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!
Post Construction Cleanup
Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it’s time to remove the debris and dirt in order to lay carpet, paint and decorate. SERVPRO of Savannah can provide the debris removal services to prepare the building for interior design.
Dehumidification and Drying
During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture. Excessive moisture could result in mold growth. If you think one of your projects may have a moisture issue, rely on SERVPRO Professionals to provide the help you need eliminating moisture and preventing the potential for mold growth.
You want the facility to look its best when the doors open. SERVPRO of Savannah Professionals provide cleaning services to give the building that extra shine. Services include:
- Carpet, resilient and non-resilient floor prep and finish
- Ceiling, walls and fixture cleaning
- Air Duct Cleaning
- Debris Removal (if necessary)
- Window Cleaning
Rely on SERVPRO of Savannah to help ensure your post-construction cleanup gets done as quickly as possible!
What is Lurking in your Ducts?
Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO of Savannah's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.
The SERVPRO proven Duct Cleaning System is cost efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO uses a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process:
- The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape an diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor to microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO of Savannah can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
Mold has been around forever because mold is a naturally occurring microscopic fungi that can be found almost anywhere.
Here are a few key years regarding the history of mold awareness.
- 2001 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines for Schools and Commercial Buildings (www.epa.gov)
- 2003 OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin
- 2003 IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation (S520) (www.IICRC.org/s520info.shtml )
- 2006 National Indoor Mold Society is formed (http://afamerica.com/nims/)
- 2008 IICRC Standard and Reference Guide (S520) 2nd Edition is released
- 2009 EPA Designates September as National Indoor Toxic Mold Awareness Month
Litigation Prior to 1993 Was Limited:
- Initial cases were:
- Faulty construction
- Lawsuits are in state and federal court
- Regulatory Organizations such as State Health Agencies, State Attorney Generals and the outcome of litigation are defining the future of how we conduct mold mitigation and remediation and how mold liability is handled.
SERVPRO of Savannah requires that our techinicans become certified throught the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.
Call SERVPRO of Savannah today for any and all mold questions or concerns. 912-234-9690