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Tips To Reduce Space Heater Fires

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Space heater Space heaters should never be run unattended

Try Using the Following Tips To Avoid Fire Damage

Home fires with injuries, hospitalizations, as well as extensive property damage can often be traced back to burned space heaters. Fortunately, you can work with a fire restoration company to return your home to a safe state if a fire occurs. Here are some tips to reduce space heater fires so that you can try to avoid fire damage.

1. Shop Wisely
When looking for a space heater to use in your home in Philadelphia, PA, do your research first. Choose one that has a safety certification label from an independent testing organization. These organizations run rigorous tests to ensure the products they certify are safe for home-usage. Look for included safety shutoff features that cause the heater to automatically shut off if it overheats or tips over. A grounded plug with a sturdy cord the length you need is also important when choosing a heater. Extension cords should never be used with space heaters to prevent overheating.

2. Choose a Safe Space
Only run space heaters on hard, flat, non-flammable surfaces. They are meant to be used on the floor, not on tables or counters. To prevent a burned space heater, choose a spot free from any flammable materials like curtains, bedding, and furniture. The heat emanating from these devices can be very attractive to someone looking for warmth. Establish a safe zone to keep curious children and pets away from them. Never run one in a child's bedroom.

3. Practice Safe Usage
Space heaters should never be run unattended. Turn off the device when you leave the room or go to bed. Unplug it from the wall when you turn it off and regularly check that the cord is in good condition. To avoid overheating, don't use any other electrical devices in the same outlet as a space heater.
Numerous home fires each year are caused by burned space heaters. Fire damage and smoke cleanup are costly and time-consuming. Reduce the risk of fire in your home by carefully choosing your space heater and using it safely.

How To Get Your Business Ready for a Disaster

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan Continuity planning should be a big part of your business preparedness strategy

How To Develop an Emergency Strategy

Before the next major storm arrives in Philadelphia, PA, you need to develop a disaster preparedness plan. This will keep your employees safe and your business operational. Below are some tips for developing your emergency strategy.

1. Prepare for the Worst
Ideally, none of your employees will get injured during the storm. Yet accidents can happen. That is why you should keep first aid supplies readily available. You may also want to encourage employees to take CPR training.

2. Gather Supplies
Encourage your employees to keep a survival kit in their desks or offices. You should also store important contact information — including for the phone number for your local emergency restoration company — at a secure off-site location.

3. Work Together
You may not be the only company in your building that needs a disaster preparedness plan. It thus makes sense to work with the other tenants as you develop your strategy. Consider holding evacuation drills together. After all, if an emergency strikes, everyone will be leaving the property at the same time.
This coordination should go beyond just talking with other managers. You should also contact any shippers or suppliers you use and include them in your storm preparation. This will help keep your company running in the aftermath of the disaster.

4. Make a Continuity Plan
Indeed, continuity planning should be a big part of your business preparedness strategy. Start by identifying the operations that are the most important to your company's success. Next, choose a select group of employees from your company to come up with ways to keep those operations functioning. The individuals you pick should include managers, executives, and lower-level workers with technical skills.
Disaster preparedness is not always a fun topic. Yet it is necessary to create an emergency plan and discuss it with other employees. That way, once the storm does arrive, they will know exactly what to do.

Mold Prevention Strategies

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores on the top of the pictures it says ANYWHERE Mold can grow almost anywhere

Black mold, or mold of any variety, growing in your Philadelphia, PA, commercial building can cause major problems. Fortunately, a little preventive maintenance can help your business stay mold-free.

Mold Growth Conditions

Although mold spores are nearly everywhere, there are specific conditions that must be met before mold can grow. Here are three things that mold needs in order to thrive:

  1. Warmth
  2. Food
  3. Moisture

Most indoor locations are sufficiently warm for mold to grow. Mold feeds on organic materials, such as dust, paper products, and food. Mold also needs moisture. This can come from spills, leaks, or even high humidity.

Mold Growth Prevention
Because most commercial buildings will have adequate warmth and sufficient food available for black mold and other fungal growth, the key to preventing an infestation is minimizing the water available. Try to keep the indoor humidity below 50% if possible. You may need to run a dehumidifier in particularly humid areas, such as kitchens. If you detect a moisture problem, address it immediately. Clean up spills and repair leaks as soon as possible. In addition to keeping the building dry, you can also minimize the likelihood of a mold infestation by decreasing the number of mold spores present. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can trap mold spores before they have a chance to begin growing. Keeping the building, especially the carpets, clean can also keep the number of mold spores down. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to prevent all mold growth. However, it can be caught early. Perform routine inspections of humid areas, places where mold has grown before and anywhere else susceptible to an infestation. With proper mold cleanup, you can likely solve the problem before major damage occurs.
Even the most conscientious business owner can discover black mold. If you need help getting your property back to normal, a certified restoration service can help you do so quickly and safely.

Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Shower drain backed up due to clog pipe Water damage in a Philadelphia, PA commercial building

Most Common Causes Of Water Damage

Water damage to your commercial building in Philadelphia, PA, can prevent your company from doing business. It can also put your staff at risk. Therefore, the moment you spot any damage, you should seek water repair options. Most problems can be prevented by monitoring potential causes of water damage. This means that you should know what the most common causes of water damage are.

Damaged Windows
Water damage is often caused by windows that are not properly sealed. These can allow moisture to seep in, leading to mold buildup and warped wood. Resealing the windows regularly is important to prevent water damage.

Damaged Pipes
Many things can lead to a broken pipe. These include:

  • Changes in pressure
  • Deteriorated supply lines and drains
  • Freezing temperatures

Bulging walls, water stains, loose tiles, and musty smells are all signs that you may have a broken pipe. Detecting these leaks can be challenging and often requires professional help.

Foundation Issues
If regular maintenance is not performed, you could find water leaking into your building through the foundation. Poor drainage is another cause of this issue. Some of the most common signs that your foundation leaks include puddles in the basement and framing that has become wet.

Roof Leaks
A leaky roof can cause a lot of water damage, including mold buildup, fire hazards, ceiling damage, and compromised structural integrity. If your building experiences a lot of heavy rain and snow, it could lead to a leaky roof. Similarly, if you have a lot of snow that is not properly removed, it could cause problems with your roof.

Sewer Clogs
Sewer water contains bacteria and other pathogens which cause illness and infection. If you see the signs of a clog, such as gurgling sounds or water backing up from a toilet or drain, you should have it fixed and call your water damage restoration professionals immediately. Remember, if you experience flooding from a sewer clog, avoid contact with the water.
Water damage in a commercial building is a serious problem that you should address immediately. It can have many causes including damaged windows, a broken pipe, foundation issues, roof leaks, and sewer clogs.

Floodwater Cleanup Requires Extra Precautions

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and on the middle a sign that says water categories There are three categories of water issues

When flooding happens in your Philadelphia, PA, home, any amount can be overwhelming and wreak havoc. Before diving into the cleanup process, it is vital to understand the type of water damage that you have experienced. Not all water is the same, nor is the cleanup process.

Water Categories

There are three categories of water issues:

Clean Water – It is toxin- and sewage-free. This type of mess often comes from a broken pipe, water supply line, overflowing sink or bathtub, or an appliance malfunction. It can be cleaned in a normal way without much worry unless it has sat too long. If that happens, it can become the next type of damage.

Grey Water – Often caused by toilet tank issues, washing machines, dishwashers, or sump pump backups, it may have some chemicals or contaminants. While not considered overly harmful, some care should be taken to ensure the affected area and items are thoroughly disinfected.

Black Water – If the source of the problem is flood damage, the water you are facing potentially has harmful contaminants, microorganisms, and debris from sewage, groundwater and nearby rivers or creeks.

If you have experienced flooding, don’t rush into to start the cleanup process. The contaminants in black water require extensive safety precautions and tools. Many items may not be salvageable or will require the professional cleaning services of a flood and stormwater restoration specialist. A simple wipe down and sanitizing doesn’t do the trick. Category 3 damage often requires:

  • Personal protective equipment, including boots, gloves, goggles, and a facemask.
  • Proper containment of the area during drying and water extraction.
  • Removal of contaminated items, some of which may have to be disposed of.
  • Replacement of organic materials, such as drywall and ceiling tiles.

Dealing with flooding is a trying time and may require expert help to ensure your home is a safe environment. At the first signs of water troubles, get help from professionals that are Faster to Any Size Disaster.

5 Facts Homeowners Should Know About Mold

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growing on both sides of a wall Mold growth in Philadelphia, PA

Five Facts About How Black Mold Advances

Most likely you've noticed the odd spotting on bread after it's been left out too long, especially in a hot, humid place. Those spots are a result of mold spores, microorganisms that occurs everywhere. When they find a home with the right combination of organic matter and moisture, the organisms replicate, making your environment their new home. As an owner, you'll want to be aware of these five facts about how black mold advances.

1. It Penetrates Material
If you're thinking that a household cleaner eradicates your fungus issue, then reconsider your mold cleanup habits. The organisms are microscopic, absorbing into porous objects and making it almost impossible to determine whether they've been completely wiped out. To effectively eliminate the contamination, spores should be taken off the property, tearing out affected structures.

2. It Grows Quickly
Black mold has a fast reproduction rate, spawning within one to two days, and becoming a major infestation within 2 weeks. If left alone too long, it can migrate to other rooms and get into the HVAC system, circulating throughout the entire residence.

3. It Favors Damp, Dark Areas
These microbes will prosper in areas with a moisture problem, making closets, crawl spaces and the attic an ideal host for development. Leaks can go undetected these areas, allowing them to spread unnoticed for quite some time. Regular inspections can help ward off possible trouble.

4. It Can Have a Smell
Fungal growth produces mycotoxins, a strange musty aroma. Many people refer to it as a stale scent. Should your nose detect this oddity, a mold remediation company could evaluate the premises, assessing a need to improve humidity ranges or remove any issues.

5. It Decomposes Organic Matter
As the spores continue to procreate, they feed on the organic source they've inhabited, breaking it down and hurting the structure. Floors, walls, and roofs can lose their integrity.
If you suspect black mold has occupied your abode in Philadelphia, PA, don't wait to act. Be aware of its immediate and long-term effects as well as how rapidly it propagates.

5 Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Red coloured deluge sprinkler. Passive fire fighting equipment.  Z When a deluge sprinkler system is activated, all the sprinkler heads open

Five Common Types of Sprinkler Systems

A fire sprinkler can protect your Philadelphia, PA, business from fire damage. However, it is important to select the right sprinkler for your business’ needs. The following are five common types of sprinkler systems.

1. Wet Pipe Sprinklers
Wet pipe sprinklers are very common. Water is present in the pipes at all times. When a fire starts, the heat rises and causes the sprinkler head to burst. Because the sprinkler heads are heat-activated, only one is activated a time. This minimizes the need for fire sprinkler cleanup without diminishing the effectiveness of the sprinkler system.

2. Dry Pipe Sprinklers
Dry pipe sprinklers work very similarly to their wet pipe counterparts; however, water is not kept in the pipe. Water only goes to the pipes when a sprinkler head is activated. This type of fire sprinkler is ideal for cold areas where the water in the pipes could freeze.

3. Pre-Action Sprinklers
Pre-action sprinklers require two different triggers to activate the system. The extra layer of protection against accidental discharge makes this type of sprinkler system ideal for locations that store particularly valuable or irreplaceable items, such as libraries and museums.

4. Foam Sprinklers
Unlike other sprinkler systems that use only water for fire suppression, foam sprinkler systems use a mixture of water and fire-suppressing foam. The foam is ideal for fires created by flammable liquids. This type of sprinkler system is often used in marinas, airport hangars, and other locations that store flammable materials.

5. Deluge Sprinklers
Unlike other types of sprinklers, when a deluge sprinkler system is activated, all the sprinkler heads open. Deluge sprinklers are ideal for locations that could suffer rapidly spreading fires, such as power and chemical plants.
A fire sprinkler can protect your business from most fire damage. However, if you do experience fire damage or water damage from a sprinkler, a certified restoration company can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Three SERVPRO vehicles parked in the street Call the "Faster to any size Disaster" team at SERVPRO for immediate assistance

SERVPRO Can Respond Quickly

As an insurance agent, you know how important it is to quickly address any damage to property. A delay of even a few hours can increase the cost of the restoration. That is why SERVPRO is the preferred vendor of most agencies. The emergency restoration company is faster to any size disaster.
SERVPRO can respond quickly because it has a locally owned franchise in Philadelphia, PA. The cleanup professionals thus should not have to travel far to get to the damaged location.
Even though the franchise is local, that does not mean it has limited resources, however. Because the franchise is part of a larger company, it has the corporate reach necessary to handle even major disasters. SERVPRO can thus respond to all types of emergencies, including:

  • Floods
  • Fire
  • Storms

SERVPRO is not just faster to any size disaster. It also has qualified restoration professionals that will quickly and efficiently clean up the damaged property. Below is a brief description of the services the company provides.

Water Restoration
SERVPRO has water damage restoration technicians who know the best techniques for cleaning wet items. The fabric and upholstery cleaning technicians, meanwhile, will get the furniture back to the way it was prior to the flood. Meanwhile, the odor control experts will eliminate the smells that often accompany standing water.

Fire Restoration
SERVPRO realizes that fires do not just burn items. They can also produce soot and smoke damage. Sprinklers or firefighter hoses can cause additional harm, as well. SERVPRO experts are prepared to deal with all of these issues.

Storm Restoration
SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team responds to all types of storms, including blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes. In fact, the company has assisted with some of the largest natural disasters in the country, including Hurricane Katrina and the 2017 California wildfires.
SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster. This reduces the cost of the insurance claim and makes you and your customers happier. It is no wonder that so many agencies choose their local SERVPRO franchise as their preferred vendor.

Tips for Flushing Your Gas Water Heater

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Flushing a water heater

It's easy to forget about your water heater until it doesn't function properly. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate inside the heater, preventing it from working as it should. Replacing a heater can be a costly ordeal, so maintaining it is a smart idea. Performing a water heater flush periodically will keep your heater working properly for many years.

Steps for Flushing a Heater

Your water heater either runs on gas or electricity. Let's examine the steps to follow in flushing a gas model. First, have a large bucket, garden hose, and screwdriver at the ready. A pair of gloves is also a good idea to protect your hands from hot water.

Turn off the thermostat on the gas heater. The gas pipe that leads to the thermostat has a valve that must be turned to the “off” position. Then, turn off the cold water spigot, which is located near the top of the heater.
At the kitchen sink, turn the hot water on full. This will prevent a vacuum in the line as you drain the water from the tank. It will also increase the water flow as it drains.
Connect the hose to the drainage spigot and make sure the other end is either in the bucket or in an area outside away from the house.
Turn the spigot on and allow the water and sediment to drain completely.
Turn the drainage spigot off and disconnect the hose. Then turn the cold water spigot back on.
When the kitchen faucet water stream runs smoothly, the tank is full. Turn off the kitchen faucet, then turn the heater's thermostat back on.

To keep your home in Philadelphia, PA from running out of hot water, make sure to flush out your water heater every year. It could also save you from costly water damage repairs down the road.

The Specialized Equipment Needed To Remove Smoke Odors

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone machines are used to deodorize a home

The Specialized Equipment Needed To Remove Smoke Odors

After a fire, smoke cleaning is no picnic. It takes training and specialized equipment to rid a home of the persistent odors associated with smoke damage. A qualified fire remediation team has the resources to tackle the most challenging impacts of fire. Technicians may use the following machines to deodorize a home:

  • Air filtration devices
  • Thermal foggers
  • Ozone machines

The home is cleaned according to the highest industry standards. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification promotes voluntary guidelines for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industry. A company that is certified by the IICRC or follows its recommendations is likely to do a professional job.

Eliminate Offensive Odors
After a fire in Philadelphia, PA, smoke odor is likely to be present both inside and outside of the home. It may be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the smell is coming from without advanced equipment. Workers experienced in smoke cleaning can identify the location and the cause of the unpleasant smells and determine the best course of action to eliminate the smells. Improper methods or short cuts such as masking odors won't be successful. With the right methods, over time the odors can be removed without a trace.

Restore the Home
For smoke cleaning to be effective, it should treat all areas of the home and all of its belongings. This includes walls, carpeting, furniture, clothes, electronics, and documents. Different methods of cleaning and different equipment may be used depending upon the materials and how badly they are stained. In some cases, items may need to be thrown out. Where possible, though, a restore versus replace mentality saves time and money. The entire fire restoration process is designed to return a home to its original condition, even after a large fire. An odor control technician can do wonders with smells that pose a challenge to basic cleaning methods. A Professional job delivers quality results.