Planning for a Fire
We all know that we should plan and practice our escape route when we have a house fire but we tend to get lazy when we don't plan to practice. Practice time needs to be scheduled. Even if it's scheduled when you change your smoke detector batteries twice year. Use the time when we change clocks back to do both. Battery change and escape route practice.
Now did you plan for things to happen to your plan. Maybe something has blocked your escape route? Think ahead to things that might happen. Keep a phone next to your bed to dial 911. Keep shoes next to your bed to escape with. Keep a fire blanket under the bed. Try to think ahead for anything that will help with obstacles.
You should have a checklist when you leave the house or go to bed.
Things on this list might be:
Check to make sure stove is off and clear of anything flammable.
Make sure your space heater is off and unplugged. Electrical appliances draw current and if there is a faulty plug, there could be a fire. There should also always be 3 feet clearance around the heater.
If you are a smoker, smoke outside. This will cut the risk of having a stray ash start a fire.
Check your dryer vents to make sure they are clean. Do not leave the dryer running when your leaving the house or going to bed.
Be safe and smart. Make your own list of safety checks. There are many more you can add.
Lastly, make sure your house number can be seen from the road for emergency responders.
When you are safe and ready, call SERVPRO of Washington County!
The Art of Psychrometrics
Drying is not a process that should be based on guess work. That's why our SERVPRO of Washington County professionals are trained in psychrometrics. This knowledge and skill set is essential for ensuring that your property dries properly after water damage, in order to avoid secondary damage and/or mold growth.
When you first spot water in your home, it is completely natural to immediately reach for a towel, mop, or a fan to handle the mess yourself. However, it is important to know, that these DIY methods might not actually solve your problem, and can even lead to more damage. Our crews follow strict industry-approved standards that make our applied structural drying process successful.
Restoration starts with your first phone call to SERVPRO. After you have reached out to us and one of our office admins have taken your info and asked you some more questions to further understand your situation:
- A SERVPRO of WashCo professional will respond to your location in order to inspect and assess the damage in person. This inspection includes an estimate based on their findings. They carefully inspect your property to detect every component that is wet from the water damage
- Our crews then look to special technology to measure how much moisture is in the wet affected materials, and continuously monitor them to ensure these items and materials are drying properly
- Our professional drying equipment is utilized to speed up the process of Mother Nature, so your property can be dried as soon as possible to get you back to normal and, "Like it never even happened."
If these parts of the process seem confusing, have no fear...SERVPRO is here! Other mitigation companies might not strive to help you understand your situation or our work, but the team member on site is willing and eager to answer any and all questions you might have. We know it can be overwhelming having to deal with any kind of damage in your home, but SERVPRO always does our very best to comfort and inform you in such times.
The bottom line is that SERVPRO of Washington County has the equipment, sensitivity, and know how to make such stressful situations feel like an absolute breeze!
First impressions are hard to overcome if they are negative ones. You want the first impression of your business site to be positive. That's hard to do if it's dirty.
Keeping your business clean to make that great first impression is important. You want to keep your clients coming back and we want to help you.
SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help keep your business looking good!
I'm sure you think of SERVPRO when a disaster hits, but our services and expertise reach far beyond what we are known for.
SERVPRO offers a variety of cleaning services from Air Ducts /HVAC to biohazard and everything in between.
We can clean carpet, upholstery, drapes, and blinds.
We can bring that old tile back to life and make your floors sparkle again.
We can also get rid of lingering odors and perform a deodorization of the facility.
As always, we are here to help.
Let us help you keep your place shining and making great first impressions for years to come.
The Importance of Having the Right Equipment
SERVPRO of Washington County knows that using the proper equipment makes a difference. When time matters and it does when reducing claim loss expense, you can count on us to have the right technology and equipment to get the job done.
For example, one of the most common losses is a water loss. Here is some information on the drying process.
Psychrometrics is the study of the air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity and vapor pressure. Dew points are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure. These measurements allow for SERVPRO of Washington County to create the proper atmosphere for the most effective drying.
There is a science to drying everything properly.
The detection equipment used is always the most current in the industry.
Moisture Sensors, Moisture Meters, Thermo-hygrometers, Infrared Cameras, and Manometers are some the detection equipment.
Extraction Equipment, Air Moving Equipment, Dehumidification Equipment, Deodorization Equipment are all used in the drying process.
When it comes to drying we take it seriously.
We Care About You!
Storms can do some real damage to our home. Walls can come down, roofs come off and water come inside. We know this can be fixed for sure but what about our special items. Our "stuff" as we fondly refer to the things inside.
SERVPRO of Washington County can do so many things to save your items.
Your Paper Stuff.
When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the water damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-water damage condition, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize the loss.
Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:
- Air Drying
- Freezer Drying
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
- Vacuum Thermal Drying
Your Electronic Stuff
Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. They will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:
- Television sets
- DVD players
- And more
The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. They start by cleaning the exterior of electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.
Those are just two categories of "stuff" that SERVPRO can help to restore after a loss.
SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help with all your items that are are sometimes more important to you than your roof that can be replaced.
Does your Business Need a Demo?
While terms like demolition might not be what you want to hear when you own a business, this mitigation step is often one of the most important actions that ultimately saves time and money on restoration. This decision is not one that gets made lightly, however.
It is always the objective of our SERVPRO team to restore before replacement when it is cost-efficient. Controlled demolition is done meticulously, only removing the portions of materials too severely impacted to restore.
While much of your stock and inventory can be damaged by standing or spreading water, many of your shop's structural elements can also be damaged with saturation. Some of the most sensitive materials might include:
- Wood Flooring
- Ceiling Tiles
No matter how damaging that water loss might be to your business, or when controlled demolition might be necessary, SERVPRO of Washington County can help. We have a full-service approach from restoration to reconstruction. Call us today!
Knowledge is Power
"The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power" -David Bailey
It always makes sense to be a lifetime learner. SERVPRO of Washington County couldn't agree more!
Our crews are always learning. We constantly keep up on all the new equipment, new techniques, etc. Our crew members have to always keep their credentials up to date every year and are always continuing to add to their expertise.
SERVPRO of Washington County is so proud of the men and women that are called in to help people on some of their worst days. We are able to keep them informed every step of the way. Our crews are able to help them understand the methods they are using, the chemicals they are using, and why these practices are the safest and most effective. The more they know the more "super" powers they have! Next time you see one of our crew members, don't be afraid to ask them about their ever-evolving credentials!
We are here to help.
Fire Prevention for MD Businesses
Smart Fire Prevention Practices for Maryland Businesses:
- Hold meetings to educate your employees on emergency evacuation plans.
- Familiarize and train employees on how to use fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting tools.
- Stage a fire drill at least once a year.
- Clearly mark emergency exits and escape routes, and keep them unobstructed at all times.
- Provide a minimum of one 2A 10BC-rated fire extinguisher for every 75 feet of travel distance within every 6,000 square feet. Mount fire extinguishers on the wall, three to five feet from the floor.
- Provide quarterly maintenance and 5-year certification of your fire sprinkler system.
- Remove trash and waste paper from the office on a regular basis.
- Keep the furnace room, electrical rooms, and spaces below stairwells clear—never use them for storage.
- Place heat-generating appliances such as copiers, heaters, and coffee makers away from combustible materials.
- Keep your workspace and equipment well ventilated and clean—especially clear of oil and dust.
- Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dust, or fibers are present.
- Check to make sure your circuits are not overloaded.
- Maintain free access to all electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels will slow down power shut-downs in an emergency situation.
- Use extension cords ONLY for temporary wiring.
- Replace any damaged or missing electrical components, including the covers on all plates.
- Identify each circuit breaker in an electrical panel and install blanks for missing circuit breakers.
- Clearly label the contents of all compressed gas cylinders. Chain or nest cylinders to prevent them from falling over.
- Contact SERVPRO of Howard County at 410-465-7333 to have us do a complete ERP (Emergency Response Plan) for your business. We service all of Howard County Maryland including Columbia, Ellicott City, Laurel, Elkridge, and Clarksville.
Keep Rain Outdoors
Rain is great for your yard but not to get inside your home.
Many people wake up from a rain storm to a wet basement. It may be from the foundation or could be a pipe leakage, sub pump failure. Many things could have happened and you will want to determine how it happened to get the right person out to repair.
In all the cases though you are going to want to call an expert in helping you to dry out your basement. That expert would be SERVPRO of Washington County.
We can get right to work in getting the water up , drying the structure etc. SERVPRO has the knowledge as to what can be dried and saved and what is better off being throw away.
Did you know that organic materials like paper, fabric, wood, leather can start to grow mold in as little as a day? Let SERVPRO help you save as much as possible of your things.
SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Hazardous Sewage Water
It's certainly not a pleasant topic to discuss...but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.
Earlier in April we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated. It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our SERVPRO IIRC trained professionals determines otherwise).
Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear... doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself.
Our SERVPRO of Washington County crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.
If you experience a sewage backup or sewage related flooding, etc., let us be your first call. We make it "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Washington County