Wildfire Prevention Tips
Only you can prevent forest fires.
Unlike many natural disasters, most wildfires are caused by people—and can be prevented by people, too. People in fire-prone areas should plan ahead and prepare to evacuate with little notice. Here are some tips on how to prevent wildfires and what to do if you're caught in the middle of one.
How to Prevent a Wildfire
• Contact 911, your local fire department, or the park service if you notice an unattended or out-of-control fire.
• Never leave a campfire unattended. Completely extinguish the fire—by dousing it with water and stirring the ashes until cold—before sleeping or leaving the campsite.
• When camping, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances.
• Do not discard cigarettes, matches, and smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere on park grounds. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.
• Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from yard when burning.
• If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Know your evacuation route ahead of time and prepare an evacuation checklist and emergency supplies.
• Wear protective clothing and footwear to protect yourself from flying sparks and ashes.
Grill Safety Dos and Don'ts
Every year, 7,000 Americans are injured while using backyard barbecue grills. It's usually a case of good products used incorrectly.
1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
9. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
10. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.
Fire Safety Tips for Fall
Clean and inspect your chimney before using it the first time of the season.
As the weather starts to change, so should your fire safety considerations in your home. Preventing fires is important all year long, and focusing on the appropriate fire safety tips for the season can make your efforts more worthwhile. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as the temperature gets cooler and the leaves start to fall.
1. Candle Safety- You might be tempted to start bringing out your favorite fall scented candles soon. There’s just something about a beautiful, fragrant candle that feels comforting on a fall day. Candles come with their own safety considerations, however. Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that can burn and blow out candles when you are leaving the room. Never use a candle if there is oxygen being used in your home for medical purposes; electric candles are a safer option.
2. Heating equipment- Make sure your heating equipment is in working order and has been inspected before you start to use it. Since this equipment has been out of use for the last several months, it’s important that you follow the appropriate steps to make sure the unit is clean and functioning properly. If you use space heaters, make sure that they are surrounded by three feet of empty space and that they are turned off when you leave the house or go to bed.
3. Chimney inspection- if you have a usable fireplace, it’s essential to make sure that it is cleaned and inspected before you start using it to prevent built up creosote from starting a fire. Cozying up next to a beautiful fire might be a quintessential part of your fall, but make sure that you do so as safely as possible. Also, consider using a screen to prevent sparks from igniting a fire somewhere in your home.
How to Clean Air Vents In Your House
SERVPRO of South Arlington is able to assist in all your cleanup needs.
One of the best ways to ensure that the air in your home is clean is to clean your air vents. The air ducts in your house contain millions of particles of dust, hair, dirt, pollen, spider webs and other allergens. Cleaning your air vents will also save you money on heating and air conditioning. So, read the tips listed below and learn about how you can clean the air vents in your house.
Here's what you'll need:
- Heavy duty vacuum
- Cleaning Brush
Here's what to do:
- Turn off the power connected to the heating and air conditioning system.
- Unscrew the air duct covers or grilles from the walls. Use your brush to clean the grates thoroughly. If they're very dusty and grimy, you may want to use soap and water to make them gleam.
- Vacuum the ducts as much as possible. Consider renting a heavy duty vacuum for this purpose. The standard household vacuum isn't powerful enough to clean deep into the crevices of the ducts. Make sure that the vacuum you rent has a long hose to reach deep into the ducts. If you want the ducts to be cleaned more thoroughly, consider hiring a professional to do the job.
- Clean the grilles in your ceiling. If you can't reach them with the vacuum or screwdriver, use a broom to attack the dust. Remember that if you haven't cleaned them for a long time, you will want to protect yourself from all the dust and debris that will fall down by wearing a dust mask.
5 Reasons to Request The Professionals
SERVPRO cleaning agents organizing SERVPRO cleaning agents.
Water damage can be a minor irritant or a major problem, and even the minor irritants can become major issues if left untreated. Here are five basic reasons why you should dispense with the “do it yourself” approach and call in a professional.
- We can spot the small stuff. Not all sources of water damage are immediately apparent, and a good water damage mitigation company will be able to look at your home and determine from where the next major problem might come. Taking care of it now will save a lot of money in the long run.
- We explain the processes we use. A professional water restoration company will be able to explain in detail the procedure that they are going to utilize to remove the water, dry out the property, repair and restore everything that was damaged, and the steps to be taken to ensure that there are no long term issues. Water damage repair and restoration can be an expensive project in virtually any scenario, so you want to be sure of exactly what you are paying for and the results that you should logically expect to see.
- You get a comprehensive treatment. It is almost never just the area directly affected by water that is the problem. Proper restoration treatment means being able to identify all the problems associated with the water damage and taking the steps to correct them. Some of these problems may be easily overlooked unless the technician is properly trained on what to look for and how to deal with it.
- A pro will take the measures necessary to prevent future damage. This would include informing you of necessary repairs, bringing in the subcontractors needed for the repairs, or perhaps treating the humidity level in a home to ward off mold growth. You want a company that can take these steps.
- A professional restoration company will recognize small problems and take care of them before they become major issues. One sunken floorboard can be repaired but left unattended may soon become a whole series of sunken boards. A pro understands the signs around your home that point to future issues.
3 Major Reasons to Hire Fire Restoration Pros
A fire in your home can be a very devastating and dangerous experience. After the fire, many people will first react by wanting to clean up their home. Before you decide to cleanup the property yourself, it may be a good idea to first reach out to a fire damage cleanup company. There are three particular reasons why you should hire a professional for fire damage cleanup.
- The first reason why you should hire a professional for fire damage cleanup is that it can be a very dangerous process to cleanup after a fire. After a fire, the area that is damaged could also have broken glass, sharp objects, and a variety of other hazards. If you are not experienced in this field, these hazards can be hard to identify. When you choose to work with a professional, they will be able to use the tools necessary to safely clear the area of all hazardous debris.
- Another reason why it can be beneficial to hire a professional for fire damage cleanup is that they will be able to follow regulations. After fire damage your local community may have specific ways of how the cleanup needs to be handled. In many cases, this will prevent you from using your normal trash and dumpster service. Instead, a fire damage cleanup company will be able to follow the proper steps to ensure your home is in compliance with any laws governing how the cleanup needs to be handled.
- Another advantage of working with a professional for fire damage cleanup is that they can restore many items that you may consider destroyed. The cleanup crew will be able to carefully review all of your personal belongings that were damaged by the fire. In many cases, an item that appears to be completely damaged could actually be full restored. This can include flooring, furniture, appliances, and many other items that could be expensive to replace.
9 Reasons NOT to Use Bleach for Mold
SERVPRO uses environment and family safe cleaning products.
1. First, bleach encourages toxic mold growth on porous surfaces because it provides excess moisture. Bleach contains about 90% water. When you apply bleach to a surface, the chlorine quickly evaporates leaving behind a lot of water. Then, when the water soaks into porous surfaces like wood, it encourages mold growth. So, bleach can actually make your mold problem worse.
2. Bleach only removes the color from mold. After you spray bleach, only the surface appears clean. But the problem is, the mold’s roots, or hyphae, continue to grow.
3. The EPA and OSHA specifically advise against using bleach for mold remediation.
4. Chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to surfaces. For example, when you use bleach on wood, it starts to weaken it by breaking the fibers. When you spray bleach on metal, it starts to corrode it almost immediately. Thus, using bleach to kill mold creates problems with the structural integrity of a home.
5. Bleach is extremely corrosive. When you spray bleach and it evaporates, it releases chlorine gas. It irritates and eventually causes damage to the skin, lungs, and eyes.
6. The corrosive nature of bleach is even worse when it’s mixed. Bleach should never be mixed with acids, because it causes dangerous fumes.
Remember: Mixing cleaning compounds containing ammonia with bleach and ammonia produces deadly gasses that can kill with just a few breaths.
7. Bleach doesn’t work as a sanitizing agent when it’s mixed with organic material. To be a successful sanitizer, bleach has to be used on clean materials and surfaces. That’s why bleach products get used in the laundry after the wash cycle. Light and heat compromise the sanitizing properties of bleach. Despite the fact that the chlorine odor lingers for a while after you use it, bleach loses strength so quickly it doesn’t have a residual effect. That is, it doesn’t prevent future bacterial or fungal growth.
8. Most bleach products are not registered with the EPA to be used as antimicrobial agents.
9. And last, but not least, you don’t want to use bleach to kill mold because there are many antimicrobial alternatives readily available. These antimicrobial agents are registered with the EPA specifically for killing mold. Some are formulated to be friendly to the environment, your family and your pets. In addition, they are cost effective, easy to use, and, they have a true residual effect. That means they actually prevent bacteria and mold from regrowing.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage
Ask about SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile Advantage
The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.
As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according
to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming
majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an
insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.
By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you
minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing
what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can
help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Are You Ready?
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a startup approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time, so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Odor Removal Done Right
Call SERVPRO of South Arlington
As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of South Arlington professionals are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. Malodors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside of a structure.
SERVPRO Franchises teach IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. SERVPRO of South Arlington has the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contacts any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace. Masking (using air freshener) and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent. We start by removing the cause of the odor, be it bio-hazardous, mold, smoke, etc. SERVPRO technicians are then able to use SERVPRO’s state-of-the-art equipment and professional techniques to clean and remove the odors that plague your home or business.
The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give SERVPRO of South Arlington a call and leave the restoration to us.
Methods of Fire Restoration in South Arlington
Accidents happens and SERVPRO is here to help!
Team SERVPRO® Uses Appropriate Cleaning Methods When Dealing with Soot and Other Damage After a Fire
After a fire damage incident, the smoke particles that move around the structure can negatively impact ceilings and walls in many ways. To prevent permanent or further damage, you need to take immediate action, and it is not advisable to do the cleaning by yourself. Not all fire events are the same, and that calls for professional help to determine the most suitable restoration procedures for your property.
Specific factors guide our SERVPRO® technicians when selecting the most appropriate technique after a fire damage incident in South Arlington. For instance, if we are cleaning walls and ceilings, we look at the type of smoke residues, the nature of the surface, and whether the area is dry cleanable or wet cleanable. Peroxide active cleaning, wet cleaning as well as dry cleaning are the primary cleaning methods that we use.
Our SERVPRO® technicians use dry cleaning when cleaning surfaces that have non-oily smoke residues. In this method, we use a dry clean sponge to do the job, and it is among the initial steps that we perform before extensive cleaning starts. If we need to remove light to heavy smoke residues from wooden, metal, and painted ceilings, then wet cleaning is an option.
Peroxide active cleaning is a suitable method for cleaning greasy particles that are on acoustical ceilings and other forms of nonporous and porous ceilings. We prefer this method when there are chances of dissolving the coating on textured ceilings through aggressive wet cleaning methods. The method also preserves the appearance of blown tiles.
When our SERVPRO® technicians are dry cleaning your property, we usually start by cleaning the ceilings before moving to the walls to avoid introducing dirt to clean areas. To avoid streaking the walls with the cleaning solution during wet cleaning, we start by cleaning the walls and then move to the ceilings. We also clean walls from the bottom to the top when performing wet cleaning.
To learn more about your options, call SERVPRO® of South Arlington at 703-229-0260. Our highly trained technicians offer 24-hour emergency services, and our work is made easier by the state-of-the-art facilities which we use.