Gas Stove Safety
If you still use a gas stove in your home, then you probably know how dangerous they can be. Any source of open flame indoors creates a fire hazard and requires extra precautions. Here are some safety tips for gas stoves:
- Managing the flame. Only have the stove on when something is cooking.
- Maintaining the stove. Clean the stove on a regular basis to prevent food buildup.
- Using the right utensils. Be sure to only use stuff that is designed for stove use.
- Monitoring carbon monoxide. Gas stoves produce carbon monoxide so provide plenty of ventilation and install detectors around the home.
- Be tentative when cooking.
- Always be on the lookout for gas leaks.
- Keep flammable objects away from the stove.
- Have emergency equipment and services such as a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Be aware of personal precaution such as not wearing baggy clothes.
- Install smoke alarms throughout the home.
- Install a range hood for proper ventilation.
When it comes to fire hazards, you can never be too safe.
Cleaning Your Fireplace
Now that most homeowners are no longer using their fireplaces, it may be time to clean it out! Here are some tips on how to properly clean your fireplace:
- If you have had a fire recently, you need to wait until your fireplace has cooled completely. It is best to wait a full day to be sure.
- Once the fireplace is cool, spread a large towel or old sheet at the base of the fireplace. This will keep ash from getting on your carpet or floor. It may be a good idea to cover nearby furniture as well.
- Use a handheld broom to sweep up ash and soot and gently place it into a waste bin. Be careful not to let ash fly everywhere.
- It is a good idea to vacuum the carpet and nearby furniture to remove any ash that may have escaped.
When cleaning your fireplace, it is best to wear old or dirty clothes. Even though it may be another chore on the list, take your time for best results!
We can experience some pretty severe weather in Michigan. Although it does not happen often, thunderstorms sometimes accompany hailstorms. Here are some tips for dealing with hailstorms:
- Like any severe weather preparation, have a plan in place. It is always best to have an emergency kit that contains flashlights, water, a radio, etc.
- Always stay informed. Be sure to check the future forecasts on a daily basis. This will help prevent getting caught off guard by severe weather. The sooner you know, the more time you have to prepare!
- Move inside and stay inside. If a thunderstorm or hailstorm is on its way, move indoors and stay there until the storm passes. If you have a garage, move vehicles inside as well and do not let pets outdoors. Close you blinds and shades for safety in case hail shatters your windows.
- Check your roof after a hailstorm. Hail widely varies in size and does have the ability to do severe damage to your roof. Inspecting it can help prevent surprise water damage when the next storm hits!
How To Prevent Backups
Water and sewer backups are something that no homeowner wants to experience. It has the ability to do a large amount of damage in a short amount of time. Although backups are never completely avoidable, here are some tips that can help!
- Maintain your sewer lateral. A lateral that's cracked, deteriorated or filled with tree roots will allow groundwater to seep in.
- Dispose of grease properly. When grease cools off, it'll solidify either in the drain or the main sewer line.
- Dispose of paper products properly. Paper products that are not meant to be flushed take a long time to deteriorate.
- Consider plastic piping. Tree roots can't break through plastic piping.
- Correct illegal plumbing connections. Some areas do not allow flood control systems to be connected to your sewer because it can cause debris and silt to clog your line.
- Consider a backwater prevention valve. This will allow sewage and water to exit but not re-enter.
Severe Weather Preparation
Michigan has its fair share of bad weather. We are lucky enough not to experience many natural disasters, but severe thunderstorms are not uncommon. That is why it is always best to be prepared! Here are some great tips on how you can be ready for whatever mother nature throws your way:
- Check the forecast regularly to be aware of any severe weather on its way
- If available, sign up for local severe weather notifications
- Create a safety plan. Be sure everybody who lives in the home knows where to take shelter if severe weather strikes
- Prepare your home by trimming back trees and branches that are too close to your house and securing any loose objects
- Check on your neighbors. If you encounter severe weather, there is always the chance that those around you may need assistance, whether physically or medically
Do your best to always be prepared for severe weather!
If you have watched the news recently, you may have noticed all of the flooding Michigan has experienced. Many of these residents have never experienced flooding before. Here are some tips on how you can prepare:
- Create a communication and evacuation plan
- Assemble an emergency kit that contains at least 3 days of food and water
- Have an evacuation route in mind (the quickest and safest way to get to high ground)
- Sign up for local notifications that a flood is imminent
- Prepare your home by protecting it with sandbags and purchasing flood insurance if you live in a flood prone area
- Pack all of the essentials in advance so that evacuation can be quick and easy
- Charge electronics and have backup batteries
- Evacuate as soon as possible
Weather can be very unpredictable. It is always important to be prepared!
Ottawa County State Of Emergency
This spring has been especially bad when it comes to flooding. Most residents would agree that the water table had risen pretty dramatically last fall/early winter and never receded much. This resulted in minor rain storms producing some flooding. When bad storms hit, residents know that they are in for some issues. These rain storms over the last few weeks have left many homeowners and business owners with flooded property so bad that they cannot begin repairs until the water recedes. The county, recognizing the severity of the flooding, issued a local state of emergency. This allows officials to coordinate additional resources for their response. Residents are urged to take action to limit any flooding damage to their property. Anyone who has suffered flooding damage is asked to fill out a self reporting damage survey form online here.
The weather is finally warming up enough to make having a campfire enjoyable. Although most people enjoy having a fire on a nice cool evening, it also brings along a variety of dangers. We have worked many residential fire damage jobs over the years that were the result of people not taking proper precautions when having a fire. Between structural, soot, smoke, and possibly water damage, the restoration job can get costly very quick. It is very important to be cautious when having a fire. Here are some tips that could help you avoid a disaster:
- Dig a pit away from overhanging branches
- Clean a 10-foot area around the pit with dirt, removing anything that could catch fire
- Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby
- Do not pull sticks out of the fire
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180
Spring Storm Tips
Each year there tends to be at least a few spring thunderstorms that are pretty severe. After making it through a pretty uneventful winter, these storms can catch you by surprise. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for whatever mother nature sends your way:
- Always have a battery powered radio on hand
- Always have multiple flashlights and candles prepared for a power outage
- When leaving on vacation, unplug appliances and other electronics other than lights that are on a timer
- Stay indoors
- If a major store is immanent, close shutters and board windows if possible
- Keep an eye on large trees close to your home that could cause damage if they fall. Cut them back if necessary
- Always have extra food and water on hand
- Have a good shelter spot for very severe storms
There is no such thing as being too prepared for severe weather!
Safety Is Key
If you are a business owner, one of your main priorities should be caring for the health and safety of both your employees and customers. During these uncertain times, we regularly have business owners reach out asking about our sanitation methods. Our crew has extensive experience with commercial cleaning and use EPA approved products. Our employees follow CDC guidelines to make sure that proper procedures are met. What sets SERVPRO apart from the crowd is that we always make understanding our products and procedures a priority. We always try to make sure that our customers understand exactly what we are doing to help put them at ease.
If you are performing the cleaning and sanitation of your business in-house, focus on high traffic areas. Anywhere that sees a lot of physical interaction should be key spots to clean. Encourage regular hand washing and keep hand sanitizer readily available throughout your facility. If you have any questions regarding our sanitation methods or the products we use, do not hesitate to call!
SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County: 616-396-8180