How To Choose the Right Smoke Detectors For Your Home
A smoke alarm plays an important role in keeping your family safe
A smoke alarm plays an integral role in keeping your family safe as well as preventing extensive fire damage in the event of a fire. It lets you know you need to put your evacuation plan in action, and it can alert you early enough that minimal damage is done. It's important to know the specifics of what your home needs in terms of fire detection.
Types of Detectors
A gas explosion alerts you to fire pretty quickly, but with most home fires, the first sign you'll hear is the chirp from your detectors. There are several types of detectors to choose from:
- Photoelectric Detectors – useful for detecting large smoke particles from electrical fires or smoking upholstery
- Ionization Detectors – useful for detecting small smoke particles from grease or paper fires
- Dual-Sensor Detectors – have both photoelectric and ionization components
- Combination Detectors – may include carbon monoxide detectors
You can use all of one type of detector or a combination throughout your home. If you have a large home, it is helpful if all of them are wired together. That way, if one smoke alarm goes off, they all do. Then you can escape and call for fire damage cleanup from a safe distance away.
Locations of Detectors
You need a smoke detector in a central area on every level of your home. If you have an attic, it is advisable to install a device that detects heat rather than smoke, as most smoke detectors are not designed to be used in areas with extreme temperatures. For proper fire safety, you also need a detector outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom.
A reliable smoke alarm system can mean the difference between needing fire cleanup and needing to find a new home altogether. Having the right type of detectors in the right locations can help you keep your home and your family safe.
Mold Remediation and Personal Belongings
Contact SERVPRO to assess your property and belongings damaged with mold.
Have you recently discovered a mold infestation in your basement or attic? Are you concerned about your belongings, and curious if anything is salvageable? While mold cleaning performed by a professional mold remediation company in Salt Lake City, UT, can restore your property, the salvageability of your keepsakes depends on the material and the level of exposure. There are essentially three items that require addressing.
- Porous items
- Nonporous items
- Sentimental items
During mold remediation, the company you hire will likely throw away any porous items. Porous materials have gaps that mold spores root into. Unfortunately, mold roots deeply, which means that it is incredibly challenging to eliminate any remnants of the mold, even after a thorough cleaning. Therefore, the typical industry recommendation is to discard any items that have come into contact with the mold.
Nonporous items are different from porous items because there are no deep pores for the spore to root into. Most nonporous surfaces, like metals, glass, plastics and varnished woods, can be saved using standard mold cleaning methods. However, unless you know the species of mold you are dealing with, necessary safety measures, like gloves and the use of a mask, are suggested.
While the standards for mold damage removal and the elimination of affected property are pretty stringent, many companies will try to accommodate homeowners when it comes to sentimental items. You can find specialty cleaners who are willing to try to save contaminated porous items, but sometimes cleaning is not possible or recommended. It is best to consult with the remediation company to identify salvageable materials.
Mold cleaning is a job reserved for trained and certified companies. While it can be challenging to let go of certain items affected by mold, it may be necessary. Contact a local mold company to assess your property and belongings and allow them to take on the risks of a cleanup.
How To Avoid Water Damage While You Are Away From Home
Make sure your home is protected.
Vacation is a time to relax with your family and get a break from the worries of everyday life. Making sure your home in Salt Lake City, UT, is protected before you leave lets you enjoy your getaway. Whether you need water pipe repair or just someone to check on the house in your absence, completing this checklist can help put your mind at ease.
A week before you leave on vacation is a great time to inspect your home for potential issues. You can ensure that your home is in good shape with a few key tasks:
- Check pipes for leaks.
- Look for supply line damage.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Test sump pump.
- Insulate pipes to prevent freezing.
If you see any damage during your inspection, call a plumber to have it fixed before you leave home. If a leak from a broken pipe has already caused water damage, have water restoration specialists repair the damage. Taking care of these issues before you go can prevent a bigger mess.
Even if you hire someone to complete water pipe repair before you leave, something could still happen in your absence. It's a good idea to have trusted friends or neighbors check on your home while you are gone. Make sure they know which plumber you prefer and where the water main is located. They should also have a reliable way to contact you in case they need to do so.
If there is no one to watch your place while you're gone, it's best to turn off the water main for the whole house. A damaged pipe can't flood your house if there is no water running through it. Minimize your risk of a flooded home by shutting the water off at the source.
No one wants to come back from vacation to a flood that could have been prevented by simple water pipe repair. Check your home before you leave to avoid such problems.
Is It Necessary To Hire Coronavirus Cleanup Professionals?
Hiring cleaning and remediation professionals is one of the best ways to limit coronavirus exposure.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has caused a lot of upset for people all over the world, as well as in the communities of Salt Lake City, UT. Individuals, families, and businesses have had to take steps to protect themselves from coronavirus exposure. Considering the severity of the virus, including serious medical issues and fatalities, it's important that businesses take appropriate steps to limit the risk of exposure within their buildings.
Hire SERVPRO Professionals for Cleaning and Disinfecting
One of the best ways to limit coronavirus exposure is to hire cleaning and remediation professionals for preventative and restorative cleaning. There are several steps SERVPRO professionals may take:
- All technicians use personal protective equipment appropriately
- Infected areas are cordoned off
- The use of industrial-strength disinfectants
- All surfaces are cleaned and disinfected
- All infected materials are treated and disposed of
Whether you believe that no one has been affected or you know that someone with the virus has been in your building, it's important to hire professionals with FDA-approved disinfectants. Look for professionals with specialized training and resources to handle your coronavirus cleanup. Remember that SERVPRO professionals are Here to Help.
Involve Employees in Safety Procedures
Of course, there are steps that all employees should be taking during the pandemic. These come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up-to-date information is available online:
Download the Restart Readiness Checklist
Encourage employees to stay home when they are sick, to wash hands appropriately, and cover mouths with tissues when coughing or sneezing
Avoid using items from other employee desks
Use masks and social distancing as appropriate
Some employers may consider conducting health checks to make sure the virus doesn't get carried into the business inadvertently.
Cooperating To Reduce Workplace Exposure
The covid-19 cleanup efforts taken by SERVPRO professionals and the steps that employers and employees complete may significantly slow the spread of the virus and reduce coronavirus exposure for everyone who enters the business and for their families and communities. It takes everyone working together to create safe workspaces.
3 Steps To Stop a Toilet From Overflowing
If you need to replace your toilet, contact a water damage mitigation and restoration company.
A drain line blockage can result in a flooded toilet. Homeowners can take three steps to stop a toilet from overflowing and limit the extent of sewer damage at a residence in Federal Heights, UT.
Steps To Stop a Toilet From Overflowing
- Contain Damage
Contaminated water can cause major water damage. If this water sinks into carpet or porous building materials such as drywall, these materials will likely need to be torn out and replaced. Use towels or a mop to stop the spread of sewage backup.
- Use a Plunger or Snake
Once a homeowner has taken measures to try to stop the spread of sewer damage, he or she should address the cause of the problem. If the backup is due to a minor clog close to the floor drain, plunging a toilet may be enough to clear the clog and stop the overflow.
If the clog is more severe, insert an auger or snake into the toilet. Some augers have hand cranks while others can be attached to a power drill. It may be more effective to remove the toilet and snake the floor drain directly. You will need to use specialized tools and remove water from the bowl and tank or use a solidifying gel. Clear deeper clogs by snaking the drain cleanout in a basement or crawlspace.
- Contact a Plumber
Calling a plumber can be easier than removing a toilet or dealing with a drain cleanout. If you do not have a snake or the skill or tools necessary to attempt advanced plumbing techniques, a trained professional is your best bet. If the problem originates in a municipal main, contact a sewage company.
If a flooded toilet causes extensive sewer damage, a homeowner should contact a water damage mitigation and restoration company located in Federal Heights, UT. Experts can remove damaged materials, promote drying to prevent mold and restore the affected area.
The First 24 Hours After a Disaster
SERVPRO has the proper drying equipment to help cleanup your home after suffering water damage in Salt Lake City, UT.
When your home is on fire or your basement is filling with floodwater, you don't want to wait long for trained technicians to arrive. As you know, a fast response is the best way to prevent further damages. The first 24 hour period after experiencing damages is vital to the well-being of your home. Take a look at what you can expect:
- Within one hour
- Within four hours
- Within eight hours
Salt Lake City, UT, restoration professionals can accomplish a lot during the first hours after a disaster.
What You Can Expect From Restoration Professionals
The First Hour
A representative from the restoration company will call you within an hour after your first request for emergency help. During that phone call, you'll cover a lot of vital information that helps professionals determine which equipment and supplies to have available. You may discuss safety concerns or how to maintain communication with each other.
If the situation requires, technicians will arrive to cover holes with tarps or board up broken windows and doors. This emergency response team focuses on preventing further damages with temporary solutions. Even if repairs don't require a lot of work within the first 24 hour period, technicians will be on-site to verify whether an immediate response is necessary.
On-Site in Four Hours
Depending on the type of damage and safety concerns, clean up and restoration technicians will arrive at your home ready to thoroughly inspect your home. During these assessments, technicians can provide estimates regarding the type of repairs necessary and how long the job will take. They may talk to you about your insurance coverage and direct you to the next steps you should take. The restoration company is always open and committed to arriving Faster to Any Size Disaster; they'll load up the appropriate equipment and search out the best route to your home.
Eight Hours After Damages
Within those first hours, after gathering information and making assessments, a restoration representative will communicate with you, to share the information they've gathered, and to go over the plan for getting your home back in shape.
Within the first 24 hour period, you and technicians from the restoration company will share a lot of information, go through an onsite home inspection, and put together a plan for restoring your home so that it looks "Like it never even happened."
Black Water Precautions for Safety
It's important to learn more about Black Water and compare it with oher categories.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets standards for professional members of the cleanup and restoration industry. According to the IICRC standards, black water damage cleanup must involve specialized equipment, supplies, and techniques. Why is this so important?
Compare "black" to other categories.
- White water is clean and safe to consume. It is fresh from the tap.
- Gray water may contain soap, fats, oils, hair, and bits of human skin. It is what's leftover after cooking, washing, and bathing.
- Black water often contains hazardous chemicals, pathogens, human waste, and animal feces. Flood water is almost always considered black.
Once you know what's in the water, it's easy to understand why flood cleanup and mitigation professionals would take extra precautions. What do professionals do to keep your family and themselves safe while cleaning up the watery mess?
Before any work begins, water damage cleanup and restoration professionals will inspect and assess the damages. This is a necessary step that helps technicians prepare the most appropriate supplies and equipment, as well as providing you with an idea of how long the job may take.
One of the next steps will be making sure that contaminants and other hazards from the water aren't spread throughout the rest of your home. This may involve laying down plastic sheeting, and the situation may also require some testing of your plumbing system to be sure your drinking water isn't contaminated.
Technicians may don personal protective equipment, including gloves, protective goggles, boots, and other clothing that prevents contact between the technician and contaminants in the water. It's important that you recognize the precautions that technicians take. Keep your family safe by staying out of contaminated areas of the home until it is safe to return.
When your Salt Lake City, UT, home is affected by flooding, make sure you take necessary steps to avoid coming into contact with black water. Contact professionals right away to clean up water damage and provide any necessary reconstruction services.
Teaching Kids About Fire Safety
Practice fire safety with your family to keep the safe.
As a parent, you want your child to feel safe at home. While teaching children about potential residential disasters might feel counterintuitive to creating a secure environment, fire safety is necessary to ensure their well-being should the worst occur. Most fire prevention and restoration experts in Salt Lake City, UT, can tell you there are four things every child needs to know to escape a fire.
4 Things Every Child Needs to Know
- Bed roll
- Fire crawl
- Door check
- Escape plan
Heat rises. Temperatures between the floor and the ceiling can differ by a few hundred degrees during a fire. Teach your children how to get out of bed during an emergency. The bed roll is a simple maneuver, and it can save your kids' lives. First, have them roll to the edge of their mattress with their face toward the floor. Extend the hand closest to the edge down to the floor to brace themselves. Slowly, they will slide off of the mattress and onto the floor.
The next fire safety maneuver to learn is the fire crawl, which has two iterations. The first crawl is on all fours like a baby, with your forearms on the ground and your nose close to the floor. Some refer to the second crawl as an army crawl, and you use it when the heat is too great. For the second crawl, you lay on the floor and use your arms and legs to push you across the floor.
Closing doors can often reduce fire damage, but opening a door during a fire is dangerous. Teach your children how to check a door safely with the back of their hand. Do not open a hot door.
Create and practice a fire escape plan with your kids. You should practice multiple times throughout the year to ensure familiarity.
Fire safety is critical. While parents don't want to scare their children with a hypothetical, sometimes it is necessary to protect them.
How To Stay Safe During a Flood
Prepare a portable flood kit in your Sugar House, UT property
Flooding poses risks to residents of Sugar House, UT, as well as first responders. The following flood safety guidelines are helpful when preparing for flood conditions.
Follow Evacuation Orders
Residents should stay apprised of flooding risks and prepare to evacuate as soon as an order is issued. Plan ahead by assembling a portable flood preparedness kit that includes the following items:
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights and batteries
- Sleeping bags
- Jumper cables
If a homeowner plans to stay at home, he or she should gather most of these items and store a home preparedness kit above the anticipated flood level. Stock up on enough food and potable water for several days.
Flood water may contain chemicals, heavy metals and pathogens. People should avoid drinking or making direct contact with this water. One of the most essential flood safety measures involves exercising caution near moving water. A person can easily lose his or her footing in six inches of moving water and vehicles may float in 12 inches of water.
Tips for First Responders
First responders should take additional precautions. Here are three of the best safety tips:
- Avoid electrical components
- Get immunized
- Wear personal protective equipment
Responders can reduce electrocution risks by avoiding downed power lines and making sure that the electricity has been shut off in any flooded structures they enter. Exposure to disease is another preventable risk. The Center for Disease Control recommends a tetanus booster for all disaster relief workers and the Hepatitis B vaccine for medical care providers. Relief workers should wear insulated and watertight electrical hazard boots, hip waders, waterproof work gloves, and eye protection. Respirators may also be necessary.
These flood safety suggestions can help to keep residents and first responders safe. Homeowners should contact a damage mitigation and restoration company if flood waters breach residences located in Sugar House, UT.
Get Help Tracking Insurance Claims
Insurance coverage is important and SERVPRO can help tracking the insurance claims.
It doesn't take serious flooding or a major storm to lead to water damage in Salt Lake City, UT., commercial property; a leaking toilet that doesn't get noticed before the doors are closed over the weekend can lead to very expensive repairs. The same is true when it comes to fire, smoke, and other damages. A lot of work is required to restore the property after damages, and much of that work begins with an insurance claim.
Accurate Reports in Less Time
Working closely with insurance providers, SERVPRO understands the complexity of each claim and the need to work through the claim as quickly as possible. With this in mind, SERVPRO offers the Claims Inventory Center. This source of information offers each insurance agent access to
- Relevant facts and statistics from national, regional, and local sources
- Types of claims and information about losses
- Job costs compared by region and type of damages
- Other facts and numbers relevant to creating estimates
Agents often handle more than one claim at a time, so access to this information from one location helps them create accurate reports in less time.
Smooth Flow of Data
There are other benefits to accessing the Claims Inventory Center while working on each insurance claim. For example, the system is set up so that it can keep track of damaged items. Each time an agent submits a list of damages, the data associated with those claims is also stored. A restoration team submits information easily, and agents withdraw the facts they need without fuss.
Quick Exchange of Information
Information is accessed electronically. At one time, records were stored in rooms full of filing cabinets or cardboard boxes. Pulling specific information from these records wasn't always an easy task for agents. The electronic system, on the other hand, can be accessed conveniently. It makes it possible for each member of the restoration effort (insurance agents, restoration professionals, adjusters, for example) to communicate quickly without interrupting work.
A lot of work goes into the completion of an insurance claim. The Claims Inventory System helps agents and other professionals track claims, exchange information, and complete forms accurately and quickly.