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Fireplace and Portable Heating Safety Tips

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know? 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire. 

  • 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 cool before putting them in a metal container a safe distance away from your home. 
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use 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. 

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Did You Know? We handle more then Fire and Water Damage

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Recognized as a leading fire, water, mold cleanup and restoration provider by insurance companies, property managers, home and business owners, SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen also offers fast, reliable biohazard, vandalism and crime scene cleanup and restoration services. 

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. SERVPRO Northwest Bergen is trained to safely and effectively remove bio-hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO Northwest Bergen help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.

SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen can help with: 

  • Blood-borne Pathogens
  • Crime Science Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backup
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

Blood-borne Pathogens: SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen can remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Our trained technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure. 

Crime Scene Residue: From fingerprints powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO technicians can clean and restore your property and contents. 

Arson and Vandalism: General cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and waste. 

Sewage Backup: Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly situations-the damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen technicians remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting as they clean. We help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected and deodorized to eliminate any secondary damages. 

Here are some Helpful Do's and Don'ts for handling Vandalism Damages.

DO:

  • Hose or wash egg or other residue damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
  • Carefully vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.
  • Save containers revealing the ingredients of products used in vandalism damage.
  • Record all damage and photograph when possible.

DON'T

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Operate damaged lamps or appliances.
  • Discard broken or damaged pieces from porcelain, furniture, or other contents that may be used for repair. 

CALL SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen

Plan Ahead and Build an Emergency Kit

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. https://www.ready.gov/ suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit.

  • 3-day Supply of non-perishable food
  • Water-One gallon per person per day
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription Medication
  • Sleeping bags and blankets
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra Batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in weatherproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant supplies
  • Important documents in weatherproof container (insurance documents, bank records, IDs)

You can also keep a condensed Emergency Kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive kit go to ready.gov/

Clean Water vs. Contaminated Water

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Clean Water vs. Contaminated Water Contaminated water damage

When your home or business suffers from a water damage disaster, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup. There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, other water source, and rainwater. The term grey water is used to describe slightly contaminated water, which is usually clean water that has been left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. 

When you have water damage, don't leave your property to chance. To learn more visit Water Damage Tips or Call SERVPRO to professionally cleanup any size water damage disaster. 

Top Three DO's and DON'Ts after a fire disaster

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

These tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen technicians arrive. Follow these Do's and Don'ts to help reduce the damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  1. Limit Movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  2. Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  3. Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 

DON'T:

  1. Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO.
  2. Do not attempt to clean electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  3. Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Winter Weather Worries

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Winter weather and temperatures falling below freezing can bring about home water damage issues such as frozen pipes and ice dams. These damages are costly to repair and in most instances can be prevented. 

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are not only those exposed to the cold weather, such as outdoor pipes, but also pipes in cold areas like basements, attics, garages and kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your home if not properly and quickly fixed. 

According to The American Red Cross here are some tips to prevent pipes from freezing:

  • Drain water completely from swimming pool, sprinkler system and outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near plumbing.
  • In extreme cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set at the same temperature day and night. The temperature should not be set below 55°

Ice Dams

Ice dams can cause major damage during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, (source Travelers.com) check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along ceiling of exterior walls in your home. These are indicators that ice dams have occurred and water has penetrated the roof membrane. Remove the ice dam quickly to prevent major water damage to your homes exterior and interior. Using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melt can be used to alleviate the ice dam problem. 

If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO has trained professional technicians ready to restore your property.

Water Damage: Thorough Drying Process with SERVPRO

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage: Thorough Drying Process with SERVPRO SERVPRO Fans

When mitigating a water loss, taking steps to allow for thorough drying of the affected area is critical.

Every water damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. You can click on any of the steps below to learn more about that process.

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.

Step 6 - Restoration

Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Carbon Monoxide: A silent cold weather killer

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Carbon Monoxide: A silent cold weather killer CO Alarm

Carbon Monoxide is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. According to ready.gov, an average of 430 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) 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. There are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly CO fumes. Reduce CO fumes exposure in your home or workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well ventilated areas away from openings to prevent fumes from entering the home/building. Visit usfa.fema.gov for more info on CO safety. 

Be prepared for any type of storm

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

If your home has water damage due to a storm, call SERVPRO to help we offer storm damage cleanup and restoration visit Storm Damage Cleanup Services.

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarms: Life Savers Fire Alarms

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarms unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half the fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA)

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA)

If you need help installing, testing, or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. 

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency escape plan in place and conduct regular drills to ensure proper execution of the plan. The NFPA website  is a good resource for information. 

If your home or business has suffered damage from a fire SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen has the experience and equipment to clean and restore your property. Learn about our services here Fire cleanup and restorations services.