Dryer Vents and Home Fires
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 fires start each year by the clothes dryer. When lint and debris build up in the dryer vent, a common fire hazard is created.
Signs That the Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning
According to ABC news, there are many signs that it is time to clean the dryer vent. Several of these signs include:
- Clothing does not dry completely after normal drying cycle.
- A musty odor is present in the clothing following the drying cycle.
- Clothing seems unusually hot to the touch after a complete drying cycle.
- Debris is present within the outside dryer vent opening.
- Large amounts of lint accumulate in the lint trap of the dryer.
Reduce the risk of a dryer vent fire by watching for these signs and regularly maintaining the dryer vent. Not only will the risk for a dryer vent fire be reduced, clothes will dry faster and smell better!
Is Your Business Prepared if Emergency Strikes?
Many business owners are caught off guard when disaster strikes. Thinking that it would never happen to them or never even considering the possibility of a disaster, they fail to have a plan in place for their business. Unfortunately, many times, once disaster strikes, it’s too late. Many businesses are forced to close permanently after disaster because they were not prepared.
According to foxbusiness.com, there are 7 steps you can take if you are a small business owner to help protect your business from disaster.
- Risk Assessment: Determine what types of emergencies are most likely to affect your company and then evaluate your level of preparedness. Check in with your insurance company, make sure employees are trained for emergencies, have data backed up and stored at a safe location.
- Review Your Insurance Coverage: Talk with your insurance agent to make sure your business is covered if hit by disaster. After determining what types of emergencies your business is most prone to, make sure your policy covers those particular types of situations. Ask about business interruption insurance which helps business owners continue to pay on-going bills while operations are shut down during disaster recovery.
- Create a Contingency Plan: Review your business operations and determine which are most important for the survival of your business. Form a process to manage these functions in the event of a disaster. Determine an alternate business location where business operations can continue during the recovery process.
- Create a Communications Plan: Disasters create chaos and having a communications plan in place in advance will help minimize panic.
- Back Up Your Data: Making sure all your data is backed up and stored in a safe place is critical. Cloud-based data solutions are best as they stay safe during disasters and can be accessed from any location.
- Build An Emergency Kit: Have an emergency kit available on site including items like water, flashlights, fire extinguishers, etc.
- Review and Rehearse You Plan: Once your plan is in place, make sure your employees know the plan and have practiced implementing it.
While disasters can be devastating to a business, preparation can definitely help in the recovery process. By taking action before disaster strikes and getting a plan in place, business owners can help protect their business in times of emergencies.
HAPPY JULY 4TH!! The Ways Weather Affects Fireworks
Fireworks displays are affected by many different weather factors. Wind, drought, lightning and rain can all have an impact on July 4th celebrations.
Wind can really affect the quality of the display as well as pose a safety risk if not monitored closely. Calm wind doesn’t allow for the smoke to dissipate which means that the fireworks won’t be as vivid as spectators try to see them through the smoke. Strong wind affects the direction of the fallout, potentially blowing hot embers and smoke into the spectators.
A location experiencing a drought is not ideal for a fireworks show. This could be very dangerous as there is potential for fire damage when the fallout lands on dry grounds and possibly sparks a fire.
Lightning can also be one of the most dangerous weather conditions that affects a fireworks show. It is possible that lightning can strike the unlit fireworks and ignite them on the ground, which is very dangerous for anyone sitting nearby. It’s important to remember to always take shelter indoors if lightning is in the area!
And finally, while most would expect otherwise, rain is not really an issue for fireworks displays. As long as the pre-lit fireworks are protected from the rain so that the fuses are kept dry and will light, the fireworks will still burst through the raindrops and be seen without problems.
So this July 4th, be sure to take the weather into consideration as you head to your local fireworks display!
We at SERVPRO of Cincinnati East wish you a happy and safe Independence Day!
How To Clean Surface Mold Found in Your Home
Mold is a problem that many homeowners face and it is aggravating! Almost every home gets some form of mold at one time or another. Outside, mold turns up as dark spots on siding and it darkens wooden decks. On the inside, it blackens the grout lines in showers and discolors drywall.
Minor surface mold infestations, like those found on the grout lines in tiled showers, can be easily removed with regular household cleaning products. According to familyhandyman.com, with a mixture of ½ cup bleach, 1 quart water and a little detergent, these surface molds can be easily scrubbed away. The bleach in the mixture kills the mold and the detergent helps lift it off the surface so it can be rinsed away and won’t return as fast. As an alternative to the mixture, mildew cleaners can be purchased at local stores. If the mold doesn’t disappear after light scrubbing, reapply the cleaner, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then lightly scrub again. As a preventative measure, it is a good idea to seal the clean surfaces with a grout sealer when they are dry.
Even for simple cleaning, it is always important to protect yourself from contact with mold and bleach by wearing long sleeves, long pants, gloves and goggles.
While minor surface mold can most of the time be taken care of by homeowners, larger mold infestations can be much harder to handle. SERVPRO of Cincinnati East has the specialized mold remediation equipment and the highly trained mold remediation technicians necessary to handle any size mold infestation. Call us for any mold remediation services!
Clogged Gutters - A Leading Cause of Water Damage!
Gutters play a key role in preventing water damage to your home. That is why it is essential that you keep your gutters clean and free of debris. Their purpose is to channel rainwater to the downspouts and away from the home, protecting roofs, walls, and foundations of homes. To keep gutters working properly, it is important to make sure that gutters are cleaned regularly so that water can flow freely to the downspouts and away from your home.
So how often should you clean your gutters? It is recommended that you clean your gutters AT LEAST twice a year!
Clogged gutters can cause many issues for a homeowner. If water finds its way into the walls and ceilings of the home, it will cause interior damage. In winter months, pooling water around the foundation of the home can cause foundation cracks if it freezes and expands. The paint and siding of a home can also be damaged as water overflows from the gutters.
Failing to clean gutters regularly can be a very costly mistake! It is one of the most important tasks of a homeowner and, if done on a regular basis, can prevent many homeowner headaches!
Factors that Affect Odor After a Fire
One of the most important concerns for complete restoration after a fire is controlling or eliminating the odors. When attempting to eradicate the odors after a fire, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration during the restoration process. These factors all impact the strength of the odor that is left behind.
Factors that Affect Fire Odor
- Size – Larger fires burn more objects and bring more smoke. With more smoke, there is stronger smell.
- Length – The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply the odor has seeped into porous materials.
- Space – The smaller the room where the fire occurs, the more intense and concentrated the smoke odor becomes.
- Items – Not all items smell the same when burning. For example, wood and plastic have very different smells and consistency. This needs to be considered during the restoration process.
Where the fire damage occurred and what items burned are the two main concerns in the fire restoration process. The technicians at SERVPRO of Cincinnati East are fire restoration specialists and have the training, expertise, and equipment to restore your property back to pre-fire condition.
Include Your Pet In Your Tornado Safety Plan!
As we enter the summer season, severe storms become more frequent and tornadoes become a possibility. In the event of a tornado, most people consider the safety of their family, but many may forget to consider the safety of their pets. The Humane Society of the United States offers several tips to help keep pets safe during severe storms.
Tornado Safety Tips:
- Bring your pets inside – Any time a severe storm is in your area, bring your pets indoors. If it is not safe for you to be outside, then it is not safe for your four-legged friend!
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification or is microchipped – If you were to be separated from your pet during a storm, an identification tag or microchip will increase your chances of being reunited.
- Practice getting your pets into your safe place – When you practice your tornado safety plan with your family, be sure to include your pets as part of the practice plan!
- If you are forced to evacuate, take your pets with you – Even if you think you will only need to be gone for a short period of time, take your pets and some emergency pet supplies with you. Depending on the situation, you may be unable to come back for your pets at a later time.
These are just a few tips to take into consideration to help keep your pets safe during the stormy season. More information about tornadoes and pet safety can be found at the Humane Society website, http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/tips/keeping_pets_safe_during_a_tornado.html.
Happy Memorial Day from SERVPRO of Cincinnati East...Is Your Grill Ready?
Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. SERVPRO of Cincinnati East would like to first take this opportunity to remember and pay tribute to those that so unselfishly gave their lives to provide us with the freedom we enjoy.
Unofficially, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season. And with the summer season, comes family picnics and outdoor grilling. When raising the lid to your grill this season, you may be surprised at what you find hiding inside…MOLD!
Mold thrives in a moist environment with poor air circulation. And a covered grill is just that! If you find mold growing in your grill this spring, grillbilliesbarbecue.com offers several tips to remove the mold and prepare your grill for the grilling season.
How to Remove and Clean Mold from Your Grill:
- Throw away any charcoal and other materials leftover in the grill.
- Fire the grill up as hot as possible to burn off all grease and mold. (If you attempt to scrape it off or power wash it first you may inhale mold spores.)
- Let the grill cool and then scrape and scrub every surface with a brush or a pressure washer. Don’t forget to include the drip pan and grates.
- Wash everything down with soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
- Fire the grill up once again to burn off any mold, grease, and soap residue.
*NOTE: If you have a ceramic grill, DO NOT use degreaser or a pressure washer to clean. For ceramic, only use a plastic scraper and start a hot fire.
So as we enter the summer grilling season, be sure to inspect your grill for mold and take the necessary steps to clean it! Happy Memorial Day and Happy Grilling!
Tips to Be Better Prepared for a Tornado
Now that spring has arrived and we are heading into summer, we are seeing beautiful flowering trees, warmer temperatures and budding tulips. But with the wonderful change of seasons, also comes the threat of tornadoes.
Tornadoes often appear with little warning and bring strong, disastrous winds that often cause serious damage. While tornadoes are difficult to predict, we can prepare for them by thinking ahead and coming up with a tornado safety plan ahead of time.
Dr. Greg Forbes, a severe weather expert at The Weather Channel, suggests following these tips in order to be ready if a tornado strikes:
- Figure out a safe place to ride out the storm – If caught out in a storm, get home as quickly as possible, and if that’s not possible, get to a sturdy building.
- Get away from windows and get underground – Stay as far away from windows as possible and make every effort to get underground. A basement or a storm shelter is an ideal location to ride out the storm.
- If a tornado appears while you’re on the road… Make every attempt to find a safe building for shelter. If you can’t find one, NEVER hide under an overpass. It is safer to find a ditch, get down and cover your head. Get as far away from your vehicle as possible.
- Put on your shoes and a helmet – If you are home when the storm hits, prepare for the worst. Put on shoes just in case your home is damaged and you may be forced to walk through debris. If you own a bike helmet, it could save you from life-threatening head trauma.
- Keep your pets on a leash or in a carrier, and bring them with you – Your pets are part of your family so make sure to bring them with you to your safe place. Make sure their collar is on for identification and keep them leashed if they are not in a crate.
- Don’t leave your home and try to drive away from a tornado – Tornadoes can shirt their path, and if you think you are directly in line of the storm, being in your home is safer than being in your car.
Tornadoes are unpredictable and can devastate a neighborhood in seconds. Being prepared and knowing what to do if caught in a tornado increases the chances of safety and survival during the storm.
Is Your Business Ready if Disaster Strikes in Milford, Ohio?
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East responds quickly, 24 hours a day/7 days a week if your Milford, Ohio business is suddenly hit by an emergency or disaster. We have the resources and expertise to handle any size disaster. From a small business building to a large high rise building, we can handle the situation.
According to research, nearly 50% of businesses permanently close following a large disaster. Of the businesses that do survive, the majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. We are always ready to respond when disaster strikes your business, did you know that we can also help you set up a preparedness plan for your company before disaster strikes?
SERVPRO of Cincinnati East can help you pre-plan by developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business. With this plan in place, the interruption of your business operations is minimized because you will have an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do in advance of an emergency is key to timely mitigation and can minimize the damage to your company.
Visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/readyprogram to find out more about the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program! Be “ready for whatever happens.”