3 Tips To Prevent Home Candle Fires
A battery-powered option takes away the risk of fire.
Prevent Home Candle Fires
People often light a candle at home to enjoy the warming scent it gives off, but overlook the risk of starting a fire in their home. Candles are one of the most common causes of a residential fire. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent one in your Magnolia, TX, home.
1. Avoid Nighttime Burning, the Biggest Candle Fire Cause
Many will light a candle to help them relax after a long day, but this can lead to a dangerous home fire if neglected. Nighttime candle burning is risky if you happen to fall asleep while the flame's still aglow, or go to bed without remembering to blow out the candle. It's best to avoid nighttime burning altogether to alleviate this risk.
2. Keep Candle Away From Anything That Might Burn
A majority of candle fires happen as a result of flammable items surrounding the candle. This can lead to quick destruction of a home and require the help of a fire damage restoration company to perform smoke cleanup and structural repairs. Be sure to keep any lit candle a safe distance away from items that could burn, such as paper documents, cloth or flammable liquids.
3. Opt for a Flameless Alternative
The foolproof way to avoid a candle fire is to use a flameless alternative. If you use candles for ambiance, a battery-powered option takes away the risk of fire. Additionally, don't rely on candles for light in an emergency power outage but stock up on flashlights instead. These alternatives can best keep your home and family safe from a potential fire.
A candle fire is more common than you think but luckily can be avoided by taking smart, preventative measures. Keep your home safe by avoiding burning at night, keeping candles away from flammable items and choosing a flameless alternative.
What Are The Common Causes of Water Damage
Leaks can be caused by a number of factors.
Common Causes of Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most common home emergencies. It happens when a water source, usually a sink or toilet, leaks and causes water to seep under your flooring into the crawl space below. This can happen in any room of your house and whether you live in an apartment or a house, it affects everyone. The good news is that you can avoid this from happening by taking some simple steps. By being prepared for water damage issues, you will be able to deal with them quickly if they occur
Plumbing, Sink, Toilet, and Washing Machine Leaks
Plumbing leaks are a common cause of water damage. Leaks can be caused by a number of factors, including loose pipes, worn-out washers or hoses, and corrosion. Toilet leaks often occur when the ballcock in your toilet tank breaks or gets stuck inside the tank, resulting in an overflow that results in foul odors and stains. You may also notice wet spots on your floor near the baseboards or walls; this is likely due to a leaky toilet seal that causes water to spill over into nearby areas.
Sinks can also leak when faucet washers wear out or get stuck on debris buildup within them, which allows more water than usual to escape through these openings even when they're not being used. Another common source of sink leaks comes from under-the-sink drains—if these drains become clogged with hair and dirt particles (which often happen because they're difficult to reach), then it can cause excessive water pressure buildup behind them when you turn on one of those drains' faucets such as hot/cold taps or shower-heads; this pressure buildup results in flooding due to cracks opening up within those drains' surfaces after being subjected too much stress over time without proper maintenance!
Frozen Pipes/ Pipes Bursting
If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are common, it’s important to be aware of the signs that your pipes might be about to burst. If you find yourself with a frozen pipe, there are some steps you can take before calling a plumber.
First and foremost: don't try to thaw the pipe yourself by running hot water through it! This can cause small cracks in the pipe wall that will only get worse as time goes on. Instead, use a hair dryer or heat gun at a safe distance from the affected area until it's no longer frozen (this may take hours).
If this doesn't work and you have no other choice but to call for professional help—and believe us when we say this is not something you want happening again.
Leaking Water Heater Tank
The water heater tank is the most common cause of water damage in your home. Water heater tanks can leak for a variety of reasons, such as a faulty pressure relief valve or even corrosion. If you suspect that your water heater tank could be leaking, check it out immediately and take care of any issues that arise before they worsen.
Leaking water heaters are dangerous and can cause mold growth around your home. In some cases, leaking tanks may even cause structural damage to walls or floorboards if the leak is not addressed right away.
Roof leakage is another source of water damage, and can be caused by a variety of reasons:
- a roof leak due to faulty roofing material, such as shingles or tiles
- an undetected leaky roof joint or flashing
- damage from the natural elements, such as storms and high winds, which may cause leaks in an otherwise undamaged roofing system
Call the Professionals
In the case of water damage, it is critical to address the problem immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage will occur and the more expensive it will be to fix. Water damage restoration companies have different water extraction methods and equipment that allow them to remove water from your home or business in a timely manner. These companies specialize in wet carpet cleaning, mold remediation, and other services related to water removal and repair. In addition, they can help identify any underlying problems with your plumbing system so that they do not happen again in the future.
Water damage can be very stressful and overwhelming. Making sure that you are hiring SERVPRO of Lake Conroe to handle the situation is critical. We will have your Conroe, TX home back to normal as soon as possible.
Why You Should Frequently Clean Your Dryer Vent To Prevent a Fire
Clean your dryer's lint filter after every load of laundry.
Why Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent Frequently To Avoid a Fire?
Every household should take preventative measures to avoid a home fire. But one leading cause that often goes overlooked is an unclean dryer vent. Material buildup and high heat from the dryer can result in a lint fire. Here's what you should do to prevent one from happening in your Splendora, TX, home.
Routinely Clean Dryer To Prevent a Lint Fire
The lint from your clothes will collect during the drying process and without proper removal, there is a risk of a dryer fire starting. Be mindful of this every time you put a load of laundry into the dryer and get into the habit of regular cleaning. This includes:
- Cleaning the dryer's lint filter after every load of laundry
- Reaching into the back of the dryer where lint can also collect
- Remove lint from the vent pipe roughly every three months
This routine cleaning can be done yourself or you can also enlist a professional, particularly if you notice your clothes are taking longer to dry.
Check Dryer Maintenance
Proper maintenance checks will keep your dryer running safely and effectively. Inspect areas around the dryer for potential fire hazards, including a damaged vent system, animal nests blocking a vent and any flammable items placed nearby.
Understand Dryer Safety Practices
A lint fire can cause severe damage to your Splendora, TX, home and often require the help of a fire damage restoration company afterward. Practice safe measures to limit your risk of a drying machine fire. These include not drying items containing plastic, rubber, foam or anything that has come in contact with a flammable liquid, not using your dryer without a lint filter and not leaving the house with the dryer running.
Be sure to perform regular cleaning and maintenance checks on your dryer along with using safe practices to prevent a fire in your home.
Fire Prevention Tips
Keep the fire extinguisher handy
Fire Prevention Methods
Fires are often a major cause of business interruptions and building damage. While no business can be 100 percent fireproof, there are several steps you can take to prevent fires and minimize the effects should one occur. The following tips cover fire prevention methods that small businesses can adopt to make their workplaces safer.
Keep the Flammable Items Away
The best way to prevent fires is to keep flammable items away from heat sources. If a fire starts in your home, the following tips can help you extinguish it quickly:
- Never use candles in the home. A candle's waxy container can catch fire and spread the blaze. Instead of using candles, use battery-operated or electrically powered lights instead.
- Don't smoke in bed or leave cigarettes unattended while they burn out on their own. Cigarettes may start fires if they're left unattended and burn down too far before being noticed by someone nearby who can put them out quickly before they have time to spread any further than just one cigarette butt at a time! The same goes for other forms of tobacco products including cigars/cigarillos (little cigars) too... so no smoking indoors folks!
- Keep matches out of children's reach; store lighter fluid in locked cabinets, far away from appliances that could cause ignition; make sure all appliance cords are properly secured; secure electrical cords under rugs so they don't pose tripping hazards
Check Electronic Cords Regularly
Check the cords on your electronics regularly to watch out for signs of damage or fraying. Replace any damaged cords immediately. Do not use extension cords with your electronic devices, and never overload outlets with multiple devices plugged in at once.
Keep the Fire Extinguisher Handy
Check the expiration date. If your fire extinguisher is past its expiration date, replace it immediately. Check the pressure gauge. Before you use a fire extinguisher to put out a blaze, check that it still has enough pressure to do so by turning the valve on top of the nozzle and listening for escaping air (or feel for escaping air if your extinguisher does not have an audible leak). If no air comes out, do not use this extinguisher; buy a new one or borrow another from someone else. Test spray pattern and range by aiming at an area where nothing flammable can catch on fire (such as some dirt) from about 12 feet away. Do this test every six months to ensure that your extinguisher still works properly.
Consider a Sprinkler System
A well-maintained sprinkler system can help you contain a fire before it becomes a disaster. Sprinkler systems should be checked regularly, both for proper operation and to ensure that there is no damage that could lead to system failure.
Inform and Educate All Employees
Make sure that all your employees know how to prevent fires, how to use fire extinguishers, and how to evacuate in case of an emergency. Fire extinguishers are not a substitute for fire alarms; they should be used only in the event of an emergency. Ensure that all fire extinguishers are inspected annually by a certified technician and stored in a secure location where they cannot be tampered with or damaged. If a person encounters smoke while working on an electrical panel or other similar situation where there is no immediate danger from flames or sparks, do not try to put out the fire yourself! Call 911 immediately so professionals can respond quickly and safely assess the situation before risking injury.
Fire is a dangerous threat, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips and taking all the precautions you can, you can help keep your business safe from fire damage.
If your business does succumb to fire, give SERVPRO of Lake Conroe a call! We will help get your Houston business back up and running quickly.
5 Steps To Check Your Sprinklers To Avoid Flooding
Maintain your irrigation system.
As the weather warms in Montgomery, TX, it’s essential to check your sprinkler system before watering your lawn. Regular irrigation maintenance keeps your utility costs down and prevents water damage.
How To Check Your Sprinkler System
Checking your sprinklers before turning them on prevents problems like broken sprinkler heads and pipes. Follow the steps below to inspect your system.
1. Wait until it’s warm.
Do not turn your sprinklers on until after the last frost date to prevent freezing pipes.
2. Turn on water valves.
Your water valves are probably winterized and turned at a 45-degree angle. Turn the two valves connected to your building back to their original position.
3. Remove the sprinkler heads.
Take off all sprinkler heads and check for damage. Replace if necessary.
4. Turn on the water main.
Locate your system’s water main and very slowly turn it on. The slow release of water keeps built-up pressure from bursting pipes.
5. Check for leaks and proper irrigation.
As water runs through the sprinklers, check for possible leaks and ensure the system adequately waters your lawn. If no problems are present put back the sprinkler heads.
Why Irrigation Maintenance Matters
Check your sprinkler system annually to avoid over or underwatering your lawn. Adjust for the seasons and how wet or dry your grass is. Oversaturating the ground can lead to sprinkler flooding and potential water damage. Check your pipes after the ground thaws to avoid needing restoration services.
Regular maintenance saves you time and money. By checking your sprinklers often, you may find minor issues that you can resolve before they become more expensive problems later on. An efficient system cuts down your water bill, as you only use the water you need. You can also replace parts of your sprinklers with newer, more economical technology.
Irrigation maintenance ensures your sprinkler system runs smoothly and efficiently all season long. Save yourself time and money and prevent flooding by checking your sprinklers before turning them on.
Equipment You Can Use To Remove Smoke Odor in Your Home
Ozone machines are often used in the process of smoke cleaning.
Remove Smoke Odor in Your Home
Removing smoke in your home in Splendora, TX, after it has been damaged by a fire can be a difficult, time-consuming process, and even after scrubbing and cleaning, the smell of smoke may still be present. However, with the right equipment, smoke cleaning can be simple and effective.
1. Air Filtration Devices
There are a wide variety of air filtration devices that are often used after a home has been impacted by a fire. Air filtration devices help to make the air in the home safe to breathe and can also lessen the smell of smoke simultaneously. Many of these devices use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in their machines because HEPA filters are able to capture small particles out of the air.
2. Ozone Machines
Ozone machines are often used in the process of smoke cleaning because the machines are incredibly effective. First, the ozone machine is placed in the area that has been affected by smoke. Large homes may require the use of more than one ozone machine. These machines change the makeup of smoke particles through oxidation. As a result, the smell of smoke can be eliminated.
3. Thermal Foggers
Thermal foggers are specialized pieces of equipment that can help to assist in removing smoke odor throughout the home. Fogging involves, as the name suggests, a fog being released into the area that has smoke damage. The fog particles can reach into small places, such as in minuscule cracks, in the same manner that smoke particles can reach into such places. The fog is then able to neutralize the odor of smoke.
Using equipment such as air filtration devices, ozone machines and thermal foggers can make the process of smoke cleaning less labor-intensive. Some homeowners whose houses have been damaged by fires find it useful to get in touch with fire and smoke damage restoration experts when they are unsure about neutralizing odors.
3 Problems Caused By Leaking Water
Leaking water sources must be fixed before mold remediation starts. If not, the mold will return.
Issues You Might End Up If You Have a Leak In Your Building
A water leak might not seem like a big deal, but it can cause quite a few problems for your Montgomery, TX, business if it isn’t taken care of right away. Here are a few issues that you might end up dealing with if you have a leak in your building.
1. Higher Water Costs
If there is a pipe break in your building, it can cost you a lot of money over time. The worse the leak, the higher your bill. Sometimes, you can have a leak for a long time before you notice it, so it is a good idea to perform regular maintenance to prevent this from happening. If you believe that your water bill is higher than it should be, this might be the cause.
2. Structural Damage
Not only can the leak itself cost you money, but it can cause water damage that will be costly to repair. If it is not fixed quickly, the leaking water can weaken the structure of your building by causing the walls and floors to begin warping or rotting, depending on the materials used. Eventually, they will need to be replaced, which can cost your business both time and money.
Another common problem that can be caused by a water leak is mold growth. While this will not usually affect the structure of the building, it can still cause damage. This fungus spreads quickly in moist environments, so if you have a persistent leak, you may find mold growing inside of your walls. It can cause discoloration as well as a strong, musty odor if not removed.
Despite the problems it can cause, if you do find a water leak in your building, there is no need to panic. A water damage repair company can help you by stopping the leak and repairing any damage it has already caused. Regular inspections of your building can help prevent any long-term problems caused by water.
4 Flood Safety Tips
Prepare your basement.
Flood Safety Tips
A flood is a common, yet destructive, natural disaster. When there is too much water for the ground to handle, it can rapidly accumulate, causing extensive property loss in a matter of hours. According to recent estimates, floods cost the United States almost $8 billion in damages every year.
Severe weather events are increasing in frequency worldwide, mostly due to climate change. Although the risk of flooding can’t be completely eliminated in Willis, TX, you can help keep your home and family safe by following these flood safety guidelines.
1. Rethink Your Home’s Wiring
Many electrical outlets are installed near the floor. This location isn’t ideal, especially if you own a house in a flood-prone area. To plan ahead for a water disaster, consider hiring an electrician to move your outlets above potential flood levels.
2. Reconsider Where Items Are Stored
You shouldn’t store treasured items in the basement. Even basements that are typically dry could flood if enough water accumulates. Instead, move valuable belongings to higher floors.
Flood safety experts recommend that when “soft” items like mattresses, upholstered furniture and stuffed animals get wet, they should be replaced. Keep this in mind when determining your storage arrangements.
3. Prepare Your Basement
Since flooding usually begins in the basement, give yours a fighting chance by waterproofing and installing a battery-operated sump pump. Despite your best efforts, if your basement were to flood, a water restoration specialist can help get your home back in order.
4. Teach Children About Flood Safety
Natural disasters are alarming, but being prepared can help. First and foremost, families should have a clear evacuation plan that is regularly reviewed with the kids in the household. It’s also important to have an emergency kit handy with things like flashlights, food, batteries and clean drinking water.
Floods can cause extensive damage and emotional stress. By following these flood safety tips, you can minimize the threat to your family and property.
What Is Category 1 Water Damage?
So you've got a burst pipe in your building in Willis, TX, and the water damage restoration experts have informed you that you have Category 1 Water Damage. It sounds awful, but what exactly does it mean?
Category 1 - Clean Water
If you're experiencing a flood, this is the least dangerous type. The water is from a clean source, such as a sink overflow, a broken pipe, or a leaky supply line.
The flood is still damaging, but the water is not contaminated. As with all floods, you'll want to arrest the spread of the water immediately to minimize the damage.
Stop the source
Pump or siphon the flood water
Dry materials and contents thoroughly
Since the water source is clean, you have fewer concerns than you would with the other categories of floodwater.
Category 2 - Gray Water
A Category 2 Flood is from a water source that contains contaminants from household use, such as detergents or biological waste. It's not clean water, but it doesn't contain sewage either. The source of gray water is usually a tub, sink, dishwasher, or washing machine that has backed up or overflowed.
Clean-up requires removing any residual chemicals or organic matter left behind after draining and drying is complete.
Category 3 - Black Water
The most serious flood occurs with black water; this is called Category 3 flood damage. The source of this floodwater is sewer backup or toilet overflow. Sewage contains toxic contaminants that need to be eradicated.
If you have a Category 3 flood, you will likely need professional help to clean the building successfully. Unlike clean water, black water can lead to black mold if not properly treated.
All flooding is damaging and needs to be handled quickly, but Category 1 is the least complicated to clean up. If the flood contains gray water or black water, you may need professional help to remove the contaminants and ensure that your building is properly sanitized and safe for use.
Purchasing the Correct Fire Extinguisher for Your Home
Purchase the correct fire extinguisher
Types of Fire Extinguishers
When choosing the right fire extinguisher for different areas of your home/garage, consider the class. Consider the size and power of the fire extinguisher as well. Larger extinguishers may have more power, but if you physically cannot lift nor control the extinguisher, it won't do much good.
There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.
Class A fire extinguishers
Class A fire extinguishers are used for ordinary combustibles, such as paper, wood, cloth, and some types of plastic. These extinguishers typically use water or certain types of dry chemicals to either absorb heat or coat the fire.
Class B fire extinguishers
Fires that originate from flammable liquids and gas can be extinguished by a class B fire extinguisher. This is the type of extinguisher you’ll want to use on a fire caused by oil or fuel.
Class C fire extinguishers
Class C fire extinguishers are effective against electrical fires from live wires, panels, and circuit breakers. The extinguisher works by releasing materials that stop the conduction of electricity.
Class D fire extinguishers
Class D fire extinguishers are used on combustible metals. These include magnesium, sodium, aluminum, and titanium.
Class K fire extinguishers
Commonly used in restaurant kitchens, class K fire extinguishers can effectively put out fires caused by cooking fats, greases, and oils. They use a process called saponification by releasing an alkaline agent to create a foam that traps vapors and puts the fire out.
Purchasing your fire extinguisher
Now that you know how many extinguishers you need and what types to get, you can head to the hardware store. Look for fire extinguishers that you can easily lift and handle.