Independence Day is here. That comes with the chances of fire hazards, accidents, and injuries resulting from putting those fires out.
Ask yourself these questions and check the following to ensure that you and your fire extinguisher are ready, in case something happens to goes wrong.
When is the last time you checked your fire extinguisher?
How old is it? You will find an expiration date at the bottom of the label. If it is more than ten years old, it should be replaced. The pressure could be gone or it simply could not work.
Check the gauge to be sure it is pointing to the green area on the gauge.
Does it have a UL listing on the label to verify that it is certified and ready to go?
After you have verified that your fire extinguisher is in working order make sure you know the location of your extinguisher in the home. Familiarize yourself with how to operate it as well.
To help you to remember, you can use the acronym P.A.S.S.
- A-Aim at the base of the fire
- S-Sweep from side to side
If there is more than one person in the home, have one call 911 and the other use the extinguisher. A fire can quickly become unmanageable, it is important that you leave the house as soon as possible.
TIP: Never add water to put out a grease fire. It could cause an explosion or make the fire even bigger. Try to smother with a lid, pizza pan or cookie sheet. Do not try to remove the pan from the stove. Turn the heat off and smother.
CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE BUT ABOVE ALL STAY SAFE.
Blog with a Twist
EF1 Tornado that impacted the Kanawha Valley on Monday June 24, 2019.
On the evening of June 24th, a tornado touched down in Kanawha County, West Virginia. With the tornado came damaging winds and destruction to the affected areas. Thousands are still without power, including hundreds of business owners. Being prepared for a devastating storm like this one is key for a business owner. As someone in charge of not only the structure itself but all of the lives within the structure, a tornado warning should not be taken lightly.
You must know the warning signs of a tornado so that you can be sure you and your employees know what to expect, and how to best prepare. A tornado is a narrow and violently rotating cloud that is only easily visible if it has formed a condensation funnel. Debris and dust will swirl around under the cloud base. If a tornado warning has been issued in your area, you may hear a loud roar that does not fade as thunder would.
If you see the warning signs common with a tornado and a tornado warning has been issued, take heed to the warning and find shelter immediately. Get to the lowest level of the structure and find an interior room. Stay in the center of the room and stay away from doors, windows, and walls.
After a tornado affects the area your business is in, you may have to make your employees aware of hazards brought on by the storm. Be aware of any gas leaks, structural damage, or electrical dangers. Be sure that your employees know not to touch down power lines under any circumstances. Leave the electrical work to the professionals. Be careful around any sharp objects and use precaution when operating generators.
The best way to make sure your employees know how to react when a tornado touches down near you is to make and stick to an emergency plan. In addition to your Emergency Readiness Profile, create a step by step preparedness plan that goes over different scenarios and storm situations.
Here are a couple of great resources to refer to when preparing yourself and your business for a tornado disaster:
Click HERE for an article that discusses how to create a tornado preparedness plan for your business.
Click HERE for helpful tips from the American Red Cross on tornado safety.
Residential fire in Kanawha County.
A house fire can be one of the most challenging things to have to process. No matter how big or small the fire damage may be, it is overwhelming. It is important to contact a professional to handle your fire damage. It is always our goal to try and save your belongings verses have to have them all replaced causing a tremendous amount of stress and cost. There a number of things that can help minimize the stress, as well as the cost during the process of returning your home back to preloss conditions. SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley are here to help with a few helpful tips.
Saving Fire Damaged Possessions
Fire damaged property that may look like it needs to be replaced may actually be recoverable. SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley can save many of your heirlooms. But act quickly. Prompt fire cleanup and restoration are important because the items found in your home—heirlooms, photos, collectibles, furniture, carpet, walls, drapes, and even ceilings—can absorb smoke. If too much time lapses between when the fire damage initially occurs and when fire cleanup occurs, the effects of smoke damage can last for months.
Time Can Cost You Many Possessions
The more time between the fire and restoration the more costs you incur and the fewer items you can restore. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to save clothing, leather, books, photographs, kitchen items, furniture, and more.
Restored To Pre-Loss Condition
SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley cleans and deodorizes restorable items, sometimes to preloss condition. So don’t throw anything out until you’re certain it must be replaced. By saving your property and you save money. Now that’s a win/win!
Call SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley to discuss how we can help to get you back into your home as quickly as possible. Locally owned and operated in Nitro, WV we are able to help you with all of your Fire and Water restoration needs. Whether you are in centrally in the Kanawha and Putnam county areas or in the neighboring counties. We are here to help. Call today 304-755-9510.
Misconceptions of renters insurance
Misconceptions of fire damage in your rental home
Renting a single family home, apartment or condo may be the way that you personally choose your housing. There are many perks that people really like about renting. The biggest perk is that you are not typically responsible for the major incidents that may occur within those four walls like an electrical fire, busted frozen water pipe, roof leak, or even when that 15 year old furnace decides it has served its purpose. While those are great perks, you still have the responsibility of your own personal property that may become damaged due to a number of issues that may arise while living in a home you personally do not own. Many renters mistakenly assume that their landlord's homeowner's policy will cover them if disaster strikes. I too felt that way at one point, until I ended up on the restoration side of the disaster. I thought, well if the homeowner/condo owner neglected issues like water pipes, electrical and even the roof. There is no way that their insurance wouldn't cover my personal property. How in the world could I be responsible for something I had nothing to do with? This was my personal theory until I began doing the work I do now.
I truly didn’t have a full understanding of how important that renters insurance was until I was working an apartment complex fire. The flames were contained to the one apartment, but that wasn't the biggest issue. It was the smoke and soot that affected nearly 20 apartments throughout 7 floors. The smoke and soot got into apartments on the other side of the building. Here's the thing, one smoke particle is half the size of bacteria, 1/8 the size of a red blood cell neither one of those are visible to the naked eye. Smoke and soot will find little pathways to follow holes around plumbing, and also find its way to your second floor or cooler parts of the home. So essentially we had to pretest every apartment within that building. A good majority of the condo renters didn't understand how they were going to have to pay for the smoke and soot cleanup within their apartments when it was a single condo that was the source of the smoke and soot.
Unfortunately, that was the case for quite a few people within that complex. They ended up having to attempt to clean their contents themselves, even when the owners of that condo were able to have their structure cleaned professionally. The cleaning of smoke and soot can be very tedious and time consuming even for professionals like SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley. Our technicians are trained and certified to identify and remediate smoke and soot properly.
There are four types of soot:
- Dry smoke residue: Powdery, dry small and non-smearing particles resulting from fires that burn quickly at a high heat
- Wet Smoke residue: Smearing, sticky and strong-smelling particles caused by fires that smolder at low temperatures, resulting in smoke webs that may be challenging to remove.
- Fuel oil soot: Dispersed by puff backs from furnaces
- Protein Residue: Very strong-smelling, but practically invisible residue that can ruin the color of varnish or paint.
Renters insurance is typically covered for a small monthly premium, the average renter’s policy has a $20,000 - $25,000 worth of coverage for your contents. There are even rider policies (Which is coverage for things that may be worth more than the per-item limit on your renter’s insurance policy). The value of your personal contents can add up quickly. The most important aspect of renters insurance is deciding whether to purchase replacement value or actual cost value coverage. While renters insurance is important for smoke and soot, it also covers many other things.
- Fire, lighting
- Windstorm, hail
- Damage by aircraft
- Damage by vehicle (As long as it's not your own because you fell asleep in the driveway.)
- Damage from smoke
- Volcanic eruption (Hopefully not needed in the Kanawha and Putnam counties)
- Falling objects
- Weight of snow, ice, sleet
- Damage from steam- heating/water-heating appliances/systems
- Leakage or overflow from water or steam
- Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning
- Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances.
Bottom line renters insurance is essential and relatively inexpensive so call you friendly insurance agent and get a
Give Me Closure
Fire in local restaurant in Charleston, WV
When you are dealing with grief, divorce, or any other loss in your life we have to sometimes search for closure. This closure involves healing and brings about the ability to move on in life. In most cases, people want closure in times of tragedy, but today we will look at a different kind of closure that nobody wants to experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of all small businesses will close in their first year and about 50% of small businesses will close by their 5th year. Although there may be many different reasons for these businesses to close, you can be sure that it is not an easy thing to go through.
With the odds already stacked against a business being able to survive in normal circumstances, you throw an unexpected tragedy such as a fire, or water loss and you really up the odds for a permanent closure. It is estimated that over 50% of businesses that sustain a catastrophe will not recuperate from it.
That is why SERVPRO came up with its Emergency Ready Plan for businesses. Knowing as much as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster and with the businesses that do actually survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place we saw the need for pre-planning. Our “ERP” can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind by knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens." Having a SERVPRO “ERP” along with other contingency plans can speak trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be affected by it. You can get help quickly and start the recovery process faster.
Our Commercial Restoration Consultants are trained to look for potential safety issues at you Charleston, WV area business and will create an Emergency Readiness Plan with emergency contact information. We will even tag all of your properties main shutoffs as well as deliver an emergency escape plan for the building occupants. Our ERP only takes about 30 minutes of your time, but supplies many years of comfort in knowing you are ready if disaster ever strikes your business. The best part of SERVPRO’s ERP is that we offer it at absolutely no cost to you.
Reach out to us and schedule your complimentary Emergency Ready Plan today because we truly don’t want you to have to search for closure because of a closure.
All up in your grill about safety!
Back yard campfire
All Up in Your Grill About Safety
The crackling sound of a campfire, the smell of hot dogs on the grill, marshmallows turning into little fireballs on a skewer… all of these are things that make summer fantastic. If you are planning on spending summer indulging in one of these classic activities, it is a good idea to be aware of campfire/grill safety. Whether you are using a propane grill, a charcoal grill or a campfire, there are some basic safety guidelines that the whole family should be educated on to protect themselves and their homes.
For the grillers (that’s you, dad):
- If you are using a grill be sure that it isn’t defective in any way.
- For propane, check the tank before use to make sure it isn’t damaged.
- When using a charcoal grill, let the starter fluid soak into the coals for a minute before igniting them to allow the explosive vapors time to dissipate.
- If you are grilling using an electric grill, never use lighter fluid or other combustible materials.
- Do not use grills close to the house where it has the potential to catch the structure on fire
For all of the campers and s’mores connoisseurs out there, here are a few campfire safety tips that will help keep you, your families and our forests safe:
- Never build a campfire somewhere that it could easily spread. Steer clear of areas with large amounts of dead leaves and dry brush
- Do not keep flammables around the campfire. This includes lighter fluid and gasoline
- Keep the campfire to a size that is easy to control. Do not build one so large that it will get out of hand and spread
- Keep water or a shovel or both nearby so that the campfire can be extinguished if needed
- Keep tents and sleeping bags a safe distance from the fire
- Be sure that everyone at the campfire knows to stop, drop, and roll if an article of their clothing catches fire
- Extinguish correctly when leaving the fire (here is a great resource that demonstrates how to properly extinguish a fire https://www.smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety/how-to-maintain-and-extinguish-your-campfire)
Rain, Hail and High Winds OH MY!
The Kanawha and Putnam counties have recently been ravished with storms. Rain, Hail, High winds all a recipe for disaster for many home owners. Preparation for our moody mother nature is key to help protect your home. While you can’t control the weather, there’s still a lot you can do to protect your home and your family. Additionally, most of what we’ll discuss in this blog will also help protect your neighbors’ homes and property!
SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley have a list of the basic outside upkeep on your home, may help prevent or minimize the damage done to your home during a storm in West Virginia.
- Check for missing or damaged shingles, then get them replaced
When shingles are damaged, they are more likely to break free. If the shingles are missing this will cause a gap and allow for wind to get under the singles causing more damage.
The same rule as roofing apply to your siding as well. Insure that the siding is not damaged or pulled loose, allowing for wind to damage the remainder of the siding.
Ensure that your gutters are free-flowing and your downspouts are in a direction that will allow the water to flow away from the foundation. If the water is not directed from the foundation, the water can cause water damage to the home and flooding.
- Adjust the flow of runoff water coming toward your house.
The best way to combat runoff water coming near or inside of your home is to dig a ditch, or drain to divert the water that is intruding your home.
- Keep your sump pump, pumping.
Checking your sump pump should be done on a pretty regular basis. It is far too often that we get a call for sump pump failure. Purchasing a secondary pump is additional reassurance that you can minimize basement or crawlspace damage during a storm if your primary sump pump stops working.
- Trim your tree’s frequently
Keeping your tree’s trimmed regularly helps keep the risk of having damaged done to your home's roof, siding and windows.
- Take a quick walk around your property.
This is primarily to clean up around your home of anything that could be potentially become projectiles. Things like lawn furniture, tools, flower pots, trash cans, anything that can be lifted off of the ground
Larger storms can cause serious outages leaving you without power anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. The generator can be used so that you minimize the loss of food, keeping medications cold, there are a number of things that make it a good idea to have a generator.
Keep in mind that your home and the things inside of your home are replaceable. Your family is not. Creating a storm safety plan is essential and should be regularly reviewed and practiced with your family. If you believe that your home may have still obtained damage during the storm, contact SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley to have your property assessed for storm damage.
It's Raining, It's Pouring.................
Recent heavy rain fall that caused homes and businesses in the Charleston and Teays Valley area to flood.
Water leaks within a home or business can seep into carpet, flooring, baseboards, and walls while moving throughout the structure. SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley Franchise Professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for a family. Water leaks in a business can not only disrupt the facility, but also can interrupt day to day business functions, which could possibly close the business and affect revenues.
Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process. Quick response time helps ensure that damage is contained and the restoration process begins promptly. This saves on the amount of damage, cost of claims, and assists in reducing losses from business interruption due to a loss. Timely and proper water mitigation will also help keep mold from developing which could cause people to become ill! SERVPRO® Professionals will be able to identify water regardless of where it hides. Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals cover the Charleston and Teays Valley area's as well as the surrounding areas. We offer 24-hour emergency response from our trained professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Leak Prevention Tips
- Check roof for deterioration.
- Check gutters and downspouts.
- Check basements and crawl spaces for moisture.
- Check appliances in kitchens, break rooms, and cafeterias.
- Check sinks and toilets in bathrooms.
- Check HVAC for leaks and blockages.
Roof damage is bad enough, but a roof not repaired can cause some serious issues.
In any type of weather there are lots of different issues that could cause damage to your home; Roof damage is one of those. Damage due to storms is the most typical, but there are several things that COULD cause the damage to your roof some being more visible than others.
It is always good practice to have your roof inspected every 10-12 years, unless there has been a specific issue that may have caused a reason to check it sooner such as a severe storm, hail, or some other sort of natural disaster. Unfortunately, when your roof becomes damaged it can lead to bigger issues that may ultimately cause water damage to the interior of your home.
Here we mention a few things to look for when you are inspecting your roof:
- Loose or missing shingles: this could be caused by high winds, improper installation, or simply wearing out over exposure to the elements through the years. Loose nails can also leave a hole in the shingle that water can find its way through as well.
- Poor installation of the flashing. "Flashing" is the metal that is placed in the sections where the roof meets the walls, or in the valleys. This must be installed properly to divert water from the roof.
- Gutters that are not placed with the right pitch, or that have seems that are not sealed properly can also cause water to back up and then overflow into the house causing water damage to ceilings and/or walls. Not having gutter guards to keep leaves and debris from collecting in the gutters can cause overflow of water that can result in damage to your roof and other areas of your home as well.
- Rotted fascia or soffit can also be an area that allows water to intrude.
If you suspect that you may have roof damage causing water damage to your home please feel free to contact us at 304-755-9510 and we will be happy to assist you. SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley can also supply emergency tarping and board up if the need may arise.
SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley and Teays Valley will be there for all of your home repairs or accidents.
More to us then what you would think...
You may know us as the Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration Company. But did you know that there are over 20 services that we can provide to a home or business owner. Our team at SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley is always ready to help you at a moment’s notice 24/7/365. A few of the other services that we provide include…
- Mold Mitigation
- Document Restoration
- Duct Cleaning
- Vandalism Cleanup
- Forensic Remediation
- Storm Response
- Tarping and Board ups
Our team here at SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley can help you with whatever disaster that you may have. We have been in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas for nearly 30 years, locally owned and operated, and ready to serve you.
Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, property manager, or first responder we are here for you. There is no disaster that is too large or too small that we can't handle. From our trained and uniformed crews to our professional restoration consultants, and our SERVPRO® Ready App that is in the palm of your hand, the cleanup team at SERVPRO® of North Kanawha Valley & Teays Valley is here to help make your disaster, “Like it never even happened." For more information on how we can help you be prepared or for a consultation please call us at 304-755-9510.