Prevent Your Home From Fires This Halloween
Halloween is a time for tricks and treats, but it's also a time to be cautious about fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decorations are the first thing to ignite in more than 1,000 reported home fires each year. Here are a few things you can do this Halloween to prevent fires in your home from NFPA and the American Red Cross.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
- When using a real candle to light your jack-o-lantern, make sure the candle gets blown out when you can't monitor it, especially when you leave your home.
- Always remember to turn off any running electric appliances before you leave home, blow out candles, and unplug fire hazards, such as lights, that might get too hot.
How to Clean Your Gutters
"Preparing to Work on Your Gutters
Thoroughly cleaning your home’s gutters every spring and fall will keep them working like they should. Leaves can build up and clog the downspouts, which can cause water damage to your roof and fascia (the board behind the gutter). Water pouring over the gutters or from leaks can end up next to your home’s foundation, in the basement or crawlspace.
Cleaning the Gutters
A hose-end attachment specially designed for gutters may make this project a lot easier. If you need to clean from a ladder, follow these steps.
Begin cleaning the gutter near a downspout.
Remove the large debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) with a trowel and dump it in a bucket.
To clean out finer materials, flush the gutter lengths with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. Alternatively, you can use a gutter-cleaning attachment on a hose. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer and clean as necessary.
If gutter water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged.
- Check the drain end. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe as needed.
- Install a small nozzle on the hose, and lock it at full pressure. Turn on the water and feed the hose up from the bottom of the spout. If this doesn’t clear the downspout or the nozzle is too big, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the blockage.
- Reattach the downspout.
- Flush the entire gutter again.
- Be sure to clean the downspout strainers.
Gutter Maintenance and Repair
If there's still standing water after the gutter has been flushed, the gutter may not be sloped correctly and will require adjustment. The length of the system should decline at least ¼ inch every 10 feet toward the downspout.
If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach the hangers and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly, then reattach. It may be easier to work on small sections at a time to prevent the entire gutter system from falling.
Inspect the gutter sections and downspouts for obvious damage and missing parts. Support hangers should be spaced every 2 feet along the gutter.
To replace or add hangers:
- Install screw and ferrule hangers by marking their position on the gutter, drilling the holes in the gutter lip and fascia, then driving the screw with a drill through the ferrule.
- Install screw-in or hidden hangers following the manufacturer’s directions. Most are attached through the rear of the gutter and into the fascia board, then clipped to the inside-front of the gutter.
- If no fascia board exists, use roof hangers with straps, following the package instructions. Typical installation involves attaching a hanger across the gutter channel, clipping a strap to the hanger, then attaching the hanger under the shingles.
Repair any leaks in the gutter.
- To repair leaks at the seams, make sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints.
- To repair leaks at the end caps, add sealant along the inside of the joint.
- To repair holes in the gutter material, ask a Lowe’s associate for products designed to repair aluminum or fiberglass gutters.
Apply gutter touch-up paint to cover any blemishes as desired. If necessary, repaint some or all of the gutters."
To learn more about how to properly clean your gutter, visit https://www.lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/gutter-cleaning-and-repair/project
Floods Strike Everywhere
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in desert, there is a potential for suffering flood damage. On average, floods cost $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S. The following are a few more little-known flood facts:
- Floods kill an average of 140 people per year in the U.S., making flooding the most deadly natural disaster.
- More than half of all fatalities during floods are auto related, often the result of drivers misjudging the depth of water on a road and being swept away in a swiftly moving current.
- The principle causes of floods in the eastern United States are hurricanes and storms.
- Underpasses can be some of the most dangerous places during a flash flood - especially at night, when it's difficult to see.
For more information about flooding, the dangers of it, and how to better prepare yourself, visit fema.gov
Flooding: Be Prepared
Tips from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Preparing Your Home or Business for a Flood.
Before the Flood:
- Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
- Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.
During the Flood:
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
- Disconnect electrical appliances.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.
After the Flood:
- Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Remember the differences in the terms used by news reporters and emergency personnel.
Flooding is possible. Listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.
Flash Flood Watch:
Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.
Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warning:
A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
It Doesn’t Cost a lot to be Prepared
Choose to be PREPARED!
It is no secret that many families and individuals are looking to cut back on spending. But with the frequency of disasters, both natural and man made, can you afford not to be prepared?
Preparedness doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. September is National Preparedness Month, and we are asking you to help your family and friends prepare for whatever may come. Here are
a few tips* on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune.
• Make a Plan. Work with you family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area. Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go
and what to do in case of an emergency. You can download Family Emergency Plan templates www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
• Update Contact Information. Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need. Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.
• Check Your Policy. Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes – renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get
you back on your feet.
• Make a Ready List. You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car. Sample Ready Lists can be found at www.ready.gov/document/familysupply-list
• Plan Your Purchases. You can save money by thinking ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.
• Shop Sales. Shop at sales and used goods stores. Buy preparedness items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won’t notice the cost as much.
• Make Sure it Keeps. Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight.
• Request a Gift. We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.
• Trade a Night Out. Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your Ready kit.
• *The best tip: start now. Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be Ready!
Educational institutions can depend on their local SERVPRO of Tarrytown/Elmsford Professional for fast, thorough service in the event of fire, water or mold damage.
With 24-hour emergency response, SERVPRO® of Tarrytown and Elmsford Professionals provide mitigation, cleanup and restoration services to reduce recovery costs and to help ensure minimal interruption to your curriculum. Your local SERVPRO® of Tarrytown and Elmsford Professional also provides expert cleaning for emergencies or special needs exceeding routine janitorial capabilities, including stain removal, upholstery and drapery dry cleaning, indoor air quality and vandalism cleanup.
Our Franchise Professionals are trained to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA registered cleaners and disinfectants.
So don't wait, call SERVPRO® of Tarrytown and Elmsford at (914) 358-9000 today!
Preventing an Ice Damming!
ICE DAMMING - An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
The article put out by www.weather.gov, shows how you can prevent or minimize the chances of getting an ice dam. We have had some nice warm weather up until now, but its better to be safe then sorry. Take a look at the article by clicking the link below:
By installing extra insulation in your attic, adding roof cables to your soffits and gutters and making sure your gutters and down spouts are cleared you can help keep yourself and your home out of the path of water damaged ceilings, walls, floors or even flooded basements.
What's a better way to celebrate Fourth of July then by watching the fireworks? As beautiful and intriguing as they are, fireworks have the potential to cause a lot of serious damage to people and properties if not professionally handled.
Here are a few facts from the National Fire Protection Association:
- "Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage."
- "In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries. These injury estimates were obtained or derived from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2015 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu."
For more information regarding firework safety, visit https://www.nfpa.org/
If you experience fire damage, call (914) 358-9000!
Who Will Put the Pieces Back?
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand the feelings of frustration and overwhelming concern for how to properly handle a fire damage. Their priority is helping you and your customers regain control. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals also understand business closures due to fire damage don't just affect the business owner; they affect the employees, their families and the community.
- Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area on every level of a home
- Check Smoke alarms once per month and change the batteries at least once per year
- Plan an escape route and practice it at least twice a year
When a SERVPRO Franchise Professional arrives on the scene following a fire, their first step is to calm the customer's fears. The second step is to pre-test the smoke to determine what type of fire has taken place. Knowing the types of smoke and their behavior patterns is crucial
- Wet smoke - Plastics and rubber.
- Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood.
- Protein smoke- Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace Puff Backs.
- Other- Tear gas, Fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue.
Smoke and soot residue can damage carpet, upholstery and contents if not removed quickly and efficiently. In a fire-damage structure with soot on the walls and other surfaces, cleaning and restoration is less disruptive and more cost-efficient than replacement.
Dry Ice Blasting
What is Dry Ice Blasting?
Dry ice blasting is a revolutionary blasting method that uses dry ice pellets. (Co2 in solid form) as the blasting material. The process is very environmentally friendly and provides a fast and effective alternative to traditional methods of cleaning industrial production equipment.
The Benefits to Dry Ice Blasting
- A Dry cleaning process - Dry ice blasting is a completely dry process because dry ice pellets consist of CO2 and vaporize immediately on contact with the surface to be cleaned.
- No waste disposal - The system produces no waste products. Only the coating that has been removed remains to be disposed of, and this can usually be swept or vacuumed from the floor.
- Environmentally friendly - Dry Ice blasting is completely non-toxic and no hazardous chemicals are used. Costs connected with disposal of blasting materials and solvents are saved.
- No abrasion - Dry ice blasting is non-abrasive and therefore surfaces are treated very gently. Wear and tear resulting from the use of steel brushes, scrapers and other blasting materials is avoided.
- Improved production quality - Dry ice blasting often allows for your production equipment to be cleaned while in operation without a need for dismantling or costly downtime.
Dry Ice Blasting is a Three-Step Process
- Kinetic - When Dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air and strike a surface at the speed of sound, they crack and loosen the coating of the surface being treated.
- Thermal - The low temperature of dry ice pellets (-79 degree C/110 Degree F) makes the coating brittle, cracks it and loosens it. This allows dry ice to permeate the coating.
- Sublimation - dry ice penetrates the coating and immediately sublimes (passes directly from solid to vapor state). This results in a 700-fold increase in volume, an explosive effect that lifts the coating off the surface.