Fire Damage Tips
Cooking mishap caused major fire damage to kitchen.
Experiencing a fire, whether at your home or place of business, can be very scary and stressful. Once the fire is out, you may not know what to do to move forward.
After any fire damage situation, your first priority should be your safety. Is it safe to stay inside your house? If you do stay in the home, be sure to only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If the electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If the heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in the sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on houseplants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloths over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in and out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Professionals.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Professionals.
- Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don’t consumer any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. They have be contaminated.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
Broken frozen pipe
If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.)
Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.
Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, a kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Don't forget to CALL SERVPRO so we can assist in the cleanup from a frozen pipe.
Christmas Tree Safety
Decorated Christmas tree
According to National Fire Protection Association between Christmas trees and Christmas decorations in a 4 year window caused 23 million in direct property damage.
Christmas is coming, and we want you to be safe! We all love the smell from a real pine tree, so here's some information to help you enjoy your tree.
The lights that are decorated on the tree are not enough to ignite the tree. It's usually electrical.
Research shows the following:
- 43% of Christmas tree fires result in an overload of lighting that causes a spark and catches the tree on fire
- 27% include a heat source - such as a candle or the tree was located to close to a fireplace
- 22% of Christmas tree fires were intentional
- 8% of Christmas tree fires were undetermined
If you insist on having a real tree. Remember the following:
- Add water to the tree stand.
- Be sure to add water daily and check for brown needles.
- Place the tree away from any heat source, like fireplaces, candles, radiators, heat vents, or space heaters
With the advanced technology of LED lights and fire retardant artificial trees there has been mass improvements in safety.
The air scrubber is our go to machine for odor removal.
Here at SERVPRO of E. Jackson/SE Ingham Counties we often get calls regarding odor removal. Whether it be a foul smell from the fridge, to the dog got sprayed by a skunk and ran through the house. The key to odor removal is to remove the source. Once the source has been removed or cleaned, there may still be a lingering odor. When it comes to cleaning the "air", our go to machine is the Air Scrubber. Although it's a bit noisy, it's highly effective in removing odor molecules. This machine is also often used in smoke, mold, and bio-hazard damages.
Deep Fried Turkey Safety Tips
Deep frying your Thanksgiving turkey
It's Thanksgiving, and here in Michigan we LOVE our Deep Fried Turkeys! Each year, SERVPRO of E. Jackson/SE Ingham Counties sees fire damages occur because people did not recognize the dangers of cooking their turkey in this method. If you're planning on deep frying your bird, here's a few safety tips to be aware of:
Deep-frying turkey safety tips
- Choose the Right Location. Set your deep fryer on level ground far away from the house, garage and shed. ...
- Thaw the Turkey Completely in Advance. ...
- Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy. ...
- Do Not Overfill the Oil. ...
- Place the Turkey in the Oil Slowly. ...
- Wear Safety Gear. ...
- Use a Thermometer. ...
- Never Leave the Fryer Unattended
Enjoy that bird, and have a safe Thanksgiving!
Locating your water shut off valve
Water valve shut off tag
Do you know where your main water shut off valve to your house is located? This valve is usually in the basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it's open. Turning off this valve (by turning it clockwise) cuts off the water supply to the entire house.
Knowing where this valve is BEFORE an emergency could save you thousands of dollars in water damage.
Imagine if you came home from work, or home from a vacation to water running through out your home. First thing is always stop the source of the damage. Shutting off the water at the main valve accomplishes just that.
Be proactive: locate the valve and tag it so you can locate it easily in the event of an emergency.
Categories of Water
Water damage from bathroom
All water damages are not the same. Depending on your source of water, it may be treated differently.
Category 1: "Clean Water"
Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.
Category 2: "Gray Water"
Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
Category 3: "Black Water"
Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
Trust SERVPRO of E. Jackson/SE Ingham Counties to understand your water damage, and treat it effectively. Call us at 517-782-8533.
We're here to help.
Tips for homeowners
Busted pipe can cause water damage through out your home.
If you suffer water damage at your home or business it is important to attempt to mitigate the damage until a professional restoration company can take over. Your insurance company expects for you to be pro active while waiting on SERVPRO to arrive.
The following are some useful tips and tricks that will show your insurance company that you are working to minimize the damage.
- Turn off the water supply
- Call a plumber if necessary
- If the water is clean (not sewage) shop vac or towel up the standing water
- Place some fans out to create air flow
- Elevate your furniture out of the water
- Create a list of damaged belongings
- Take lots of photos
Just doing these steps will insure that you are trying to help.
Call SERVPRO of E. Jackson/SE Ingham Counties at 517-782-8533
Prevent Spring Water Damage with These Tips
Don't let the rain put a damper on your spring.
After a cold, long winter, we're all excited for spring and the sunny days of summer in Mid Michigan!
However, warm weather does bring spring Showers. There are a few things we can do to Prevent potential of water damage. Taking time to check the following maintenance areas you will lessen your chance of water damage to your home.
1. Cleaning your gutters and making sure they are in good repair goes a long way in preventing water intrusion in your home.
2. Each spring, SERVPRO receives many calls about water damage caused by outdoor spigots that are turned on. If you turn them off and drain the water supply to your outdoor spigots in the winter, you can have a damaged pipe due to the heavy freeze. When you turn your spigot on, make sure there are no leaks. If there are leaks, turn off the spigot immediately before any damage occurs and have your pipe repaired.
3. Spring is a good time to inspect your roof. Ice damming is common in the winter months and can damage your shingles, flashing, eves and overhangs.
4. Check that your landscaping slopes away from your home. If it slopes towards your home, so will the water from the spring storms.
5. Outdoor drains can get clogged with debris and leaves, so make sure they are free of debris and draining properly.
6. Your sump pump will work overtime, so make sure it's working properly . If it's old, this would be a good time to replace it before it fails.
Enjoy the warm weather. If you do experience an unexpected water damage call SERVPRO of E. Jackson/SE Ingham Counties at 517-782-8533
A Christmas Story potential fire hazard.
Over time, the blades inside an electrical outlet become loose. While it is a nuisance to you, loose blades are also an extreme fire hazard. These free blades cause extra heat to generate, which may lead to a fire. If you notice your outlets are no longer keeping plugs in, replace them.
Although there is space to plug in four appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so. You could overload the socket.This could cause the plug in the wall socket to overheat and possibly cause a fire.
So don't be like Ralphie's dad, and be aware and be safe!