Fire Plan Anyone?
House fires are unpredictable. As much as we try to prevent them, sometimes the unthinkable happens and a little spark from faulty wiring you didn’t know about can leave your home engulfed in flames. When this happens, do your and your family have a plan for getting out of your home and to a safe meeting point? A fire escape plan is an invaluable tool to make sure you and your family knows just what to do incase of a fire.
- Take a weekend and draw up a floor plan of your home for a visual to plan out a fire escape route. Walk through your home with your floor plan and note all the possible exit routes.
- Keep leashes and carriers by the door, and make sure your pet always wears her collar and tags if she escapes during the chaos. Note where your pet goes when scared to tell a firefighter if you don’t have the opportunity to get them out. Train your pet to come when they’re called.
- Choose a meeting place away from your home like a neighbor’s mailbox, sign post, or light post and mark the spot on your map.
- Do a tour with your entire family to make sure that they understand the plan.
In case the inevitable has happened, give SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County a call at 281-342-5326
Put Out A Grease Fire FAST!
Cooking is not usually considered a dangerous hobby, and many people find it relaxing. Keep your cooking from going south by making your kitchen as safe as you can. Oil is a big ingredient for many dishes, but unfortunately, it can be easy to ignite, and grease fires are not easily put out with water. If you have a grease fire in your kitchen, you need to act quickly to keep the fire from spreading. Follow these steps to put out a grease fire in your kitchen;
- Turn the Heat Off: This step may seem obvious, but in the heat of the moment, you may be panicking and forget to do so. Leave the pot where it is or you risk burning yourself and spilling oil which could spread the fire.
- Put a Metal Lid on the Pot: Fire uses oxygen to burn, so putting a metal lid on the pot will cut off that supply of oxygen. DO NOT use a glass lid; the heat could cause it to shatter. Once the fire burns through the small amount of oxygen left in the pot, it will put itself out. Keep in mind that this will only work if the fire is contained to the pot and has not spread to any other part of the kitchen.
- Use Baking Soda or Salt: This is another trick that will work if the fire is relatively small and contained. Baking soda releases carbon dioxide which smothers the fire, but if the flames are already too large, this may not work. You will need a lot of baking soda for this. Another trick you could try is using salt. Salt is able to absorb a lot of heat, so it is able to remove so much heat that the grease simply can’t support its own combustion any more.
- Use a Fire Extinguisher: Every household should have a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible part of their kitchen. Once you have gotten your fire extinguisher and you have had it properly inspected, you should know how to properly use it, or you could make the flames worse. Do not stand directly in front of the fire when you spray the extinguisher, or the pressure from it can actually spray the grease further and spread the fire. Stand back at a safe distance and spray the fire. This may take a little longer than you would think, so continue using the extinguisher until you are sure the fire is out. Using a fire extinguisher will contaminate your kitchen, so make sure you give it a thorough cleaning before cooking in it again.
- Call 911: If the fire does get out of control, call 911. It is better to do this sooner than later. Get yourself and any family members out of the house until the fire department arrives.
If you need restoration after fire damage, call SERVPRO® of West Fort Bend County today at 281-342-5326.
What To Do "Electrical Fires"
Fires in the home can come in many forms. One of the most dangerous fires is an electrical fire. Electrical fires are especially dangerous because not only is a fire ignited, the electricity has the potential to shock an unsuspecting victim.
Causes of Electrical Fires
Electrical fires often catch homeowners off guard when they are doing something they do everyday, like using a household appliance or plugging something into a socket or power strip. Below is a list of the common causes for electrical fires:
- Faulty outlets and appliances
- Light fixtures, lamps, and light bulbs
- Extension cords
- Space heaters
- Faulty wiring
December and January are the months with the most electrical fires due to an increased amount of heating appliances and lights. However, electrical fires can spark without the overhaul of Christmas lights. Overburdening your electrical outlets with any appliances can quickly spark an electrical fire.
How to Prevent an Electrical Fire
Here are some helpful tips to keep from falling victim to an electrical fire:
- Discard all cords and plugs that are worn or frayed
- Never break off the 3rd prong on a plug to plug it in to a 2-prong socket.
- Keep electrical cords away from water and heat sources.
- Avoid running electrical cords under rugs.
- When unplugging an item, hold the plug securely and remove the plug from the outlet.
- Only use extension cords temporarily
Properly Putting Out an Electrical Fire
Because electricity is involved, you cannot put out an electrical fire the same way you would a typical fire.
- Call 911 and GET OUT
- Call your local fire department or dial 911.
- Safely exit the building.
- Keep a safe distance from the building until fire fighters arrive.
- Disconnect the Electricity
- If an appliance is on fire, simply unplug the appliance by grabbing the plug and disconnecting from the wall.
- If the fire is in the wall or in an appliance you can’t unplug, safely get to the switch or electrical panel to shut off the electricity.
If the power is ON:
- Smother a small fire with baking soda.
- Use only a class C or ABC fire extinguisher. Remember to use the fire extinguisher properly.
- NEVER use water on an electrical fire that is still energized.
If the power is OFF:
- Use a fire extinguisher. If the power is off, it doesn’t matter which kind of fire extinguisher.
- Use a fire blanket or other thick blanket to smother the fire.
- Douse the fire with water. This is only safe and effective if the power source is OFF.
Science of Drying
Did you know, there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County's professional team is trained in the science if drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County professionals will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does “Speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County has been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. We also uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
The bottom line? SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
How To Clean Your Coffee Pot!
Everyone loves a good cup of joe (yes, even the stuff made in the office), but would they love it so much if they knew what was growing in the pot? Office coffeepots are constantly full of water, and chances are they are not properly cleaned at the end of each workday. The result is generally hidden mold growth that infects every cup of coffee poured. If you want your employees to stay healthy and happy, keep your coffeepots clean. As a bonus for your efforts, your coffee will taste better (and it won’t have that moldy smell anymore either).
How To Clean Your Coffeepot
Cleaning your coffeepot is simple and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes each week. Use these six steps, provided by your West Fort Bend County, mold remediation team, to prevent mold growth in your coffeepot and chamber:
1. Make a solution that is equal parts water and vinegar. Pour this in your coffeemaker’s water chamber.
2. Set your pot to brew. Allow it to do its job as normal until the water chamber is half empty.
3. Turn off the machine and let it sit for half an hour, then resume brewing.
4. Rinse the machine thoroughly, then put in a new filter. Fill the water chamber with just water. Allow it to run through the brewing cycle twice.
5. Fill the carafe with warm water, some soap and a small amount of either rice or sugar, both of which serve as a gentle abrasive. Twirl the combination around in the pot, and use a sponge to remove any excess buildup. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
6. Wipe down the outside of your coffeemaker with a damp cloth.
While steps one through four should be done weekly, steps five and six should be done at the end of each day. By spending an hour each week cleaning your coffeepots, you can prevent mold growth and keep your employees happy and healthy.
Do You Have Mold?
Mold can spring up very quickly in humid environments and many homes have areas that are prone to mold growth for this reason. Bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and basements all have the highest chance of developing mold because humid air often circulates in these rooms. Proper ventilation can help to significantly reduce the chance of mold growth in these areas of your home. It is important to take steps to ensure that each room is well-ventilated and that the air is circulating well.
Some of the most important areas to vent are the bathrooms and the attic. Bathrooms are usually quite small with a lot of warm, moist air circulating within them regularly. This makes them very susceptible to rapid mold growth. Investing in vents and fans that push the humid air outside of the home will help to keep mold growth to a minimum. Attics often have poor ventilation and many homeowners are tempted to quickly ventilate bathrooms by placing vents in the bathrooms that push the humid air into the attic. This will result in mold growth in the attic, which could then spread into the ducts as well as tight, difficult-to-reach spaces.
Avoid these potentially costly problems by investing in quality fans and vents that will draw humid air out of the rooms, sending it outside of the home, rather than into the attic.
If you see mold, call SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County at 281-342-5326
Where is Your Mold?
If you find mold in your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County at (281)-342-5326
10 Most common areas for mold growth in your home.
Mold is a living organism that belongs to the fungi family (like mushrooms, yeast, and even some cheeses like blue cheese).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mold can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, and insulation. Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials.
10 Places to Watch for Mold Growth in Your Home:
- Underneath kitchen sinks
- Underneath or behind refrigerators
- Bathroom shower or under sink
- Behind walls that also house plumbing
- Stacks of damp or wet newspaper or cardboard boxes
- Around air-conditioning units
- Wallboard or around windows that leak
- Under carpeting that may have become wet
- Attics & Crawl Spaces
Where is the Water Shut Off?
Always Call SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County at 281-342-5326
Many workplaces always call on the boss or the maintenance man when something goes wrong. What if they were home sick, or in a meeting and you need to locate the water shut off, where do you start?
By having a plan of action and including it in your regular training at your office you can minimize the cost if an unplanned event happens like a busted pipe, fire or any other type of disaster.
Some property managers use this as a tool to keep everything organized in one central location.
Is your business ready for a disaster? Even a simple pipe burst can cause a lot of damage and headaches. With a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile it can have the critical information to minimize damages, provide the resources for the employees of the company, and provide property details and information. This is a FREE service that we provide to commercial properties.
Types of Equipment Used in Commercial Large Losses
When it comes to commercial large loss restoration, it is crucial for the job to be done quickly and efficiently to reduce the financial loss to the company. There are several SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Centers throughout the U.S. The key to effective large loss restoration is having the right equipment to get the job done efficiently. This guide explains the main types of industrial equipment that are used by SERVPRO to provide commercial restoration services for large losses.
The mobile command center is an important piece of equipment for handling large commercial losses. These command centers are large trailers that can serve as a temporary space for employees to resume business operations while the property of the business is being restored.
It is common for businesses to lose power when a disaster causes major damage. If there is no power on-site to power up the restoration equipment, the restoration process will take much longer. SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss centers use mobile generators that are powerful enough to provide power to any size building
Large scale water damage can result from natural floods, storms, pipe bursts, and from extinguishing a fire if there was one on the property. Excess water and moisture in a building will not only cause severe structural damage, but also result in the appearance of mold which will make the damage worse. SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss centers use desiccant dehumidifier units to dry large areas affected by water damage. These trailer mounted units use low vapor air pressure which speeds up the evaporation process by extracting the moisture from the affected materials. This is the most effective way to handle large scale structural drying and humidity control.
Call SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County at 281-342-5326
After Hurricane Harvey, thousands of people were sent into a financial panic. Most people did not have flood insurance because their house was not located in what is considered a flood zone. Thanks to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, many of these families were able to begin the recovery process. But what now? What does this once every hundred years storm mean for your insurance? You will be surprised.
New Flood Zones
Did the Harvey floodwaters cause over $5,000 in damage to your home? If they did, congratulations, you are now in what is considered to be a flood zone. Even if you have never flooded before this one event was all the insurance companies needed to raise their rates for flood insurance in your area. While it is possible and likely Houston will never experience another Harvey, we can not predict how the rivers and flood zones will change. Hence, causing the caution for all the rise in insurance.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
There is no easy answer to that question. If you are in a flood zone, many communities will require you to have it. Here at SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County, we say "You can never have too much insurance. Better safe than sorry." Our recommendation is if you are along the coast or in a flood zone including those formulated after Harvey, purchase flood insurance. If you are outside of a flood zone speak with your agent to calculate the risk and consider putting together an emergency storm fund. If you do deny to purchase flood insurance your agent will need to receive it in writing. Ultimately, the decision is yours.
Either way, SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County will be ready to take care of you when the next storm hits; And if you do have insurance we are on their vendor list. All you have to do is request us and we will come to take care of you. Experienced a catastrophic weather event? Call us at 281-342-5326.