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8 Most Common Causes of House Fires

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

The 8 Most Common Causes of House Fires According to the National Fire Protection Association

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says there are more than 360,000 home structure fires each year, resulting in about $6-8 billion dollars in damage.

The causes of these fires range from food left unattended on the stove, to lightning strikes, to candles left burning. From the moment a fire starts to the point where the structure is fully engulfed is usually less than two minutes, which is why it is so important for occupants to get out of the home as quickly as possible and not try to put out a large fire themselves.

Here are the eight most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Cooking
  2. Electrical and Lighting
  3. Lightning Strikes
  4. Smoking
  5. Dryers and Washing Machines
  6. Candles
  7. Children Playing with Fire
  8. Christmas Trees

 Source: NFPA

How to Protect Your Outdoor Living Space from Mold

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Have you seen mold on your patio furniture or mold on the cushions?

If you’re hoping to save your current furniture or you’ve bought a new patio set and want to keep it from falling victim to the same problem, you can take steps to prevent mildew and mold. When purchasing new furniture, look for water-resistant fabrics and materials and check to see if the dyes used are also weather-resistant. Acrylic and polyester are usually the most durable. You can also waterproof your patio furniture yourself by purchasing a waterproofing kit at your local supply store.

Note that sunscreen and bug spray are known to soak into cushions, so always use a towel to sit on as added protection, and never sit down directly after coming out of the pool. If you do spill water or otherwise soil the furniture, clean it immediately, and do routine cleaning every few weeks. If you do not use your patio furniture year round, consider using furniture covers, or find a shed, garage or storage unit to house it during the off season.

Please call SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland today for any mold removal questions you may have. 

Source: Living Direct Online

Detecting Leaks in Your Pipes

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

One of the best ways to detect unknown leaks in the pipes in your home is to keep a close eye on your water bill.

With so many water pipes hidden behind walls and in the floors in your house, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is done. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you see it starting to creep up, or get one that’s uncommonly high, it’s a pretty good sign that you may have a leak somewhere.

It's not uncommon for SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland to get a call from a homeowner who has discovered mold behind their dishwasher or mold behind their sink due a slow leak in a pipe in the wall. It's always a good idea to take care of any water leak as soon as possible in order to prevent mold from forming in addition to the water damage.

When Your Kitchen Pipes or Bathroom Pipes Clog

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

When your kitchen pipes or bathroom pipes clog, use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals.

No matter how crazy clean you are, from your shower to your kitchen sink, clogs are going to happen. And chances are at some point in your life you’ve used a powerful, chemical drain cleaner to get things moving again. But as convenient as they may be, most folks don’t realize those strong chemicals are also eating away at their pipes. If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is a good solution to clear away clogs. Drain snakes are pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes.

Source: Farmers Online

Storm Damage – Tree Limbs Through Windows

7/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage – Tree Limbs Through Windows

Trees in our yards are beautiful, necessary for clean air, help to prevent water damage to our homes, and provide the relief of shade.  As healthy as a tree can be, often larger trees can have dead limbs that require trimming.  When trees are not properly trimmed, dead limbs are very susceptible to breaking off during a storm, causing storm damage to our homes or places of business. SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland has received multiple calls this storm season from homeowners who have suffered storm damage due to a tree limb through their window or roof. When this happens, it is important to board the roof or window as quickly as possible after the storms have passed and to call a SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland remediation crew right away.

If your home is damaged during an area storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland.  Faster to Any Disaster

Fire Prevention Tasks for Your Business

7/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Tasks for Your Business

A fire can cause severe damage to business equipment, materials, and structures. As a business owner, focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and staff education can help reduce your chance of fire and smoke damage. Here are three tips to help:

Assess the risk of fire hazards : The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses. If your local government offers it, a visit from a fire marshal is a great step for your fire prevention plan. If a marshal visit isn't available, ask for workplace fire risk assessment guidance from your building's property manager.

Have fire protection equipment : If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.

Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics.

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plan : Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan : In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid : In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

Source: State Farm Online

5 Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

5 Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip

No matter where you live—house, apartment, dorm room, mobile home—one factor remains constant: There never seem to be enough power outlets. This may explain the popularity of multi-outlet power strips, which provide additional outlets and also let you control multiple components with a single on-off switch. There are some appliances, however, that should never be used with power strips because they could overload the circuit and cause overheating or even a fire

  1. Refrigerators and Freezers - Large appliances like refrigerators require a lot of power and frequently cycle on and off, which can easily overload a power strip. These devices should be plugged directly into a wall outlet dedicated solely to powering the appliance. If you try to plug additional appliances into the same outlet, you risk tripping the circuit.  
  2. Microwaves - The microwave is a miracle of modern food preparation, thawing, cooking, and reheating food in a fraction of the time it takes a conventional oven. But all that marvelous activity requires more energy than a power strip can provide. Like a conventional electric oven, the microwave should have its own dedicated power outlet.
  3. Coffee Makers - You may not think that your morning cup of joe requires that much energy to brew, but most coffee makers need quite bit of amperage to turn those roasted beans into a hot beverage. Plug your coffee maker directly into the outlet or you run the risk of waking up to a half-brewed pot of coffee.
  4. Toasters - If you’ve ever peered into a toaster to remove a particularly stubborn piece of broken crust, you know that the inside is basically a bunch of wires that heat up to red-hot temperatures to toast the bread. The current draw that those wires require can easily cause a power strip to overheat. This same issue affects toaster ovens, electric skillets, and waffle irons as well.
  5. Slow Cookers and Hot Plates - You might think you're one clever cook when you plug your slow cooker into a power strip to free up outlet space for other countertop appliances, but you'd be wrong. These cooking appliances require more juice over a longer period of time than a power strip can handle. And because the appeal of a slow cooker is that it can operate without supervision, you definitely want to make sure it is safely plugged into a wall outlet to minimize any hazardous outcomes.

Learn more about SERVPRO Fire Damage Restoration by clicking here.

Source: MSN Online

Securing Your Home for Hurricanes

6/23/2019 (Permalink)

Securing Your Home for Hurricanes

Brace your garage door to prevent more-extensive damage.  Most garage doors are not reinforced, and when the wind gets into the garage, it creates a positive push at the same time that the wind swirling above the structure creates a negative pull. That push-pull combination can cause the roof to fly off. Find a kit that you can buy at home-improvement stores to brace your garage doors.

Secure your windows and doors. Broken windows can let in wind and rain, and they can also increase the pressure under the roof. Storm shutters provide the best protection, but boarding up windows when a storm is on the way can help, too. Make sure doors have several locking mechanisms so they don’t fly open; deadbolts are best. And it’s important to secure windows and doors at all sides of the home -- not just the one facing the body of water where hurricanes could form -- because hurricanes can swirl in any direction.

To learn more about Storm Damage and SERVPRO, click here.

Source: Kiplinger

Be Safe with Fireworks this 4th of July

6/23/2019 (Permalink)

Be Safe with Fireworks this 4th of July

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Source: CPSC Online

Never pour grease down your sink

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Never pour grease down your sink

You’ve probably heard this before, but you should definitely avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.

Some people use detergent to break up grease before pouring it down the drain…and that may help sometimes. But there’s no guarantee that it’ll keep the grease from sticking to your pipes, so why take the risk?

The safest thing to do is just to pour your grease in an empty can, and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. 

Pipe leaks from clogged pipes can cause water damage to your home as well as mold damage if the water damage is not soon addressed.

If you have a leaky pipe under your kitchen sink that has caused water damage to your home, please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Lake Conroe, Magnolia & Cleveland today.

Source:Farmers