The Likelihood of Fires Increases In Winter
As the cold weather approaches, people often resort to alternative heating methods to stay warm. However, these methods can pose a fire hazard if not used with caution. To ensure safety during the winter months, it is important to keep the following four things in mind:
Fireplaces and Wood Burning Stoves
- Shield the fireplace with a grate to prevent flying sparks from igniting in the room.
- Keep any flammable materials at least 4 feet away from the fire place.
- Perform regular maintenance and cleaning on your fireplace and/or wood burning stove.
- Make sure there are no cracks in your chimney and that the top is properly capped to keep out debris throughout the year.
- Use only space heaters with a “tip switch,” ones that shut off automatically if tipped over.
- Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
- Keep the space heater at least 3 feet away from anything flammable.
- Make sure there is adequate ventilation and base/floor support in the areas where you will use a space heater.
- Check for charred or frayed cords or any dark spots, these may indicate a potential problem with the electrical element.
- Don’t allow anyone or anything on top of the blanket when it is in use, this could lead to overheating.
- Similarly, don’t fold or tuck in the blanket when it is in use, as this could also lead to overheating.
- An electric blanket should never be left unattended or used while one is sleeping.
It is always a good idea to check your fire alarms on a regular basis, preferably once a year. Before lighting a fire or using a heating element, make sure to double-check your alarms.
At SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree, we take pride in being leaders in the community for both fire prevention and fire damage restoration. Our company is locally owned and operated and is part of a nationwide franchise network with specialized Disaster Recovery Teams to handle fire catastrophes. We understand how devastating a fire can be and believe prevention tips should be discussed more frequently.
Fire Prevention Month: Fire Safety Tips
October is Fire Prevention Month, so we are here to provide fire safety tips and tricks to keep your family and home safe.
Many home fires can be avoided if proper fire prevention techniques are in place.
1. The first thing that you need to do is educate yourself on the different types of smoke detectors that are on the market. There are two kinds of smoke detectors on the market, ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors are best used for detecting the smoke that is given off from flaming fires where the photoelectric smoke detector is best for detecting the smoke particles given off from smoldering fires. The National Fire Protection Association will tell you that most deaths in home fires are due to smoke inhalation. However, since each alarm is equipped to detect different types of fires, and there is no way to determine which kind of fire will break out in a home, it is best to purchase both.
2. You need to have a fire extinguisher in your home. If a blaze does happen to break out in your home, you are probably going to evacuate and not attempt to battle the blaze, but that does not mean you should not keep a fire extinguisher in your home. The fire extinguisher is like a tool, you want to have it and better it just sits there, and you never have to use it than need it and not have it there when you need it. Sure, fire extinguishers are unsightly, but if you are stuck in a fire and flames block the only exit, that fire extinguisher is going to be the best-looking thing you have ever seen!
3. Every home must have a fire evacuation plan, and you need to practice it a few times a year, especially if you have children. There is nothing more tragic than a family escaping a home fire only to have a member of the family run back into a burning home because they think they are going to get someone who they believe to be still in there but is safely somewhere else. Make sure everyone in your family knows the evacuation plan from the home in the event of a fire and make sure everyone knows where the family is supposed to meet. Explain the value of staying at the meeting place and waiting there, and practice, practice, practice that plan.
If you are interested in learning more about fire damage restoration services call us at 781-980-7060.
Protecting Your Business During Fire Prevention Month
Although modern safety regulations have reduced the risk, fire is still a major threat. To protect your business, it’s key to educate your employees on fire safety and emergency protocol, keep your workplace free from clutter, and properly maintain your equipment. These six fire prevention tips can help keep your business safe:
1. Inspect and maintain fire extinguishers
Keep fire extinguishers inspected and maintained according to the local fire code and train employees on how to properly use them. Many people have never operated a fire extinguisher. Basic training can save lives during a fire emergency.
2. Install a fire sprinkler or fire suppression system
All businesses should have a fire alarm system, but you should also consider installing a sprinkler system or fire suppression system – some local jurisdictions also require these systems in commercial buildings. Both help to extinguish fires before the fire department arrives. If you’re operating a restaurant, for example, you should have a UL 300-compliant wet chemical fire suppression system, and follow the NFPA 96 standard for ventilation and fire protection.
3. Regularly clean and inspect equipment
Faulty equipment is a common cause of electrical fires. Make sure your machines and equipment are in proper working order, and switch them off when they’re not in use. Clean tools and equipment regularly to ensure they’re functioning properly and safe to use.
4. Reduce clutter
Keep your work space as clutter-free as possible. Boxes, piles of paper, and other combustible materials can provide fuel for a fire. In addition, be sure to keep electrical appliances (e.g., microwaves, toasters, coffeemakers) away from paper or other fuel sources, and give computers and other equipment plenty of space so that air can circulate around them and they’ll stay cool.
5. Have an exit strategy
Create an emergency exit plan, and practice fire drills with your employees. Make sure emergency exit doors have proper signage and are well-lit. Employees should always have ready access to at least two exits. Regularly check stairwells to ensure that nothing is blocking them. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree also offers to set up an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your place of business free of charge if you'd like to have an emergency plan for your place of business.
Should you have any questions or would like SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree to come out to your place of business and help you create an Emergency Ready Profile please Call 617-774-8583.
Maintaining Air Quality With Duct Cleaning
Maintaining proper air quality necessitates the regular cleaning of your air ducts. Typically, a standard household produces around 40 pounds of dust each year. In the areas of Milton and Braintree, it is common to keep windows shut for most of the year due to the cold weather, which helps to confine the dust indoors. Nevertheless, when the temperature rises during pollen season, pollen has the potential to infiltrate our homes and HVAC systems with ease.
While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school, or workplace, they may harbor mold or other contaminants that could cause problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders, or some environmental allergies.
To enhance indoor air quality and optimize HVAC system performance, it is imperative to eliminate the accumulation of dirt and debris in air ducts. Failure to do so can result in the circulation of harmful elements such as fire, smoke, soot, or mold throughout your home or workplace. By professionally cleaning the heating and air conditioning system, as well as replacing filters with high-quality ones, you can significantly improve the air quality circulating within your indoor environment.
Call SERVPRO of Milton / Braintree Today – 781-341-7007
What do I do after a fire?
A fire can be devastating for your home or business and getting started on the restoration process can be truly overwhelming. Your property may have suffered fire and smoke damage, as well as widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. With SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree's specialized fire and water damage restoration experience, we can help get your home or business cleaned up and restored to its pre-fire condition.
What to do after a fire:
- Secure openings made to your property by firefighters using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect your home from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- If the electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of the leaves.
Determine the Type of Cleaning Needed
Before starting the cleanup process it's extremely helpful to know what type of fire damage has occurred. There are different types of fire, smoke, and soot and each requires a different cleanup method to best restore your property. Prior to beginning the restoration process, our professional technicians will test the soot to help determine which type of smoke damage occurred and will design the cleanup procedure based on that information.
The Different Types of Fire/Smoke/Soot Can Include:
- Wet Smoke – Usually from Plastics and Synthetics
- Occurs from Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
- Dry Smoke – Produced from Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.
- Protein Fire Residue – Produced by the evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs
- Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree has what it takes to restore your home back to preloss condition. Let us help you make it “Like it never even happened”.
Graffiti Removal Services
Has your business been vandalized?
Graffiti can be both an eyesore and an embarrassment. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree professionals know just what products to use on any type of surface and combine that with our HOT water pressure washers which will safely power wash and remove the graffiti without harming the surface that has been vandalized. Schools, buildings, parking garages, storefronts, fences, homes – whatever type of surface has been vandalized, we have the expertise to remove it quickly and safely.
Our Graffiti Services
Since each vandalism situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored to the specific conditions. We have the equipment, chemicals, expertise, and experience to restore your property to its original condition.
Have Questions about vandalism or graffiti cleanup? Call Us Today – 781-341-7007
What Should I Do After My House Is Damaged by a Storm?
What Should I Do After My House Is Damaged by a Storm?
The damage a storm causes to a home can leave your life suddenly upended. In the first days after a storm, you might be overwhelmed with the damage, with everything you have to do and with concerns about getting your life back together. But careful planning can help you return to normalcy as quickly as possible.
Whether your house flooded, sustained wind damage or was struck by lightning, the aftermath of a storm can pose serious dangers. Live power lines, mold and open areas of your house can all put you at risk. It's wise to leave your house until you're able to evaluate the damage. Consider going to an emergency shelter, staying with friends and family or staying at a hotel until you're able to get an inspector to your home. Take a few day's worth of clothing and supplies if possible, but prioritize safety above collecting your possessions. Your insurance company might provide someone to inspect your home for safety hazards, or you may need to hire someone, but in either case, you should have your home checked for hazards before you return.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides a variety of assistance to victims of storm damage. You can get help with temporary housing, with repairs, with meals for your family and with filing insurance claims. Contact the FEMA branch in your area. If the storm damaged many homes in your area, a FEMA representative may be traveling through your neighborhood or available at a local temporary FEMA office. So talk to your local representative for assistance.
You'll need to document the damage that has been done by the storm as soon as possible, particularly if your homeowner's insurance only covers certain types of damage. Take photos of the damage, and be sure to document any potential problems, such as mold, crumbling drywall or exposed power lines. It's a good idea to have pictures on file of the normal state of your house. So if you're concerned about a storm that hasn't hit yet, take photos both before and after the storm.
Contact your insurance company, which will assign you a claim representative. Work with the representative to have repairs done. The process sometimes takes several months, but most insurance policies will cover the damage after you've paid your deductible. Most homeowner's insurance policies won't cover flood damage, so if your home has flooded, contact your flood insurance company instead. If you don't have flood insurance, you might be stuck paying for the damage yourself. Contact SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree to come in and evaluate your home and begin the post-flood clean-up process.
Why you must call SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree after a fire
When a fire hits your home, the damage can be devastating. For the best possible restoration efforts, you must address the situation ASAP.
The longer you avoid making needed repairs after a fire, the greater the chance of doing even more damage. Prioritizing the repairs and restoration of your property as soon as possible after a fire will allow you to get home back to its original condition sooner.
What Happens When Fire Damage Restoration is Delayed?
Leaving your home unrepaired for any amount of time after fire damages can result in structural issues as well as the decay of your home. You might also find yourself facing other issues like water damage, mold growth, and even theft.
When firefighters extinguish the blaze, you need to contact your insurance company right away so they can assess the damages and start your claim. You should also call SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree for help, including board-up and tarping services that protect your property from further damage.
Count on SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree to Restore Your Home
In addition to securing your property from possible thieves & vandals while protecting it from inclement weather, our proven professionals will also:
- Try to save as many of your belongings as possible – Any item in your home covered by soot or damaged by smoke can be salvaged by our restoration specialists using our proven soot & smoke damage restoration process. Soot and smoke damage requires special cleaning materials and methods to remove, which is why professionals are required.
- Help with documentation for insurance claims – Before you can file a legitimate claim for fire damage with your insurance provider, you will need to follow a number of important steps. Your restoration specialist will know exactly what needs to be done when it comes to insurance claims filing. This includes proper documentation of the damage with lists, photos, and videos.
- Work quickly and efficiently – To get your home fixed as soon and as efficiently as possible, trusting a restoration company is your best bet. An industry leader like SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree knows exactly what to do to get your home back to its original condition, like it never even happened.
Frozen Pipes – Tips to Prepare for Winter
With temperatures dropping it's important to be prepared. Plumbing breaks and flood damage can be incredibly costly, so preparation is key to keep your pipes from freezing. Follow these easy steps to prevent expensive plumbing repairs.
Locate your house’s water main shut-off valve. In case of a water emergency, you will need to shut off all water flow to the home, and this time-saving knowledge could save you thousands in case of a burst pipe.
Locate all outdoor spigots and drain. Drain and store all of your hoses. Locate all other exterior pipes and shut down supply lines. Install insulated pipe sleeves on exterior supply lines.
Attic, Basement and Crawl Space Pipes:
Install pipe sleeves on both cold and hot water pipes in attics, basements and crawl spaces.
Cold Air Entry Points:
Seal the outside of your home with caulk or insulation. Check your exterior envelope for air leaks and cracks to help prevent frozen pipes and boost heating efficiency in the winter.
Have water damage from a frozen pipe? Call Us Today at 781-980-7060.
Ice Dam Removal Service
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is the ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof which prevents melting snow from draining as it should. The water that backs up behind the ice dam can leak into the home and cause damage to walls, floors, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Most ice dams occur on the lowest edge of your roof.
There are 6 warning signs for ice dams:
1. Your home has had ice dams in the past.
2. You see roof ice– icicles forming on the edge of the roof, or off the front edge of the gutter.
3. Ice is coming through the soffit.
4. Ice is forming behind the gutters (if gutters are present).
5. You see ice or water on the exterior wall.
6. You see water coming through the frame of a door or window.
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree offers safe, professional snow and ice dam removal services for your home or business. Our experienced team will be onsite within a matter of hours, saving you time, effort and costly repairs later. Don't wait until it's too late. Call us today and have the job done safely and done right. 781-980-7060