Fire Safety Tips for Your Family
Use the following tips to minimize fire damage to your loved ones and your home.
According to the American Red Cross, if there is a fire in your home, you may have as few as two minutes to escape. Two minutes sounds like an impossibly small amount of time. However, through fire safety techniques such as prevention, preparedness, and practice, you can keep your family safe. Use the following tips to minimize fire damage to your loved ones and your home.
Effective fire prevention measures minimize the risk of fire damage to your home. These are things you can do before a home fire is even a threat.
- Equip your house with smoke alarms on every floor, and both inside of and outside of wherever people sleep.
- Test smoke alarms monthly. Replace batteries when needed.
- When cooking, keep fire safety at the forefront of your mind. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
- Never use the oven or the stove in an impaired state.
- Keep children away from hot ovens.
- Always stay in the kitchen when frying, boiling, broiling, and grilling food.
- Keep flammable items away from the stovetop.
- Never leave portable heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, candles, etc. unattended. Keep flammable items at least three feet from these types of heating devices. Children and pets should be kept away from space heaters.
- No smoking in the home.
- Keep an eye out for damaged or frayed electrical cords and wires. Replace these types of fire hazards to minimize fire damage to your home.
- Matches and other fire starters should be kept in a locked cabinet away from children.
Many home fires are preventable. Still, accidents happen. When fire prevention strategies fail, ensure you and your family are prepared to deal with a potential fire.
- Install fire extinguishers in your home. Contact the local fire department for training on how to use the fire extinguisher. Use proper fire extinguisher protocol and do not delay in calling 911.
- All fire safety measures call for a fire escape plan. Create a home fire escape plan with your family. Ensure all family members know what to do and can escape within two minutes. Include animals in the plan.
- Have a designated meeting place outside of your home once all family members have escaped.
- In the case of a fire, get out of the home and stay out of the home!
- Part of the fire safety plan should be to teach children how to get out of the house on their own, in the event an adult is unable to get to them. Tell children that they should never hide in an emergency fire situation.
- Once everyone is in a safe place outside of the home, call 911.
Establish your family’s fire safety plan and be certain that everyone practices at least twice per year. Practice during the day and during the night to adequately prepare for any emergency fire situation.
- Educate all family members in fire safety protocol.
- Ensure your family knows about the fire escape plan. Go over the plan with younger family members in an age-appropriate manner.
- Practice the fire escape plan at least twice per year. Test the speed with which family members evacuate the home. Try to move at a quicker pace with each drill.
- Instruct children when to stop, drop, and roll, and to low crawl.
- Reiterate the importance of remaining calm in an emergency situation. The adults should set a positive example for a deliberate, practiced, composed escape from the situation.
Fire damage can be a catastrophic event. Fires destroy homes and lives. The best way to protect your family and your home is to be prepared. Institute fire safety precautions and have a plan in place should the precautions fail. As always, call on the fire damage experts at SERVPRO of Delray Beach for all of your fire and smoke cleanup needs.
Detecting Mold Damage in Your Kitchen
In order to protect your family and your home, learn what you can do to prevent, detect, and remediate mold in your kitchen.
Mold growth and kitchens go together all too well. When it comes to being proactive against mold damage in your kitchen, it all starts with being informed.
Beware of Mold in the Kitchen
Mold needs very few things to grow and multiply – nutrients, a place to grow, and moisture. Areas of high humidity and moisture, like a kitchen, are very inviting to molds. In your kitchen, mold is most often found under the sink, around the sink or tap, near window sills, behind appliances, and in or behind cupboards.
Mold inside your home increases the risk of potential health problems ranging from allergic illness to toxic effects. In addition to harming your health, mold can also damage home building materials, household goods and furnishings. In order to protect your family and your home, learn what you can do to prevent, detect, and remediate mold.
Prevent Kitchen Mold Damage
The humidity and moisture in kitchens (and bathrooms) make it a perfect breeding ground for mold. A minor area of mold can rapidly turn into a major mold problem. Aim to keep humidity levels in your home below 60%. The first step in preventing kitchen mold is ensuring your kitchen is well-ventilated. A range hood will remove humidity from the air when you are cooking.
Also, when feasible, open a window to remove further humidity. Inspect your window weatherproofing to be certain no humidity is entering the kitchen from outside your home. Finally, make sure your plumbing is functioning properly.
Identify Kitchen Mold Damage
In most cases, indoor mold can be seen or smelled. Visible mold growth may appear cottony, leathery, or velvety. Mold can come in a variety of colors, including white, gray, brown, black, yellow, or green. On furniture or walls and ceilings, mold looks like a fuzzy growth, or staining. Always check for signs of water damage and moisture. Moreover, trust your nose. Mold has an earthy or musty odor. If you smell something odd or see visible water damage, inquire further as to whether you have a mold situation on your hands.
Mold Damage Remediation
Once you have identified mold, despite your best attempt at prevention, what steps should be taken toward mold remediation? Minor mold concerns may be remediated without a professional. Act quickly and wear gloves and goggles. Most specialists caution that bleach will only remove mold from non-porous surfaces. Thus, if you use bleach to remove mold from a wall, cupboard, or other porous surface, it will return. Use a detergent or soapy water or commercial mold cleaner as your line of first defense. Thoroughly dry the area after cleaning. Throw away rags and sponges used to clean the mold.
If the mold promptly returns or spreads, further investigation should be taken. You may have a water leak or other problem. At this stage you may consider hiring a specialist like SERVPRO of Delray Beach. The Florida Department of Health does not recommend at-home mold testing kits. According to floridahealth.gov, “Sampling for mold in the air can be expensive and, if done, should only be done by experienced professionals.” At home mold testing kits are known to show false positives or false negatives.
Keep an eye and a nose out for signals of mold. Promptly clean areas that appear to show mold. When in doubt, check the Florida Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency websites for further information. Finally, professional mold remediation services are available to keep your family and your home mold-free. At SERVPRO of Delray Beach, our mold remediation specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today to learn more.
Water Damage Things to Watch for
If you have water damage in your home or business call SERVPRO of Delray Beach.
Water Damage Things to Watch for
Water damage is a major concern for homeowners, but it can strike at any time and from any number of sources. The longer that excess water remains in your home, the worse it will get, so respond quickly to problems. There are several ways you can control water damage before it gets out of hand. Here are some things you should know about water damage:
Water Damage Can Be Devastating
Water damage can be a very serious matter. Although most of us don’t typically think about it, the truth is that water damage can have a lasting impact on your home and belongings. Water damage can lead to mold growth, structural issues with your home, and even health concerns if left untreated.
When you are faced with this kind of crisis situation it is important that you act quickly in order to minimize any further damage to yourself or your property.
Water Damage Comes from Anywhere at Any Time
This can range from a leaky roof to an overflowing bathtub to a burst pipe. It's important to be aware of the dangers of water damage and have a plan in place for what to do if it occurs. You don't want to find yourself without options when things go wrong!
The most obvious source is rain or snow that finds its way into your home through gaps in the roof or walls. The best thing you can do here is to make sure everything is sealed tight so that no water gets inside at all!
Another common cause is clogged drains, which can lead to backflow into other parts of your house—like under sinks or behind appliances—and eventually damage them beyond repair if left unchecked for too long. This kind of work is important. When left untouched, water can cause some serious problems, including increased cost of repairs and potential health issues.
As you can imagine, the longer that excess water remains in your home, the more damage it will do. The result of this is wood rot, which is harmful to your home and may cause structural damage if left untreated. Another problem that can arise from leaving water in your house for too long is electrical fires. Electrical fires are extremely dangerous and can quickly become very serious due to their speed of spread and intensity.
Steps to Take Once Water Starts Entering Your Property
There are several ways you can control water damage before it gets out of hand.
- Turn off the water supply to the leak. If you see a pipe leaking or hear gurgling, turn off the valve or knob in order to stop the flow of water and prevent further damage.
- Stop the flow of water by covering any open drains with towels or rags and shutting down faucets if possible (some older faucets may not have shut-off valves). If your basement has a sump pump and it's running, turn it off immediately; otherwise, your basement will fill up with water very quickly!
- Remove any wet items from the area where they're being damaged by moisture (i.e., carpet, wood floors), which could lead to mold growth if left untreated for too long."
Call the Professionals
You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of homeowners experience water damage in their homes or businesses. And when it happens, you should be sure to call a professional water restoration company or contractor when you notice larger issues to avoid further damage.
At the same time, however, there are some preventive measures that can help prevent water from causing damage in the first place. If there are any signs that your home has been exposed to water (such as standing puddles or mold growth), contact us right away so we can assess your situation and establish a plan of action together.
There are lots of water damage-related things you should be aware of. From leaks and flooding in the home to sewage water, there are a lot of ways water can cause problems. You need to respond quickly when you notice small issues in your Delray Beach home or business, so they don't turn into larger ones. Give SERVPRO of Delray Beach a call!
Actions to Take After a Fire
Smoke damage and odor can be difficult to clean, but SERVPRO of Delray Beach can help make this process easier for you.
Actions to Take After a Fire
Fires can cause extensive damage to Delray Beach, FL homes and businesses, but there are steps you can take after a fire to help minimize the damage. By taking these steps, you'll be able to help speed up the insurance process and prevent mold growth and other issues that could create more problems in the future.
Protect Your Property
There are a few things you should do right after a fire to help protect your property from further damage. You will want to make sure you don’t touch anything in the building that is damaged. Avoid using electronics in the home until you are sure it’s safe. One of the most important things you can do immediately following a fire is to contact SERVPRO of Delray Beach, so we can get the mitigation and restoration process started.
Documentation is Key
Documentation is crucial for your claim. You should keep a record of all communication with your insurance adjuster:
- all letters or emails you send to the adjuster
- any letters or emails you receive from the adjuster
- a list of all the questions that you asked and their answers
It’s also important to keep track of what happens during each conversation. Write down exactly what was said and who said it to ensure that every detail is accurate. You will also want to document the things in your home or building that were damaged due to the fire. Your insurance adjuster can help with how to get started on this.
Call the Professionals
When it comes to fire damage restoration, there is no one-size-fits-all option. The best way to proceed will depend on the nature of the fire and the extent of damage caused by it. Fire remediation specialists and contractors will help get you on the road to recovery. A professional who specializes in cleaning up smoke or soot from fires will be able to help you decide what your next steps should be.
For example, if you’ve suffered a kitchen fire that left behind charred walls and cabinets, but wasn't hot enough to cause structural damage, then hiring a contractor for some basic repairs may be all that's necessary before moving forward with cleanup efforts.
However, if your home sustained significant water damage from putting out a blaze that got out of control, then you'll want someone trained in removing mold by using specialized equipment like foggers or fogging machines (which use high-pressure hoses) instead of just fans alone because they can reach places where mold spores tend not to grow well.
Secure Your Property
It is important to secure your property as soon as possible. This will help prevent further damage and make it less likely that vandals will ransack your home. You can do this in a couple of different ways:
- Board up damaged windows and doors with plywood or other materials found around the house.
- Cover holes in roofs with tarps, plastic sheeting, or plywood until you can get them repaired by a professional roofer.
Part of the healing process after a fire is allowing yourself some time to grieve and recover. But as you're getting back into your daily routine, remember: there are some important steps you should take to restore your home and life to normal. One important step is cleaning up your house as soon as possible after a fire.
Begin with removing smoke odors from walls, rugs, furniture, clothing, and other soft surfaces by washing them with a cleaning solution or vacuuming them. Then clean hard surfaces with soap and water; dry completely before replacing any furnishings on them.
Ultimately, smoke damage and odor can be difficult to clean, and a professional company such as SERVPRO of Delray Beach can help make this process easier for you.
The first step is to call your insurance agent. They will help you figure out the next steps, but the most important thing is to take care of yourself. Your life has just been turned upside down, and it’s time to find support from friends and family who can help with cleanup or provide food while you recover from this devastating event.
How To Drain Your Flooded Basement
A sump pump can remove as much water as possible.
What To Do When A Basement Floods?
A flooded basement can be a homeowner’s nightmare, especially when you live in Delray Beach, FL. Whether your home was subject to a natural disaster or there’s been a break in your water line, standing water in your basement can lead to an array of issues:
- Foundation damage
- Ruined possessions
- Water heater and HVAC system damage
- Mold growth
It’s vital to battle your basement flood as quickly as possible to minimize the damage. If you’re not sure how to remove the water on your own, local restoration specialists can do that for you. Otherwise, you can use a submersible pump and sump hose combination to efficiently remove as much water as possible.
Prepare Your House for Pumping
Before you start the process of water removal, turn off your electricity. It’s also important to make sure the source of water has been stopped. If the cause was a burst pipe, make sure it’s been plugged, whereas if your basement flood is from regional flooding, wait until any outside water (in your yard or street) starts receding before pumping.
Begin Pumping Out the Water
Use an extension cord to connect the pump prior to putting it in the basement. Take all measures to keep the cord connection from getting wet; hanging it is highly recommended. Fit a hose to your pump – a garden hose can work, but a sump hose will be much more efficient due to its wider diameter. If flooding is in your insurance coverage, you may be covered for both the pump and hose rentals.
Place the end of the hose facing away from the house and, preferably, on a gradient that leads to a drain or sewer. Carefully lower the pump into the water and begin pumping. Reposition the pump to the lowest level of the basement once the water is only a couple of inches high.
Take Small but Important Steps
It’s inevitable that some of your possessions may have been damaged in the basement flood. Likewise, carpet and drywall can need replacing or a very thorough cleaning. Check with restoration specialists in Delray Beach, FL, to help repair damages and assess for further risks. You and your home will be grateful you did.
A Commercial Roof Leak Will Lead to Severe Water Damage – Unless You Act Quickly
A ceiling collapsed due to water seeping in from the roof.
A Commercial Roof Leak Will Lead to Severe Water Damage
In time, all buildings will develop a roof leak. When they do, cleanup can be quite complicated. Not only is roof damage a technical subject, but water that gets inside can also begin causing serious damage to a commercial building in Delray Shores, FL, within 48 hours of water intrusion.
The building envelope is your barrier between the inside and the elements. The structure can typically withstand a small amount of water damage, but absorbent materials can be damaged very quickly, including
If you see a roof leak and catch it quickly, you can save a huge amount of water damage. After a windstorm, check your building for missing shingles or other signs of roof damage. Visible water leaking inside should be obvious to anyone as a symptom, but many leaks are obscured until the waters had time to really cause trouble.
A mildew smell that lingers in a specific area is a sure sign of moisture getting trapped somewhere. It's not unusual for a hidden roof leak to be discovered as the result of a mold inspection.
If you suspect a roof leak, contact local roof damage repair experts to get an immediate response. They'll expedite an inspector to your business to determine if you need to tarp or board exposed areas. If a damaged roof is properly tarped before the next storm, all the water damage should be easy to clean. Any delay is likely to be costly.
Once the inspection is done and the roof has been tarped, the restoration team can begin the storm damage cleanup. They'll tear out wet materials then suck out the moisture with commercial air movers. The entire affected area will be dried and disinfected and any black mold removed. Finally, they can repair the roof and restore your interior as needed.
If your business or commercial building has a roof leak, the key to saving money is to catch it quickly. SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster.
Simple Ways To say Goodbye To That Nasty Mold Odor
Try these techniques to ensure you can have a stench-free home.
Goodbye Nasty Mold Odor
There are many reasons why you want to avoid getting mold in your home. Aside from its unsightly appearance and the embarrassment that comes from discovering it, mold leaves an unpleasant, sometimes-intolerable musty odor. You shouldn’t have to live with the stench in your Delray Beach, FL, home. Luckily, you can take action and get your place smelling fresh once again.
Why It Stinks
First, it may be helpful to understand why the musty, damp odor of mold is so severe and how this happens. Simply put, mold releases a number of mycotoxin materials, which create a horrible smell. Here are other reasons:
• The smell is a mixture of numerous chemicals the mold releases as it grows.
• The smell comes from compounds such as geosmin, borneol, 3-octanone, and others.
If you head to your local grocery store or department store, you should be able to find air fresheners capable of overpowering the smell of the various mycotoxin compounds. Febreze is a popular choice among homeowners. However, be aware that the products will only mask the odor for a time; eventually, the mold stench will prevail. These products don’t eliminate mold.
If you don’t think a commercial product will do the trick, or if you’d rather try something different, you may already have some items in your home that will work. One common combatant is the water-vinegar mixture. Try a half-part of each and put it into a spray bottle. Then, spray on the mold-damaged area.
In worst-case scenarios, you may need mold remediation to rid your home of this terrible smell. A professional mold cleanup company can use specialized chemicals or may even tear out and replace drywall or flooring in your home.
Mycotoxin compounds leave a musty odor you don’t want to deal with. Try these techniques to ensure you can have a stench-free home.
4 Reasons Why Your Fire Alarm Will Not Stop Beeping
We have extensive fire damage cleanup and restoration training.
Your Fire Alarm Won't Stop Beeping
If you live in Delray Beach, FL and your fire alarm keeps beeping, you might be wondering what is going on with it. The alarm is not going off like it would when there is a fire, and you see no signs of smoke damage or that you will need a fire damage specialist. So, what is going on? It sounds like your alarm is malfunctioning. Here are four reasons why your alarm will not stop beeping.
Batteries do not last forever and when they get low in your alarm, it will begin to beep. If the batteries have not been changed in more than six months, try putting in some fresh batteries to see if that resolves the problem. To change the batteries, take the cover off with a screwdriver, remove the old battery, and then put in a new one. Put the alarm back together and test it to see if it is working properly now.
Dust in your alarm can make it faulty. Check it periodically to give it a good cleaning to make sure it can do its job when needed. You do not want dust to clog up your device and cause it to malfunction during a real fire emergency.
3. Past Its Prime
Alarms are not built to last forever. If yours is more than 10 years old, it is time to get a new one.
Small bugs can easily get into your fire alarm and cause it not to work properly. Open your alarm and look through it to make sure there are no bugs inside. If there are, remove them and close the alarm back up.
A beeping fire alarm can be a worrisome concern. However, beeping does not always mean there is a fire. Beeping can also be caused by old batteries, dust, an old alarm, and bugs.
3 Tips for Recovering After a Business Fire
Smoke damage in a building in Delray Beach, FL
Three Tips For Recovering From Smoke Damage At Your Business
You hope that you will never have a fire at your business in Delray Beach, FL. You maintain your facility inside and out, you keep your fire alarms and sprinkler systems up to code, and you review your company fire safety plan regularly. However, some things can't be avoided, and fire damages your business. What now?
1. Dealing with Smoke and Soot
Soot damage leaves tiny particles behind that can ruin delicate instruments such as computers and other machines. Soot that is mixed with oil or water creates a much larger mess. A fire damage mitigation company will help you to determine which items can be cleaned and salvaged and which will need to be replaced. Smoke damage can potentially create long-term problems because the smell can get into cracks and crevices and linger for months. Proper cleaning by professionals helps to prevent this problem.
2. Dealing with Water
Water damage is the element of fire cleanup most often forgotten. The firefighters will use large amounts of water to save your business, but this means water damage. When safe to do so, you can begin to clean up standing water as you would after a flood. You should remove furniture, rugs, and any merchandise or tools to allow the space to dry quickly.
3. Dealing with Structure
Depending on what the firefighters needed to do to contain the fire or rescue people, there may be damage to doors, windows, or walls. In addition to smoke and water remediation, your mitigation team will be able to assess the fire damage that occurred to the structure of your building, recommend repairs that need to be done, and conduct any smoke cleaning or other cleanup that needs to take place before construction begins.
Don't rush the cleanup process for smoke damage and water damage after a fire. Work with professionals to properly restore your property so that you can get back to business safely.
3 Steps for Using a Drain Snake
When it comes to water damage, you can trust the pros at SERVPRO to take care of your property. We are ready to serve you!
How To Use A Drain Snake In 3 Easy Steps
If it looks like a snake, moves like a snake, and is made out of metal, you're probably not sure what it is or what to do with it. This tool is called an auger. Most people call it a drain snake and use it to remove debris from clogged pipes. The next time your plunger just isn't doing the job, follow these tips to properly use a snake without creating a disaster that requires a water remediation company.
1. Acquire the Snake
The first thing you need to do to clear your clogged drain is to acquire a snake. There are both old school and electric models available. You can find them at any hardware store in Kings Point, FL. While a good one may cost a few dollars, think of all the money you're going to save by not having to call a plumber every time your pipes won't drain. If you still don't want to buy one, larger home-improvement stores often offer them as rentals.
2. Prepare the Area
Start by putting on some gloves and having a bucket nearby. These will be handy for when you pull a glob of something out of your drain. You may also want a towel to set the auger on after the process. Once you have prepared the area, get the snake and get ready to work.
3. Insert the Snake
Start by inserting the snake into your clogged drain and giving it a few hard cranks to get the tip around the trap. Keep pushing until you reach the blockage. At this point, you will rotate the head. Often, you will know it is time to rotate the head because you will feel resistance, or your auger will not want to turn. Although it is tempting to get rough, you must continue to be gentle as you pull the clog out to avoid a pipe break or other situation.
A stopped drain is a pain. Fortunately, you can follow these steps to get it clear in no time.