September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month. This is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
The first week of September is all about “Making a Plan”. Make sure to talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during and after a disaster situation.
The second week of September is all about “Building a Kit”. Buy supplies that will last several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs of each person or pet may have in the event that you have to evacuate quickly.
The third week of September focuses on “Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness”. It is important to know the risk of disasters in your area and check over your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home or business stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
The last week of September is about “Teaching Youth About Preparedness”. Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.
Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.
As Summer Comes To An End, Keep Fire Safety In Mind
Summer is starting to slowly wind down, and school is about to start for many students. While you're getting those last minute BBQ parties in, there are several safety tips to keep in mind.
According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans were injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.
Grills also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires. "These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage," according to the National Protection Association (NFPA).
Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off for the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water.
Good Shutters Can Protect Your Home During A Storm
When it comes to protecting your home or business, from damaging winds, there are many things to consider. If you want to add storm shutters to your home, it can be overwhelming to review the numerous types. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for protecting your home, learning the basics can help you choose wisely. Here are some of the options you may consider:
If you live in an area with frequent storms and severe weather, you may consider adding permanent storm shutters to your home. Permanent mounts add protection and aesthetic flair to your home. You can choose from accordion, Bahama, Colonial, or rolling shutters, all of which provide both storm protection and an element of design. Prices and styles vary within each category. Manually-operated accordion-style options generally cost $15-$25 per square foot of window area, while rolling shutters, generally made of high-quality metal or polycarbonate, will cost approximately $20-$30 per square foot of window area. Bahama-style awnings protect your home against the sun and high winds alike and are sold in standard window sizes for $15-$20 per square foot. Colonial-style varieties offer the most diversity as they come in numerous materials and are sold in sets for $200-$500 per window.
Though temporary fixtures may be less visually appealing, they are equally functional for storm protection. Fabric storm panels, made of PVC or mesh, are a budget-friendly choice that generally costs $75-$300 depending on the size of your windows. A sturdier and more protective option is plywood. Though less pleasing to look at, plywood costs only $1 per square foot and is an effective temporary way to protect your home from intense storms.
Preparation is important when you're facing tornadoes and high winds. When the storm passes, know who to call for help with clean up and restoration to get your home back to a clean and safe state.
Don't Forget About Dryer Vents!
Dryers come equipped with a lint trap to catch and collect the lint and tiny threads that come off of clothing when residents in Fort Collins do their laundry. Over time, larger items, such as broken zippers, can wear tiny holes into the trap. These holes can permit lint to pass through the trap and into the duct. When clogs develop in the interior of the duct, heat can build up and result in a fire.
When a home suffers a fire damage because of a clogged duct or exterior vent, fire damage can occur. This is not the only way that a fire can occur, though, and clothing that ignites while in the dryer causes almost as many fires. Our technicians can help you undo the damage and restore your home.
Just like we remove charred materials like burnt drywall sections, wooden trim, and destroyed personal belongings, we also remove and replace ducts and vents. SERVPRO helps homeowners prevent such fires by cleaning out ductwork and all related vents. A fire can start in other ducts, unrelated to the dryer, and we can reduce the risk in these areas, also.
Cleaning up and removing any destroyed materials makes it much easier for repair work to happen. Doing so also removes any dangers present that could harm you or your children. Pets can also end up injured when they wander into areas that contain fire damage. A fire, no matter how small, can cause a family to experience enough stress without the added crisis of an injury.
Sorting through the laundry, both unwashed and already laundered, reveals which items suffer from fire-related defects. We can often remove smoke damage on unique or one-of-a-kind clothing items. The fire's heat can also cause other problems to items in the immediate area. Drying racks and shelves can become unsightly messes, but the small endeavor of installing new ones can help make everything "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties serves the residents of our beautiful city and the surrounding areas when any fire damage adversely affects a home.
What's In Your Emergency Kit?
As we are at the peak of Hurricane Season 2021- we are urging everyone to prepare now. The National Weather Service is predicting this hurricane season to be very active.
Emergency Preparedness Kits are a crucial part of hurricane preparation, but what does a kit need to include?
According to Ready.GOV - Basic Emergency Supply Kits include:
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather
- Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Find a supply kit that best fits your family or business to be better prepared for severe weather.
**Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you might want to think about adding in hand sanitizer and face masks to your kit**
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties is also helping local businesses get prepared by creating FREE Emergency Ready Plans - tailored to fit your business disaster recovery and remediation.
Standing Water? We Can Help.
Water damage is an emergency and saving time is very important. Contact our restoration specialists to identify all areas that have water and moisture issues. Our team can help you avoid severe secondary damage in your Cullman or Blount county home.
What are the necessary precautions to take after water damage?
As you wait for SERVPRO to perform the needed mitigation services, you should take some necessary precautions. Begin by stopping the leak by turning off the main shut off valve. Another safety concern is the electronic equipment. If water has risen to the electrical outlets, switch off the power source. After turning off the power source, unplug all electrical equipment. Unplugging the equipment quickly increases the chances of saving it. You should also wear protective clothing and rubber gloves if you choose to remove waterlogged items from your home.
How do certified technicians handle water loss incidents?
Our technicians usually remove the ruined materials that can either be discarded or restored. These materials may include carpeting, baseboards, furniture, insulation, carpet padding, drywall, fragile woods and upholstery. After removing the ruined materials, our crew can start removing the water using wet/dry vacuums or portable pumps. We can then use specialized equipment such as axial air movers and Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers to dry the affected areas. We also handle mold damage during the restoration process. We disinfect mold-infested surfaces and restore them as fast as possible to keep the mold from spreading.
How long does a typical home take to dry?
Several factors determine the amount of time it takes a house to dry. They include:
- How fast emergency services start
- Type of affected materials
- Amount of saturation
Our SERVPRO team manipulates the relative humidity and temperature to dry a home faster. We monitor and evaluate the drying process consistently to determine when drying is complete. We use equipment like moisture meters, moisture sensors and infrared cameras to monitor the drying process. It is time-consuming to inspect for moisture. Infrared cameras enable us to check large areas of a house more quickly. Even though there are no rules to determine how long a home can take to dry, a typical water loss takes 3 to 5 days to dry.
Should I turn off the drying equipment at night?
No, the drying equipment should remain running on a 24-hour basis. The more hours the equipment remains on, the faster buildings dry. We place the equipment strategically to encourage optimal drying.
Call US for fire damage in Cullman & Blount Counties!
A house fire in Cullman or Blount county, or any other small town, big city or suburb, could range from a nuisance to a nightmare, depending on the severity of the fire. A fire of any size is likely to cause smoke damage, but it is reassuring to know that professionals can work quickly to get you back to your comfortable routines more quickly than you might expect.
Fires can cause many kinds of damage to a house. After seeing to everyone’s safety, the next priority is to assess the type and extent of the damage and to secure the structure, all of which can be handled at any time of day or night by professionals.
• Repairing structural damage to the house may require partial demolition.
• Water removal will usually begin quickly and progress to the use of air movers and dehumidifiers to completely dry the environment.
• Smoke damage and soot damage require the specialized equipment and techniques that professionals use to treat walls, ceilings and any other surfaces that have been compromised.
• Structures and items that are able to be restored will usually receive special cleaning, such as steam cleaning of carpets and upholstery and dry cleaning of other fabrics such as window treatments. Fogging equipment is highly effective in smoke cleaning and can be part of the remediation process.
• Restoration work may entail replacement of drywall and carpets or other types of flooring, depending on the extent and type of damage.
• Painting walls and ceilings can restore the beauty of your home and prepare for the return of your furnishings and treasured belongings.
A home is a safe space for you and your loved ones, and the thought of being displaced by fire can certainly be scary. With today’s technological expertise, reclaiming your home from smoke damage and soot is more easily achievable than it has ever been.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties is There When Disaster Hits!
Disasters can strike your commercial property while you are sleeping! We understand the urgency for immediate repairs and can act fast to help minimize further damage. SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties emergency response helpline is always open and standing by to take your phone call 24/7!
Regardless of the cause, we will fast respond and help you assess problems or issues the water damage produced and start the mitigation and recovery process. Before emergency repairs are started, we remove any salvageable items, assess the extent of the damage and contamination to put together a repair plan.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties has professionals with the training, experience, and equipment to manage water and flooding damage. Whether you have a large water emergency or a small water damage event, we will respond fast to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties provides a wide scope of services. Some are biohazard cleanup and removal, general construction for rebuilding and remodeling structures. Those are in addition to the fire, water and mold cleanup and restoration services you may already be familiar with. Below is a list of some of our services offered.
- Fire, Smoke, and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
- Water Removal and Dehumidification
- Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
- Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care
- Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
- Odor Identification and Deodorization
Upholstery and Drapes: Wet and Dry Cleaning Methods
Keep Your Business Safe During Storm Season
A few common safety rules and precautions suggests that the public should generally try to stay inside of a safe area or building when a lightning storm or thunderstorm occurs. There are many commercial buildings in Boulder. SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties wants to share the following safety tips for staying safe during a thunderstorm while inside of a commercial building:
- Unplug appliances if possible
- Pay attention to all alerts and warnings, as a thunderstorm can develop into a tornado if powerful enough
- Avoid running water if possible since electricity can travel through plumbing
- Stay away from all windows or glass walls, especially during a lightning storm
Although the weather can be predicted, it can also change in an instant without much warning. If a thunderstorm does happen to turn into tornado weather in Boulder, consider the following tips:
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck in the event of flying debris or shattered windows
- Do not leave the safe area until the local alerting system says it is safe to do so
- If the commercial building has a basement or storm cellar, head there immediately
Remember, we are here to help. Our trained technicians will show up ready to go to begin the cleanup and restoration process after a thunderstorm, lightning storm and even a tornado. If you experience water damage, fire damage, or mold damage from a storm, we are Here to Help.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties is independently owned and operated.
The 3 Categories of Water
Without warning, emergencies can strike. A toilet overflow or a sewage back up is possible issues in a home. Immediate response is critical especially when water damage strikes. SERVPRO will come to your home and inspect the contaminated water to determine the classification and the necessary steps needed for the situation. There are three different major classifications of water which are the following:
Category 1: Clean Water
- Water from a clean source like a broken water line
- If left untreated can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2: Gray Water
- May contain bacteria and viruses - may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
- It can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated.
Category 3: Black Water
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
When it comes to toilet overflows or sewage back up, call a professional immediately. Our team of professionals at SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties is available 24/7 to help you when disaster strikes.