Celebrating Summer with Campfire Safety
Summer is the perfect time to take a break and go camping! We don't know about you but when we go camping, a night around the campfire is mandatory. When we don't have enough time to go camping, we'll even celebrate with an at-home campfire and enjoy some s'mores.
When we talk about campfires though, we have to talk about campfire safety. We'd like to take the time to thank Smokey Bear for compiling so much wonderful advice that we get to share with you.
First, make sure you are familiar with your campground or event area to ensure that you are allowed to build a campfire. You can also see if the area already has fire pits or fire rings for you to use.
Secondly, do not build a campfire in dry conditions.
If a fire pit/ring doesn't already exist (but you are allowed to build a campfire), you will then need to choose a site that is at least 15 feet from tent walls and surrounding plant life (like shrubs or trees). Also keep in mind staying away from "fuel" sources such as logs, decaying leaves or brush.
Lastly, don't forget to keep in mind the direction of the wind to make sure that you keep yourself and the campsite safe.
If you'd like to learn more about campfire safety, click here to read more about it. If you go camping this summer, we'd love to hear about it on our social media. Tag us in your photo on Instagram using our handle @SERVPROofPET so we can see your campfire safety.
July: The Peak Month for Grill Fires
Every year we write a grill safety tips blog in the summer and that is because we know just how important these tips are to ensuring that you and your family are safe.
We're sharing these tips from the National Fire Protection Association. They put it best by saying that you want your summer barbecue to be memorable for the right reasons.
Before you use your grill:
- Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
- Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
- Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
- If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
- If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.
When the grill is on:
- As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
- If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Thanks again to the NFPA for having such great resources for us to share with our followers. Who is ready for some grilling?
Facts About Lightning Fires
Did you know that lightning fires peak in the summer months? It's the beginning of July and summer is in full swing.
We're back on the blog to share some great information from the National Fire Protection Association.
Here are some facts that you may not have known:
- During 2007-2011, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. These fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year.
- Only 19% of reported lightning fires occurred in homes, but these accounted for 86% of the associated lightning fire civilian deaths, 76% of the associated injuries and 68% of the direct property damage.
- Almost two-thirds of the lightning fires reported to local fire departments were outside vegetation fires.
Fires started by lightning peak in the summer months and in the late afternoon and early evening.
Stay safe this summer but if disaster strikes your home or business, we're here to help 24/7.
Alabama Summer Storms & Flooding
Alabama summer storms will happen whether you're in Phenix City, Eufaula or Tuskegee. We're here to remind you that we're the number to call when your home or business is affected by flooding from storm damage.
Do you know what to do in the case that this disaster happens to you? Before we get into a short checklist, save our number in your phone so you can easily give us a call if you find yourself in this situation because we are here to help. You can reach us at (334) 298-8252.
First, call your insurance agent.
Second, be careful entering your home. Water damage can seriously damage the structure of your home and we want to make sure that you are safe. Once you are inside, move around carefully and be aware of your surroundings.
Third, document everything. Take photos of your own of everything that is going on. You may also consider beginning to take an inventory of the damaged items.
Fourth, don't use appliances in the affected areas and keep power turned off to those areas of your home until an inspection can be done to ensure it is safe for you to do so.
Last but not least, give us a call quickly so we can quickly mitigate your loss and clean it up to reduce the potential for mold damage.
Here's to enjoying our summer! If you have any fun plans, we'd love to hear about them on our social media. Have a great week.
Warning Signs of Mold
It can be difficult to spot mold in the beginning stages when you have an untrained eye. Mold also loves to hide behind walls or underneath sinks and other places that aren't so easy to notice. That's why you can trust us to come and inspect your home. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation. However, we want to share a few things so you know when to give us a call.
First and foremost, visible mold. However, in the beginning stages when it is still a small area, it can be mistaken for dirt or soot. If you are concerned, don't hesitate to give us a call 24/7.
Secondly, be on high alert if you have had water issues in your home, whether that is just a small leak or minor flooding. Again, beware of small leaks as mold can grow in as little as 48-72 hours.
Lastly, beware of the health issues that can be associated with major mold infestations. If you have a similar feeling to being affected by "allergies" when you are at your home but feel better when you are out then your home could be being affected by mold. There are also more severe issues that can be the result of toxic symptoms of mold. We share this not to scare you but to make sure you know what to look out for.
Remember, the best way to know if you have mold in your home is to give the professionals a call and let us assess your property!
Mold at Your Business
Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property.
Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. The list could go on and on because it can be caused by a number of different things. We know that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. We are ready to respond quickly and manage the situation if you suspect that your Phenix City, Eufaula or Tuskegee business may have a mold problem. A fast response can also lessen the damage, limit further damage, and reduce costs.
We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation. Give us a call anytime. We're here for you 24/7.
Commercial Large Loss Division
The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.
Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.
At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO.
Clients who have trusted SERVPRO and the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:
- The Hospitality Industry
- Property Managers
- The Pentagon
This means that SERVPRO of Phenix City, Eufaula and Tuskegee is a part of a network of franchises across the country to be able to get you and your business back to "Like it never even happened." No job is too large for us. Give us a call today.
Your Home's Contents
As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Phenix City, Eufaula and Tuskegee has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.
This means that our employees are highly trained on getting your home back to normal and most importantly, caring for your belongings. We understand that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home. Our "Restore > Replace" mentality means that we work our hardest to save your belongings.
When your home is struck by a storm, we know and understand the stress that goes along with that. From our contents restoration, to our organized move-outs, to our contents claim inventory service- we do our best to help you feel a little less overwhelmed.
We're here to take your call 24/7.
Keeping Your Home Safe
According to ESFI, home electrical fires account for an estimated 42,210 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, 1,370 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage.
Here are their electrical and fire safety tips right off their website:
- Have your home electrical system thoroughly inspected by qualified electricians to ensure that all electrical work in the home meets the safety provisions in the NEC.
- Install smoke detectors on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
- Ask a qualified electrician if your home would benefit from AFCI protection, especially during inspections of older homes or upgrades to electrical systems. These advanced new safety devices recognize dangerous conditions that are not detected by standard breakers.
- Test smoke detectors and AFCIs monthly to ensure that they are working properly.
- Establish an evacuation plan that can be used in case of an emergency, and practice with your family.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the light fixture.
- In homes with young children, install tamper resistant receptacles to prevent electrical shocks and burns.
- Conduct a basic assessment of your home electrical system, electrical cords, extension cords, power plugs, and outlets.
- Look for telltale signs of electrical problems such as dim and flickering lights, unusual sizzling and buzzing sounds from your electrical system, insulation and circuit breakers that trip repeatedly. Contact a qualified electrician immediately.
- Use extension cords only temporarily, and never with space heaters or air conditioners.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician as needed.
Special thanks to the Electrical Safety Foundation International for having all of this information up and sharing it across the globe for National Electrical Safety Month! We're glad we're able to share this information with our followers.
National Electric Safety Month: Extension Cords
As you know, May is National Electric Safety Month and we are celebrating by bringing you tips to keep you and your home safe.
Here's some great information straight off of ESFI's website:
Roughly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. Extension cords can overheat and cause fires when used improperly, so keep these important tips in mind to protect your home and workplace.
- Don’t attempt to plug extension cords into one another
- Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used
- Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water
- Do NOT overload extension cords
- A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed where you need them
- Inspect cords for damage before use. Check for cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections
- Do NOT nail or staple extension cords to walls or baseboards
- Do NOT run extension cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, or floors. If a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard
- Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots. Never cut off the ground pin to force a fit, which could lead to electric shock
- Buy only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory
- Do NOT substitute extension cords for permanent wiring
- Do NOT use an extension cord or power strip with heaters or fans, which could cause cords to overheat and result in a fire
We are ready to help you if your home is affected by a fire but we're also here to help you know ways to avoid giving us that call. Keep your home safe.
We are excited to bring you more tips this month!