Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month, a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2016 theme is “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” designed to educate the public on the basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom outside a separate sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement. Did you know that roughly half of the home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 pm and 7 am when most people are asleep? Smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!
Avoid Holiday Hazards
Fire damage Knoxville
Candles, pretty lights, and decorations are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season. However, if they are not used carefully, your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly.
Review the following simple safety tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association to significantly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.
Candles start two out of five home decoration fires. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable
Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on transparent, uncluttered surfaces. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.
Make sure your tree and decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
Make sure you have the correct type of lights for your home. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Carefully inspect light strands before hanging them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of light sets.
Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.
Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the house. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
The Silent Killer
Carbon monoxide, considered “the silent killer,” is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood, do not burn properly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Often, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family, and your employees from deadly CO fumes.
Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Consider switching from gasoline-powered material to computer powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the house, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
3 Things To Teach Your Children About a Fire Escape Plan
For a parent in a Knoxville, TN, home, ensuring your kid's safety in the event of a fire may be a top priority.
For a parent in a Oak Ridge, TN home, ensuring your kid's safety in the event of a fire may be a top priority. This is why it's essential to include them in your fire escape plans. While your plan may consist of essential things such as the location of a fire extinguisher or the number of a fire damage restoration company, you may also want to include fire safety lessons for your young ones. Here are three things you may want to teach them so that they know what to do during an emergency.
1. Where Are the Exits
During a home fire, it's essential to know where the exits are in case of a fire. Teach your children how to open an emergency window, or how to tell which door out is the safest. It might help to make a game out of learning possible escape routes.
2. How To Escape Safely
You may also want to teach your kids safety techniques for getting out of the home during an emergency. Teach them to crawl under the smoke, and also to test for heat from a door before opening it. Teach them to press the back of the hand to the door to feel for warmth, and if it's not hot, open slowly and check to make sure the way is clear.
3. Where To Meet Up
Another thing every member of your family should know is where to meet up after a fire. You will want to choose a location safely away from the home that every family member can easily find. This may be a mail box or a neighbor's yard. During your fire drills practice getting there as the end goal.
When ensuring your kid's safety in a fire escape plan, you may want to teach them these three things. How to get out of the home in the event of a fire, how to do so safely, and where to go afterward. Doing so can help ensure that every member of your family knows what to do during an emergency.
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Smoke Alarms Oak Ridge
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.
Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the group replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps are signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.
Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of the fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).
If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.
Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.
For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge Professional.
PREPARING FOR A FLOOD
Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding.
• Water—3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day
• Food—3+ day supply of non- perishable, easy-to-prepare food
• Battery-powered or hand-crank
radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if
• Extra batteries
• First Aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and
medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation/personal hygiene items
• Copies of secret documents
(medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area
• Baby supplies (bottles, formula,
baby food, diapers)
• Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food,
• Tools/supplies for securing your home
• Extra set of car keys and house keys
• Extra clothing, hat, and sturdy shoes
• Rain gear
• Insect repellent and sunscreen
• Camera for photos of damage
Call The Cleanup Team That is Faster to Any Size Disaster
Flood Damage Oak Ridge Home
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), "Approximately, five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:
• Flash Flooding
• River Flooding
• Storm Surge and Coastal
Inundation from Tropical
and Non-Tropical Systems • Burn Scars/Debris Flows
(Caused by Wildfires)
• Ice/Debris Jams
• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy
rainfall in dry areas)
• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you will not live in the future. 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States.
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in your home as soon as possible.
SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Heating Safety Tips
Heaters Can Cause Fire Damage
Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or a portable space heater. Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
-Test smoke alarms monthly.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge.
Refrigerator Line Bust in Oak Ridge Home
Water Damage Oak Ridge Home
Water damage can happen at any time; it is often at inconvenient times. This was the case for Mrs. Gilmore. Thankfully SERVPRO of Oak Ridge was available. Mrs. Gilmore's refrigerator line broke which lead to massive amounts of water damage throughout the kitchen and the dining room. SERVPRO of Oak Ridge was able to come out that night and set up drying units to limit the damage.
After further assessment and consulting with Mrs. Gilmore we decided the best course was the replace all of the flooring in the kitchen. Mrs. Gilmore was able to pick out the style that she wanted and new kitchen's appliances With the help of SERVPRO of Oak Ridge a terrible situation was turned into a good one.
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the obstruction. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross.
-Be sure to thoroughly drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
-Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
-When the weather is frigid, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
-Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can be a little-known, but a significant problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of the exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to help prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge are only a call away, 24/7, ready to
restore to preloss condition.