surfaces or contents yourself, and call the professionals!