Summer Bonfire Safety
With the heat of the summer, please keep in mind that the sun and winds will have dried out a lot of the surrounding plants and bushes. So, if you plan on a bonfire, follow these tips in order to prevent a property or brush fire.
- Rake your yard or bag your grass clippings before starting a fire.
- Remove yard waste and dead branches around your property.
- Follow your local laws and regulations pertaining to burning and open flames.
- Dampen the ground around your fire pit and under it as well if you have a free-standing pit.
- Place your fire pit on pavers or cement.
- Keep a hose nearby.
- Never throw trash into the fire
- Don’t ever leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure children and pets stay 3 feet away from the fire.
- Fully extinguish the flames with sand and a bucket of water when the evening is over.
Embers stay hot for hours when extinguished. When the fun is over, walk through the yard to clean up chairs and garbage that could easily ignite. Run water on the pit until you are confident the heat won’t pose a risk. Be mindful that you don’t spray the fire with a strong jet of water. Doing so may cause embers to shower the area and ignite your belongings.
Summer Fire Prevention Tips
Summer is the time for camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. However, it is important that as we try to enjoy ourselves and we exercise caution when using fireworks, grills and other equipment that can lead to fire. With that word of caution in mind, here are some tips that will keep your family and home safe this summer!
- Don’t use consumer fireworks: Leave fireworks displays to the professionals who know how to conduct them and are equipped to handle emergencies. Don’t be one of the many people each year who end up in the emergency room as a result of burns from fireworks. There are public displays nearly everywhere that the public can attend.
- Clear the area around your grill: What is summer without some grill time? Unfortunately, grill accident are quite common this time of year. As a way to prevent accidents from occurring, make sure that the area around your grill is clear of flammable materials. Moreover, make sure that you stay away from roof edges, siding, deck railing and tree branches while barbecuing.
- Inspect the area around your campfire: If you’re camping, clear the area around your campfire of scrub or brush that might ignite from sparks or flame. Also, when extinguishing your campfire use water or sand and watch carefully to make sure that the fire has completely died down before moving on.
- Remember your smoke detectors: There is no doubt that smoke detectors are lifesavers. Yet, many people forget to do a monthly check of their alarm. You should also check the batteries regularly. Finally, make sure that there are smoke alarms outside each bedroom of your home and that you have a fire evacuation plan in effect for your family.
- Keep a bucket of water handy: Whether you are grilling outdoors or have gone camping, always try to keep a bucket of water handy. Time is of the essence when a fire starts and you do not want to have to go scrambling off to find something that can extinguish an accidental fire.
After the devastating time that our state underwent last year, the last thing we need is more fire events. Individual responsibility can go a long way in reducing the chances that wildfires and home fires will occur and cause the devastation that always accompanies them. When dealing with the aftermath of fire, our company can handle any type of fire loss in your home or business. SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us anytime at 916-525-1241.
What To Do If Your Commercial Water Supply Line Bursts
The water supply line to your commercial property is vital for ensuring you have a clean business that your customers will want to visit. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen. If your water supply line bursts, you could find yourself with a large mess to take care of. Use these tips to help you get through the pipe burst cleanup process.
Shut Off the Water Supply
The first thing you need to do when you notice a burst pipe is to shut off the water supply. This may be found in several areas:
• Near the sink
• Behind the toilet
• In a basement or utility space
• At the main valve near your water meter
Clamp the Pipe Shut
Next, you’ll need to close off the burst in the pipe. Do this by applying a repair clamp to the area. While each package will have its own instructions, the process typically includes adding a rubber sleeve to the leak and then bolting a clamp over the sleeve. If you do not have a repair kit, you can use rubber from an inner tube or similar item with an adjustable hose clamp. This is only a temporary fix, so be sure to call a professional plumber as soon as you clamp the pipe to stop supply line leaking.
If you're dealing with water damage at your commercial property don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Elk Grove at 916-525-1241.
Why SERVPRO when it comes to bio-hazard cleanup!
When compared to a fire or water loss, property damage resulting from a suicide, murder or unattended death poses greater risk and complexity for the adjuster, the bio-hazard cleanup company, and of course, the policyholder. Many cleaning and restoration companies will offer bio-remediation services, but only those that specialize in this area, like SERVPRO truly understand the science and intricacies of the bio-remediation and decontamination process. In order to minimize risk for the insurance carrier and ensure the safety of the policy holder, it’s important to realize the inherent challenges of bio-remediation and the processes and standards that every bio-hazard cleanup professional must adhere to.
Am I liable for an improper bio-hazard cleanup?
At some point in their careers, insurance professionals may have experienced sticker shock from a bio-remediation claim. How could the bio-hazard cleanup of a single room cost more than recovering an entirely flooded home? It might be tempting to retain a trusted property damage restoration company at a lower cost, but doing so may put the insurer at risk for a lawsuit.
Consider a recent case where a general cleaning company was hired to sanitize a home after 600 pounds of deer meat rotted in a family’s garage due to a power outage. Following the cleaning, the homeowners reported that the rotting stench still remained throughout the house and that some family members became ill. Experts who were brought in to investigate the situation determined that the enduring smell and sickness resulted from inefficiencies in the cleaning process, such as the failure to seal concrete surfaces.
How do I evaluate a bio-remediation provider?
To determine whether or not a company is qualified to handle a bio-hazard situation, insurance professionals need a deeper understanding of proper bio-remediation standards and what it takes to fully decontaminate a property. These are the key things to inquire about when choosing a vendor for a bio-hazard cleanup:
OSHA Compliance – These regulations are in place to protect the bio-hazard company employees and to prevent injury and potential liability for all involved. All supervisors and field technicians should be trained in the following OSHA programs: Blood-borne Pathogens, Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Communication, Asbestos Awareness, Heat Illness, Fall Protection, Lift Safety, Lock Out – Tag Out, and Power Tool Safety. A common misstep among restoration companies is that they only comply with the OSHA Blood-borne Pathogens Standards, instead of all the aforementioned areas.
EPA and State Environmental Agency Compliance – The disposal of medical waste must be in accordance with federal, state and/or local regulations. Not all bio-hazard remediation companies are licensed to transport or store medical waste so it’s essential to understand if/how they comply with the local and national standards. The cleaning company can incur hefty fines if medical waste is not disposed of properly. Also, employees need to be trained in the proper use of cleaning agents – this can be more complicated than it seems, as many agents will become inactive if not measured and diluted properly.
Reporting/Testing – A reputable company should be able to deliver a detailed report which catalogs every step of the cleanup process. This should include photos of the entire process as well, so the policy holder and adjuster understand why some structural materials needed to be removed, what was disposed, why the employees went through a certain amount of protective equipment, etc. They should also have equipment available to check for non-visible but active biological fluids and other contaminants so that it is certain when an area is considered disinfected.
Sensitivity Training – Dealing with a flood or fire can be extremely traumatic, but it does not compare to the loss of loved one. During these traumatic situations, the family members often stay at home so it is imperative that the workers in their home are compassionate and considerate. The bio-hazard cleanup specialists at SERVPRO understand the need for the family to deal with only one point person in order to avoid confusion or conflicting updates. They have been trained to eliminate alarming language from their vocabulary and speak empathetically with the policyholder.
When it comes to bio-hazard remediation, there is no quick solution. The fact that there are no laws protecting policy holders through a bio-hazard cleaning process puts the responsibility on the insurance carrier to work with bio-remediation specialists who follow strict safety standards and cleanup procedures. If the insurance carrier directs the cleanup process and even one of the above points is neglected, they might be held liable for any further health and property damages resulting from the improper cleanup. It is important to remember that you can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that a policy holder needs after a traumatic crime or death occurred in their home or place of business.
How To Maintain a Commercial Roof
Commercial building owners or maintenance supervisors should schedule inspections and perform upkeep. The maintenance required may vary depending on the type of roof on a structure in Elk Grove, CA. Cleaning and repairing a roof can prolong its life and resolve wear or wind damage before a roof leak causes a major problem.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Inspections should take place at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. This can help owners and maintenance supervisors ensure that winter weather or summer storms have not damaged the roof. Each inspection should involve looking for defects while checking the condition of
- Drainage systems
- Expansion joints
- Sealing around vents and equipment
- Surface area
Unless the owner or maintenance supervisor has experience working on roofing, these inspections should be performed by qualified professionals. A roofing expert that specializes in the style of roof on a commercial property may be better able to point out when repairs are necessary.
Follow a Maintenance Plan
In addition to inspections, a building owner or maintenance supervisor can also take measures to maintain the condition of a roof and prevent a roof leak. On a regular basis, a property owner or maintenance supervisor should
- Check for signs of storm or wind damage
- Clean drainage systems
- Eliminate standing water on flat roofs
- Fix lifted seams
- Have overhanging trees trimmed
- Reattach or replace flashing
- Tighten or replace mechanical fasteners
All of these measures may prevent a leak, limit the extent of repairs, and prolong the life of a roof.
Work with a roofing company or have an owner or maintenance supervisor perform regular maintenance or inspections. Be sure to call a roofer or perform repairs as soon as any signs of damage become apparent.
If a roof leak leads to interior water damage, contact SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna at 916-525-1241.
5 Common Reasons for House Fires in the Elk Grove Area
1. Cooking Equipment
When a pot and pan splatter grease, it can take seconds to cause a fire. When cooking stay close by, especially if using oil or high temperatures. Keep combustibles away from the heat source (e.g. oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels).
2. Electrical Equipment
- Make sure your outlets aren't overloaded
- Don't have electrical wires under heavy equipment
- Your Electrical appliances don't have loose or frayed cords/plugs
Keep candles on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of reach of children or pets. Always blow them out before leaving the house.
Use Barbecues away from the house, deck rails, and tree limbs. Maintenance them on a regular basis, clean removable parts (inside and out) with soapy water. Check for potential leaks in the connections by spraying them with soapy water; Watch if bubbles form when you open the gas.
5. Fire Pits
- You may need a permit depending on where you live to have a fire.
- You have to have a permit if your fire is bigger than 2 ft tall and 3 ft diameter.
- Keep at least 25 ft away from structures and tree limbs.
- Use a screen over your fire to keep the sparks from flying
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose close by.
Keep Your Workspace Safe!
Listed below are a few tips we wanted to share to keep your workplace safe this winter season.
- Unplug all space/portable heaters.
- Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire.
- Check on your electrical cords.
- Don't overload your circuits.
- Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
- Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn.
- Turn off the coffee pot.
- Unplug wall scents.
- Make sure all candles are blown out at the end of the day.
- Have a emergency escape plan for all employees.
- Make sure EXIT signs are posted and all employees are aware of the exit doors.
- Check your fire extinguishers and make sure they have not expired.
- Turn off all decorations and lights at the end of the day.
These are just a few things we can all do to help prevent unwanted fires to start. By implementing these simple task we can KEEP OUR WORKPLACE SAFE!
Call SERVPRO of Elk Grove at 916-525-1241.
SERVPRO is a 24 hour emergency service company! We are always here to help.
A Fire Extinguisher May Save Your Business!
According to OSHA, the most common emergency small businesses must plan for is a fire. Fire extinguishers can be invaluable tools to help fight smaller fires in the workplace or to protect evacuation routes in the event of a larger one.
OSHA requires employers to thoroughly train workers not only how to use an extinguisher properly, but also how to accurately assess a situation and determine when evacuation is the safest course of action. OSHA requires employees to be trained in fire extinguisher use on an annual basis, at a minimum.
A simple fire extinguisher training technique to use with employees is the PASS method:
- Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
- Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.
Knowing how to operate the extinguisher is not the end of training. Employee responders to a fire also should be trained to adhere to the following protocol:
- If appropriate, sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.
- Before approaching the fire, determine an evacuation route safe of flames, excessive heat and smoke. Do not allow this evacuation route to become blocked.
- Use the PASS technique for discharging an extinguisher and back away from the area if the fire flares up again.
- If the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate immediately.
- If the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled, evacuate immediately.
Fire extinguishers are meant to handle only small fires. If a fire becomes too large or the environment becomes too dangerous, employees should know when and how to evacuate the area. If any of the following conditions are present, workers should follow evacuation procedures immediately and should not attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher:
The fire is too large. The fire involves flammable solvents, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, cannot be reached from a standing position, or covers more than 60 square feet in area.
The air is unsafe to breathe. Levels of smoke make the fire impossible to fight without some form of respiratory protection.
The environment is too hot or smoky. Radiated heat is easily felt, making it hard to approach a fire within adequate range of using the extinguisher (about 10-15 feet). It is necessary to crawl on the floor to avoid heat or smoke. Visibility is poor.
Evacuation paths are impaired. The fire is not contained and heat, smoke or flames block potential evacuation routes.
Facts About Smoke and Soot
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.
Here is some additional information:
- Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
- Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna today! (916) 525-1241.
Ultrasonic Cleaning To Restore Your Smoke, Soot, Water, Or Mold Damaged Items
Your valuable possessions may look ruined after a fire or water event but that’s not necessarily true. An ultrasonic cleaning system from SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna may restore your possessions. It’s a most efficient and effective way to restore your smoke, water, soot, and mold damaged property.
Ultrasonic systems use a process known as cavitation. Our ultrasonic systems can perform intense cleaning. They create millions of microscopic bubbles to help remove dirt, mold, and soot even from hard-to-reach crevices. The bubbles are repeatedly formed and immediately collapse. This action causes the bubbles to penetrate into every niche and crevice. There’s no scrubbing or abrasive chemicals. The process involves submerging your items into a pre-wash station, then a wash station, then a rinse station.
The ultrasonic process at SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna uses ultrasound (usually from 20–400 kHz) and an appropriate cleaning solvent (sometimes ordinary tap water) to clean items. While the ultrasound works with just water, using a solvent appropriate for the item to be cleaned and the type of soiling present enhances the cleaning.
Some Restored As Good As New
Fire is terribly destructive. Items that are physically burned or melted cannot be restored. But SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna can restore property that has been engulfed in smoke, covered in soot, stained or discolored by water or contaminated by chemicals or molds. With ultrasonic cleaning we can restore some items to be functional or even to good-as-new condition: Like it never even happened.
Among the items ultrasonic cleaning might save without removing them from your home or property are:
- Children’s toys
- Golf clubs
- And more
A different cleaning process at SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna can save some:
- Computer monitors
- Electrical appliances
- Industrial parts
- And more