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Things to do when in a house fire

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Things to do when in a house fire

*Leave valuables behind: When in a fire, never delay to find the best possible escape route from a burning house to find valuables. You could always notify the fire safety officers when they arrive of such valuables describing their last known location.

*Stop, Drop and Roll: If your clothes catches fire, do not run, simply drop to the floor and roll over your back to extinguish the fire. Always crawl and remain close to the ground to keep you away from the high temperature, and thick smoke from the fire. Stay low, until you escape the burning house.

*Cover your nose: Cover your nostril with a shirt or a damp towel during a house fire; this will prevent smoke from entering your lungs. Also cover the faces of children as much as possible, especially when helping out to get them to safety.

Lastly do not run into a room filled with smoke or flames, doing that means running into massive danger.

https://www.lifehack.org/487224/9-things-to-do-when-in-a-house-fire

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Does your home insurance cover weather and water damage?

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Does your home insurance cover weather and water damage?

Winter storms, spring thaws, cold snaps, and other weather variations can severely damage your home. Luckily, this damage is often covered by your home insurance.

Consider that in 2018, winter storms caused an estimated $2 billion in insured losses according to Impact Forecasting, a company that analyzes catastrophe risks. As weather patterns change, bringing harsh conditions with them, claims for weather-related damage are likely to increase.

Insurance for Weather Damage

When wild weather hits your home, you may be able to make a claim. Your ability to do so depends on the type of policy you have and the perils it covers or excludes. But in the case of covered damage, compensation from your insurance company will help you cover your losses, so you can repair your home and move on.

https://www.thebalance.com/weather-water-damage-home-insurance-coverage-3862186

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your mitigation and restoration needs.

After a storm

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Take Photos of the Damage

While you wait for the insurance company, take some photos or even video so you have a record of what happened. And if you do need to take immediate action to prevent further damage, keep all receipts and record any money you spend. These supporting documents can be very important when the insurance company reviews your claim.

Keep Up-To-Date on Your Coverage

As weather patterns change, so does the risk to your home. You could find yourself subject to extensive damage due to stronger storms or fluctuating temperatures. Find out what coverage is available, and if you anticipate needing more than your current policy provides, call your insurance agent and make the necessary changes.

With a few policy adjustments and a good plan for winter home maintenance, you should be able to keep your home safe from storm damage or repair it quickly when it occurs.

https://www.thebalance.com/weather-water-damage-home-insurance-coverage-3862186

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your mitigation and restoration needs.

Smoke Alarms

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.

Smoke Alarm Safety for People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs

During a fire

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

During a Fire

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Prevent Home Fires

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Prevent Home Fires

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Hurricanes and your business

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes often cause billions of dollars' worth of damage. Even if your business has insurance, it likely will not cover all of the damages that you incur. Further, it could be a long and drawn out process to receive payment for your claims at a time when you can ill afford to wait for funding.

One major issue related to extreme weather events and insurance coverage (highlighted by Super Storm Sandy) was the distinction between whether damage was caused by wind or by storm surge. Wind damage is generally covered in the policy, whereas storm surge or flood damage requires a rider to a policy-holder's coverage; or even a separate flood insurance policy.

In planning for the future, if you lost revenue because you did not invest in a generator, don't make the same mistake twice. Purchase one so that you have it before the next storm hits. Further, if you company has been performing well, apply for a business line of credit, which differs from a business loan because it is a lump sum of cash that is available in times of need. A line of credit can provide a financial lifeline in times of emergency or even during periods of seasonal cash flow tightening. The best part about it is that once a line of credit has been established, you can begin drawing against it immediately – even if you’ve also applied and are waiting for an approval for an SBA Disaster Loan.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rohitarora/2018/09/10/seven-tips-to-help-your-small-business-recover-from-hurricane-damage/#68c1b5a1e49e

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Stock a basic emergency kit

A true emergency can leave you without basic services, including electricity, water, gas or sewage, for a few hours or a few days. Stock your family’s emergency kit with enough food, water and supplies to carry all of you through at least three days—and restock your kit once the emergency has passed. Be sure to include:

  • Water: One gallon per person per day to cover drinking and sanitation
  • Food: At least a three-day supply of food per person
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Hand-crank flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Local maps

Create a family emergency plan

Staying connected is of the utmost importance during an emergency. Designate an out-of-town family member or friend to be your check-in person in case local phone lines are down. Make sure every member of your family knows that contact’s number and has a way to reach him or her—ideally a cell phone and charger or a prepaid calling card.

Choose a local place where your family members should meet if they are separated when an emergency strikes and your home is unsafe. This might be a landmark or even a parent’s workplace.

Know your policy

It’s critical to read and understand your insurance policy. Then, examine your property to ensure there are no physical or liability hazards.

https://blog.nationwide.com/news/storm-preparation-tips-for-home/

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Prepare for storms

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

You can't stop April showers, but you can prepare your home and surroundings for thunderstorms, severe winds and more.

Spring is known for its rapidly changing weather — and that can mean severe storms. Help get your home and family ready with these tips.

Let it flow. Remove winter's debris from your gutters, drains, and downspouts so that heavy rains can flow freely off your roof. Be sure that downspouts are secure and that water is draining well away from your home and not toward your foundation — add extensions if necessary.

Trim the trees. Prune lanky limbs and branches so they don't snap off in a windstorm and land on your home or a power line.

Check the pump. If your home has a sump pump, test it to make sure it's clean and operable and that the outflow is draining properly. Consider adding a battery-powered backup sump pump to keep the system working if the power goes out. Furthermore, an automatic standby generator can ensure your sump pump and other electrical systems continue to run during power outages.

https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/residence/prepare-your-home-for-spring-storms

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

if you know you live in a Hurricane zone

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

If you know that you live in a hurricane prone area, you should make a hurricane evacuation plan ASAP as a precaution. Hurricanes are very unpredictable and you don’t want to be scrambling last minute to put together an evacuation plan if a hurricane is heading your way. Kathy Phillips, a Senior Underwriter at USAA, recommends creating a family evacuation plan that includes figuring out more than one escape route to your destination and calling ahead to shelters to make sure they can take your entire family, including pets. Part of your evacuation plan should also include telling family and friends where you’re heading, ensuring the cars are full of gas, and having extra cash on hand. You should have an emergency kit or two no matter where you live, but they are an absolute must if you live in an area frequented by hurricanes. “Don’t wait until the hurricane is at your door to figure out what you do,” Phillips says. You can either purchase a pre-made emergency kit (Phillips recommends the American Red Cross kits), but if you can also make your own. According to Phillips, your kit should include enough water for three days (one gallon per person per day), three days’ worth of non-perishable food items, necessary medications, important documents and paperwork, a regular first aid kit, flashlight, and either a weather radio or regular radio (make sure you have batteries for it, too!).

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/how-to-prepare-house-for-hurricane/

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.