How to Escape from a Second Story Fire
Plan a fire escape and practice fire escape drills with your family, in preparation for a possible emergency. Fire escape ladders are available, relatively inexpensively, that can be hung out the window of a two story home, and are safer than the sheet method mentioned below. The "First Alert 2-story Escape Ladder" is only about $35.00 brand new from Walmart or other retailer.
Place a few fire extinguishers throughout the house. However, fire extinguishers should be calibrated on a regular schedule per the instructions that come with the extinguisher.
Immediately close the door and stuff a blanket/towel along the bottom so that the smoke can not get through.
If you have a phone near you, then call the fire emergency service, or if you don't then run to the window and shout "Help!"
Stay low on the floor for better air. There is more smoke higher up.
Get two sheets and tie them together as quickly but as tightly as possible
Push your bed against the wall next to the window and tie one end of the two sheets.
Lower yourself down the building using the sheets.
When you get down on the ground immediately inform emergency services.
*Courtesy of: https://www.wikihow.com/Escape-from-a-Second-Story-Fire
Hurricane season began June 1, 2019 and will run through November 30. As hurricanes become more prevalent in surrounding areas of Georgia, so does the economic impact on its communities. Prepare for intense weather condition now with these safety tips.
- Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
- Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
Should our Paulding/Polk community be affected by a hurricane this season, SERVPRO of Paulding/Polk Counties is standing by to assist in putting things back together again.
* Courtesy of http://team.georgia.gov/georgia-news/hurricane-season-safety-and-preparedness/
Restoring Your Business After a Flood
Floods can be miserable ordeals, even with extensive preparation. They can spring up with little to no warning and saddle you with the responsibility of a lengthy, expensive restoration period. Your business could be
underwater in a flash, and you could be faced with mounting repair bills and extended interruption to your business.
But floods can also be regenerative. Large-scale damage to your business is an opportunity to rebuild and minimize potential damage and disruption that could be caused by future floods. If your business has sustained flood damage, do not panic. Think of it as a chance to fortify your business against future flood damage rather than nothing but a ruinous misfortune.
Cleaning Up After a Flood
Once floodwaters start to recede, you may want to immediately get your hands dirty and start the cleanup effort. Fight that urge. Never re-enter premises until you are absolutely sure they are safe. Floods leave multiple hazards in their wake, such as exposed wires, weakened buildings and contaminated water. Your first priority should be the safety of yourself, your employees and anyone else who might enter or pass near your business.
Local insurers often visit flood-damaged premises and offer guidance after floodwaters start to retreat. Until then, use extreme caution when visiting your business.
Before entering your flood-damaged building:
- Notify your insurer. Take pictures of contents and damage for your insurer—the more the better—but only if it is safe to do so.
- Turn off your building’s gas and electricity, and any fuel taps. Never touch sources of electricity when standing in floodwater.
- Check for structural damage before entering the building. Do not enter if there is any chance it may collapse.
- Assume that all water-damaged structures are unstable until proven otherwise.
- Treat all stairs, floors, roofs and overhangs as unsafe until inspected.
Your insurer will send a loss adjuster and other specialists to assess your business’ damage. After ensuring that your property is stable, it is time to get dirty.
When beginning cleanup efforts, follow this guidance:
- Ensure you and your employees follow every health and safety precaution, such as wearing boots, rubber gloves and other personal protective clothing.
- Use caution when handling debris—it may be contaminated or harbor unseen sharp objects.
- Dispose of equipment only after notifying your insurer.
- Disinfect your property with ordinary household cleaners, but follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure you are disinfecting properly. Let cleaned surfaces dry completely.
- Open a window and leave the building if you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing—these may be signs of a gas leak.
- Operate electrical equipment only if the ground is dry—never operate electrical equipment that is in or near water.
- Clean any water taps that were submerged in contaminated floodwater with a bleach solution. Let the water run for 30 seconds prior to using it.
- Drain water in stages to avoid disparity between the water pressure inside and outside your building.
- Shovel mud out in stages so the pressure inside and outside remains equal. Remove the rest with a hose, but make sure it is not a high-pressure one—these hoses can blast contaminants into the air.
- Use a pump and generator to remove water. Position the generator outside in the open air if it produces carbon monoxide. Only pump out water once the flood levels outside your property are lower than inside.
- Keep windows and doors open, weather permitting, to expedite drying, but never sacrifice building security.
- Dry your building using a combination of fans, industrial heaters and dehumidifiers. Your insurer may provide these tools.
- Leave central heating on at 68° F or above to encourage drying if it is safe.
Upgrading After a Flood
Make the most out of an unfortunate situation by using your flood damage as an opportunity to repair your property with flood-resistant products. Consider installing the following flood-resistant precautions:
- Pumps and pump systems sit below the ground floor to remove water that enters from the ground.
- Flood skirts which act as barriers around any potential inlet for water.
- One-way valves fit to water pipes to prevent water backing up into your property.
- Water-resistant sealants refer to a wide variety of sealants—you can use them all over your property.
- Plastic fittings in kitchen or lavatory areas are more durable than reconstituted wood, which disintegrates in a flood.
- Electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wiring should sit at least 12 inches above the 100-year flood level in your area to prevent water damage.
- High shelving is a convenient option for ensuring you have an area above floodwater to store valuable items.
No matter what you install, the ultimate preparation for a flood is proper insurance. Remember that your damaged stock and premises will not be the only setback you suffer from a flood—interruption to your business’ continuity can be fatal. Purchase a comprehensive policy tailored to your specific industry and location that accounts for business interruption. Taking risk-reduction measures may help cut down your premium or excess.
*Courtesy of https://www.valentgroup.com/flood-recovery/
How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm
While summer typically means warmer weather, it can also bring a variety of harsh weather conditions, sometimes leading to severe storms.
Homeowners can take preventative measures to help reduce damage if and when a severe storm hits. Ken Enscoe, senior director of Catastrophe Operations at Nationwide, shared some tips on how to help prepare your home for a storm:
Clear limbs and trim trees
During a storm, dead tree limbs can get loose and cause damage to a home’s exterior or even puncture a window. Heavy rain can also cause trees with shallow root systems to pull out of the ground.
Ensure that your fences are properly secured so to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds.
Heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home. It’s a good idea to anchor outdoor furniture or bring it indoors before a storm hits. You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage.
Help prevent damage inside your house by having downspouts drain away from your home and clear your gutters of any debris.
Protect the critical areas
Wind is a major threat to your roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Either you or a building contractor can build and install temporary protection, such as approved wind shutters or plywood on windows and coverings for patio and entry doors, strengthen and stiffen garage doors, and install heavy-duty door hardware.
Protect your valuables
Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate. Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory to a family member outside your region for safekeeping. Also, make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.
Stock a basic emergency kit
A true emergency can leave you without basic services, including electricity, water, gas or sewage, for a few hours or a few days. Stock your family’s emergency kit with enough food, water and supplies to carry all of you through at least three days—and restock your kit once the emergency has passed. Be sure to include:
- Water: One gallon per person per day to cover drinking and sanitation
- Food: At least a three-day supply of food per person
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Hand-crank flashlight
- First aid kit
- Cell phone with charger
- Local maps
Create a family emergency plan
Staying connected is of the utmost importance during an emergency. Designate an out-of-town family member or friend to be your check-in person in case local phone lines are down. Make sure every member of your family knows that contact’s number and has a way to reach him or her—ideally a cell phone and charger or a prepaid calling card.
Choose a local place where your family members should meet if they are separated when an emergency strikes and your home is unsafe. This might be a landmark or even a parent’s workplace.
Know your policy
It’s critical to read and understand your insurance policy. Then, examine your property to ensure there are no physical or liability hazards.
* Courtesy of https://blog.nationwide.com/news/storm-preparation-tips-for-home/
How to Prepare Before a Storm
Before a storm strikes, follow these safety measures to ensure your family and home are safe. You’ll also want to prepare an Emergency Supply Kit to get each person through three days should you lose power or have no running water.
Follow these steps to prepare for when a storm hits:
• In warm weather, turn your air conditioning down. In cold weather, turn your heat up. During and after the storm, keep doors and windows closed - you can retain inside temperature for as long as 48 hours.
• Charge your cell phone and other devices that need to be charged.
• Keep freezer doors closed and sealed. Frozen food will keep two or three days in a well-filled freezer.
• Leave a porch or front light on. This helps our crews know when repair work is successful.
Disconnect or turn off any appliances that will start automatically when power is restored to avoid overloading circuits. Hot appliances pose a fire hazard, including:
• Electric space heaters
• Washers and dryers
• Microwave ovens
• Refrigerators and freezers
* Courtesy of https://www.georgiapower.com/company/safety/outages-and-stormcenter/prepare-before-storm.html
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington today.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4
Destroy Odors with Deodorizations
Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.
As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.
With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and more.
Ask SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.
If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.
To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.
Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest or other potential obstacles.
For more information on proper cleaning dryer vents contact SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington at (770) 483-1212.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4
Your Belongings & Water Damage
Water damage affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Conyers/Covington understands that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.
If You Have Questions or Need Help,
Call Us Today – (770) 483-1212
SERVPRO of Conyers/Covington specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including the following:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Conyers/Covington can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out will provide several benefits, including the following:
- A quicker remodeling process
- Protecting items from potential damage
- Protecting contents from further on-site damage
When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.
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. We 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. We 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.
Document / Photograph Drying
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 of Conyers/Covington can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage.
Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, we have five options for the restoration of documents:
- Air Drying
- Freezer Drying
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
- Vacuum Thermal Drying
Contents Claim Inventory Service
When a water emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.
Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:
- Preloss list and value of contents
- Detailed and accurate report
- Better information to settle claims quicker
- Assistance with burden of proof for claims
- Peace of mind when you need it most
Trauma & Crime Scene Cleanup
After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of Conyers/Covington will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
Need Trauma or Crime Scene Cleanup? Call Today – (770) 483-1212
Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Our first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve bloodborne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.
Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services
- Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
- Tear gas and pepper spray residues
- Fire extinguisher residue
- Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants
Common Trauma and Crime Scene Scenarios
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.
We remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Our trained Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Our technicians follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.