October Is National Fire Prevention Month
Fire Prevention Month (and week) raises awareness about fire safety and home safety to help ensure your home and family are prepared in the case of an emergency. This is a perfect time to discuss fire safety with your family. Every family's safety plans will differ from the next - that is why it is important to sit down with your whole family and plan your home's fire safety plans.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)'s 2018 campaign for Fire Prevention Week is "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. A fire can be anywhere."
According to the NFPA*, in 2016 there were 352,000 home fires, and 3 out of 5 fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms.
Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan.
Carbon monoxide is the #1 cause of accidental death.
These facts and statistics are reasons why your home needs to be equipped with the proper amount of fire safety equipment and alarms. Fire Prevention Month is a great time to kick start your families commitment to fire safety!
Why is fire prevention week in October?
National Fire Prevention Week is observed in the United States and Canada, during the week (from Sunday to Saturday) in which October 9 falls.
The Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire. On the 40th anniversary (1911) of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA), the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day, deciding to observe the anniversary as a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. In May 1919, when the NFPA held its 23rd annual meeting in Ottawa at the invitation of the Dominion Fire Prevention Association (DFPA), the NFPA and DFPA both passed resolutions urging governments in the United States and Canada to support the campaign for a common Fire Prevention Day. This was expanded to Fire Prevention Week in 1922. The non-profit NFPA, which has officially sponsored Fire Prevention Week since its inception, selects the annual theme for Fire Prevention Week.
In the United States, the first national Fire Prevention Day proclamation was issued by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920. When President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on October 4–10, 1925, he noted that in the previous year some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the United States. Calling the loss "startling", Coolidge's proclamation stated: "This waste results from the conditions which justify a sense of shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be prevented... It is highly desirable that every effort be made to reform the conditions which have made possible so vast a destruction of the national wealth".
Remediating Commercial Flood Damage
Flooding in business is usually the result of damaged plumbing or a sprinkler system going off. This situation is bad enough in a private home but spread the damage across several floors, and 100 rooms and the restoration costs start to sky rocket!
Eliminating the effects of commercial flood damage in a West Chester hotel can take several days or weeks, depending on the amount of water on the floor and what is in it. With more than 20 years experience in the restoration business, SERVPRO knows that replacing carpets is one of the most common, and expensive, costs.
In most cases, the room and hallway carpets get soaked, but the water levels are not more than an inch. Our technicians can move in with water extraction wands to draw out the bulk of the water and remove it from the building within a day or two for each floor of the hotel.
With removal accomplished, we begin the process of drying the carpet. This procedure is needed to prevent the fibers from rotting, mold forming, and to stop delamination, which is the process where carpet fibers separate from the carpet backing. We use a combination of air movers and exhaust fans to direct warm, dry air across the carpet surface and force the damp air out of the rooms, down the hallways and into the stairwells where we can vent it outside. Our technicians prop open the fire exits to assist venting the air if weather permits.
At SERVPRO of West Chester, we understand that each day lost to water damage means a loss of thousands of dollars. To help keep your doors open and your guests happy, we keep a response team on 24-hour notice and arm them with the latest restoration equipment.
Business Owners: What You Should Know about Commercial Fire Damage
Investing in and growing your own business is the dream of many Americans. Along with the financial resources used to start a company, hard work and time are also used to make a business grow. A fire can cause all three of these types of investments to disappear quickly. Eliminating the soot left behind by a fire can help reduce the damages your business suffers, but only if it is done in time.
When commercial fire damage happens to your business many things begin to occur that are out of your control. Business operations are put on hold; employees can't come to work as scheduled, and customers and clients are inconvenienced, to say the least.
Hidden dangers related to the fire and the damage it caused remain behind. Soot can cause health problems, and the water from the firefighters' hoses can remain, causing perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Structural aspects of your building may have been weakened, and it is now unsafe. Equipment vital to your day-to-day operations may have been damaged.
Fire damage in a commercial setting cannot be handled adequately by a janitorial crew. This type of damage requires skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable people with training and certification. Our technicians work together as teams to make the best use of their training and certifications. No site is too large for our teams to handle professionally and efficiently. We assess the damage and explain which areas can be safely entered, and can help you obtain necessary items from your business site before clean-up even begins.
SERVPRO Understands the Mold Life Cycle and Can Remediate Problems
Mold spores are everywhere. The only exceptions are hospital surgical rooms and maybe so-called ‘clean rooms’ needed for assembling some types of electronics. As inert spores, they are no more dangerous to homes or people than common house dust.
For homes in the West Chester area, mold damage is only a concern when three factors achieve the right levels of moisture, food, and temperature. To halt mold growth and deal with the damage, SERVPRO technicians know to interrupt one or more of these factors.
The temperature range most mold thrive in is 68 to 86 degrees. That encompasses the comfort range for nearly every home in Pennsylvania. Raising the temperature is fairly simple, all we have to do is turn off the air conditioning for about an hour. Since homeowners cannot live like that and it is too expensive to keep a home under 68 degrees, we can only alter the temperature in a commercial building like a warehouse.
Spores feed and grow on common building materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and wood. Even the insulation in walls and attics can serve as food. As the mold colony grows, spores extend growths called hyphae to dig into the materials and feed. If they penetrate deeply, the only way to remove the mold is to remove the infested drywall or other material. Since it is impossible to remove all building materials from the home to prevent mold growth, SERVPRO technicians concentrate on interrupting the moisture.
The source for most moisture in a home is a leak or drip from a poorly connected or damaged pipe. The simplest way to find the source is to trace the mold growth and follow it to its origin. We do this with visual inspections and an air content meter which measures the number of spores in the air. Once we find it, technicians tighten the connection, repair the pipe or another leak source, or simply replace the damaged section. For complicated repairs, we recommend for the homeowner to hire a plumber.
SERVPRO Quickly Establishes a Drying Plan Based on the Initial Assessment
Any time water gets inside your residence, removing the excessive moisture within 48 hours is essential. If wood or paper materials stay wet for longer, then microbial formation can take place. Water can also saturate contents and building materials inside your home ruining them.
After something like a pipe break or an appliance malfunctioning takes place and causes water to flood your house, extraction occurs to pull out any standing water and moisture inside porous materials. The next step in any water removal project is the drying process. Rapid drying of contents and structural components is essential to prevent secondary damage and mold growth.
Before drying begins, the area gets tested to determine the extent of damage the moisture has caused. Our SERVPRO technicians check the temperature, relative humidity, and moisture content of wood and drywall. Once we figure out how wet the region got, we can formulate a drying plan.
The initial drying plan includes how many air movers and dehumidifiers get set up in the affected area. The plan also indicates drying goals. The drying goals are set by determining what the conditions were before the loss took place.
The ending goal is determined by coming up with a dry standard. To establish a dry standard, humidity, temperature, and the moisture content of drywall and wooden materials in unaffected areas of the building get tested. Once the standard is designated as the drying goal, our IICRC certified team uses their knowledge and experience to determine the right pieces of drying equipment to rapidly dry out moisture until it is back to preloss conditions.
Odors from Floods May Require SERVPRO's Expertise and Equipment for Removing
Physical damage from a storm is simple to spot. The clean-up processes are labor intensive and require heavy equipment for parts of them. Trying to remove other damage such as the odors left behind from flood waters are often just as difficult.
When it comes to flooding from severe storms, time compounds the problem. If a house or apartment has suffered structural damage, then it may be several days before the owners or an SERVPRO restoration team can even enter.
Once we do enter and ensure a safe work environment, team members track down the source as best as possible. Since there are multiple, potential sources throughout the structure, the likelihood is that there are many odors as well. To combat them all, we use the multiple methods approach, which pairs different types of deodorants depending what is needed.
Masking agents are time release beads which cover unpleasant odors with a pleasant smell while other agents absorb or otherwise neutralize them.
Absorption and filtration agents use activated charcoal to absorb the sources of the odor; specifically, the humidity, moisture, and oils.
Whatever Kind of Storm, SERVPRO Can Fix the Damage
Many homeowners expect only the worst storms to do damage to their home. Even short storms can cause damage to a home when trees are victims of disease. Many diseases can create weak trees with dead limbs, and some diseases can affect the roots of the tree instead. A tree that looks healthy may not be in reality, and it can actually be a huge danger to your home or garage without you knowing until it is too late. If your home or garage, or any other outbuildings, have been damaged by tree limbs or trunks, it is good to know that we have the skills and equipment to restore your property to its preloss condition.
When damage happens during a storm or when storm-like conditions happen, repairs should be started and completed as soon as possible. This can substantially reduce the risks posed by the elements to the interior of your home. Repairs will also keep insects and other pests from getting a foothold in further deteriorating your home's exterior. Termites and other pests, some of which may have been the reason behind any diseased trees on your property, won't be able to infiltrate your home's exterior if repairs are made, and completed, in a timely manner.
The Four Classes of Water Damage
Classes of water losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. There are four water damage classifications, they are as follows:
Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.
Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, concrete).
Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.
Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permanence/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.
Causes of Water Damage
Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. Many different factors can create this excess water and thereby contribute to water damage. When you are aware of the potential causes, you can take precautionary measures to help insure against a leak or flood. You will also be able to spot a problem as soon as it arises and nip it in the bud before it has a chance to cause any additional damage. The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work the water extraction and water damage restoration company will have to fix.
Causes of water damage include:
- Bursting or leaking pipes
- Issues with the plumbing system
- Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements
- Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
- HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues
- Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems