With the holiday season looming around the corner, the amount of house fires begin to increase. This is often due to cooking, space heaters, fireplaces/wood stoves, and decorations such as candles. These different factors play a huge part in the spike in house fires around the holidays. It is very important to take many precautions in order to prevent house fires. A few are as follows:
- Do not cook when you have been drinking or are very tired
- Plug space heaters directly into outlets and not into extension cords or power strips
- Have your fireplace/wood stove inspected every year and cleaned when needed
- Do not sleep with lit candles or put candles on your Christmas tree
Even though homeowners take many precautions, accidents do still happen. When disaster strikes, have a company on speed dial that you can trust. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County has highly trained technicians with the skills and equipment needed to be there in your time of need. We deal with many house fires around the holidays and have experience in all different circumstances and parts of the restoration process.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180
It is that time of the year again. As temperatures drop in West Michigan, fireplaces and wood stoves begin to come back into use. That means that chimney fires become a concern for many homeowners. Chimney fires are caused by creosote, a combustible substance that is formed by gases during the burning process. This substance hardens to the chimney liner and poses a serious fire risk. Here are some ways that you can prevent chimney fires:
1. Clean your chimney: It is very important that your chimney is inspected every year. Making sure your chimney is safe and cleaning it when it becomes a possible hazard is a great way to prevent a fire.
2. Use dry wood: If your wood is wet, it will not burn as hot as dry wood and will produce much more smoke. This increase in smoke can lead to an increase in creosote production.
3. Burn the hardest firewood you can find: Softer wood tends to increase the production of creosote in your chimney. This is often due to the amount of pitch in softer wood such as pine.
4. Try to burn at the right temperature: It is best when using a wood stove to have a temperature gauge that ensures you remain in the "burn zone".
5. Use a creosote remover powder: This powder is to be placed on the wood and burned at a high temperature. It helps to turn the creosote that may be forming in the chimney into powder to reduce buildup.
All of these tips can reduce your chances of a chimney fire, but the most important one is the first. Always make sure your chimney is inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure the safety of your household.
Fire Prevention Open Houses
As fire prevention open houses are nearing an end for this year, we encourage families to attend at least one in your local area. These events serve as great educational opportunities for individuals of all ages. They have educational material and demonstrations on how you can keep your family safe in case of a fire. These demonstrations include the importance of shutting doors when sleeping, having working smoke detectors, how to escape a burning structure, and more. These events are often attended by other branches of first responders as well, such as law enforcement, ems, etc. that educate individuals on their jobs and what they do to help people each and every day. The open houses are totally free and leave your kids walking away with memories of a lifetime!
Moisture & Mold
West Michigan has received plenty of storms and heavy rain this summer. All of the flooding and high humidity has left homes and businesses in need of water extraction and drying. The severity of water damage to buildings throughout the summer have ranged from water pouring through windows and flooding basements, to small roof leaks. No matter the size, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. if you are unsure if you can successfully dry your home or business. Even the smallest amount of water or moisture can begin to produce mold. Mold has the ability to spread and generate serious health concerns if not remediated promptly. Our technicians are trained professionals with the knowledge and equipment needed to remediate your mold problem and ensure safety.
If You See Signs of Mold,
Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180
National Preparedness Month
This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. It is very important as a business owner that you are prepared for whatever may happen. Disasters can take a toll on your business and heavily impact finances and the ability to stay open. You have the tools at your finger tips to be prepared and maximize your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster by using these three steps:
-Plan to stay in business
-Encourage your employees to become ready
-Protect your investment
We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are ready. At Ready.gov/business,
companies can find vital information on how to begin preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency. You
can also contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to find out more on how to be ready when disaster strikes with the Emergency READY Program®.
When it comes to residential and commercial safety, smoke alarms play a huge role. Smoke alarms are very beneficial; however, that is only if they are working. You should test your smoke alarms a minimum of once a month by using the test button. Smoke alarms that have batteries should have the batteries replaced once a year. Smoke alarms that do not have replaceable batteries should have the whole unit replaced every ten years. If smoke alarms begin to chirp, indicating low battery, you should take the proper steps of replacing the batteries or unit. Make sure that smoke alarms are in every room that is commonly occupied in your residential and commercial buildings.
If you are a commercial business owner, ensure that all fire codes in your facility are met. If you are unsure if your building is up to par, contact your local Fire Marshall.
Smoke alarms do not only play a huge part in safety, they also play a huge part in reducing fire damage. The longer a fire burns, the more damage it produces. The sooner you are made aware that a fire has started, the sooner first responders can arrive on scene and prevent further damage. This just gives you all the more reason to make sure that your smoke alarms are where they need to be and working properly.
Water Damage & Flooding
When inclement weather strikes, are you prepared for the worst? Storms can happen at anytime and can cause serious damage to homes and businesses. When water begins to flood basements or seep through cracks in the roof, damage begins taking place immediately. The longer your home or business is flooded, the more damage accrues. If recent storms have caused flooding or a pipe has burst, our highly trained technicians are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond immediately to flood or water damage at your home or business. We have the experience, expertise, and training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our local technicians will closely monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to normal.
If you have storm or flood damage, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. at: (616) 396-8180
With summer in full swing and temperatures reaching well above 90, please consider safety precautions for extreme heat. It's not doubt that heat effects everyone differently especially those that are young, elderly, overweight or sick. And that goes for pets as well. In large populated areas residents have a greater risk because of how hot pavements and roofs get. Sometimes the heat on a surface can be 50-90 degrees hotter than the air.
No matter where you live, you should always prepare for and prevent extreme heat exposure. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Stay indoors in the air conditioning if possible. If you have to go outside, wear clothes that are loose fitting and light colored. Always apply sunscreen often.
There are several signs of heat exhaustion:
- heavy sweating
- clammy skin
Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke and is life threatening.
Signs of heat stroke are:
- high body temperature (103 degrees plus)
- rapid and strong pulse
Call 911 if you suspect someone is having heat stroke. Use cool wet clothes or a bath to help bring the temperature down. Do not give fluids. This is a serious medical emergency, treat as such.
When the humidity is high, it can feel like the temperature is 15 degrees hotter. Extreme heat is very dangerous. For more information on prevention and preparedness, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov
Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION
Fire, smoke and soot damage in your business or home have the potential to create unpleasant odors for years if the effected areas are not properly cleaned, sanitized and deodorized. When different types of materials burn, the smoke travels throughout the structure leaving residue on surfaces and also in hard-to-reach places. Professional action should be taken quickly before permanent damages to contents occurs from residue and soot deposits.
IICRC Certified technicians at SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. provide specialized services to rid your business or home of odors from a fire or smoke damage. Our technicians seek and remove the source of the odor not by covering it up with a fragrance.
Do you know someone (friend, neighbor, client, customer, family member) that has had a fire, water, mold damage or some other type of odor that refuses to go away? Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. and we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."
Going on VACATION? Must Do's Before You Leave
Most American plan on taking at least one family vacation every year. When traveling for more than a couple of days, be sure your home is properly protected. Windows and doors being locked are a given however are you're missing steps to be sure your home will be the same when you return?
Do Not Let People Know Your Home is Empty.
- Put a HOLD on your mail and newspaper service.
- Continue Lawn Care Services to make your home seem less abandoned.
- Set your indoor and outdoor lights on a timer or install motion detectors to deter burglars.
- Post vacation pictures on social media when you return.
Accident Proof Your Home.
- Check and replace batteries in your thermostat, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security devices, cameras, motion detectors, etc.
- Shut off the main water supply or the water pump. We just received a call today from a homeowner who has been on vacation for the last week and his daughter just discovered that a water supply line sprung a leak on the second floor of their home causing damages to all three levels. All the drywall on the first level and in the finished basement level had fallen in, water was bubbled behind the paint in the walls and there were inches of standing water that had not yet found it's way to the lowest point in the home. Imagine coming home to that. This type of situation happens more often that you think.
- Switch your water heater to vacation mode or turn it off to conserve energy.
- Unplug your electronics to prevent a power surge or make sure they are plugged into a surge protector.
- If losing power is typical during a storm or heavy rain, freeze a cup of water and place a penny on top of the ice before you leave for vacation. When you return home, check to see if the penny is frozen on top or the bottom of the cup. This will tell you if your home lost power while you were on vacation. Inspect the food in your refrigerator or freezer.
While these tips may be time consuming before you go on vacation, they could save you a huge headache when you return.