Plan Before the Damage
A reminder that our SERVPRO of Hattiesburg team has a goal to keep your property safe and useful throughout the seasons. When you think of storm damage, your mind may automatically make the leap to flood waters and lightning strikes. However, storm damage takes many forms depending on the season. The most common wintertime culprits are: frozen pipes, wind damage, snow and ice, and frozen pipes. Standing water can be a result of either snow and ice melt or a burst pipe leaking through poor-quality weather stripping on your outside doors. In chilly weather, standing water may contain bacteria which can promote mold growth. Handling and distinguishing each of these winter storm threats should be at the top of your list, especially in the colder months. While each of these issues has its own level of severity, none of them are good for business for your commercial property. All of these issues should be handled by a professional. SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is always here to help!
Call us at (601)-544-0512.
Safety From Thunder Damage
Lightning from thunderstorms have injured hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and killed dozens. These causalities are simply preventable if you follow these basic safety tips.
1) Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Make sure you pay attention and be cautious of their safety warnings.
2) Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it is time to go indoors.
3) Lightning normally strikes the tallest object around. If there is a storm, move indoors or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around, if at all possible.
4) Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing, and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside through land lines.
5) You are close enough to get struck by lightning if you can hear thunder. Stay away from bodies of water and get out of boats .
6) Avoid standing by tall isolated objects, such as trees, if you are caught outside. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. When you are camping or hiking, keep in mind that outhouses, tents, and sheds provide no safety. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.
Tips on How to Prevent Water Loss
Here are a few things you can do in your home to lower your chances of getting water damage.
- Clean your gutters. This is very important to prevent overflow onto your ice dams and roof in the winter.
- Check your downspouts. They should point away from your house so water flows away and not towards your foundation.
- If your water bill is out of the ordinary, there might be a leak that needs to be taken care of.
- Do attic, shingle, and ceiling checks routinely so you can catch a small problem before it becomes an extensive problem.
- Do NOT pour grease into drain! Always pour grease out in the garbage.
- Do regular inspection of hoses or water lines on refrigerators, wash machines, and dishwashers and corrosion on hot water heaters.
- Check your sump pump annually and know whether or not if it will need to be replaced.
How to Prevent Drain Clogs in Your Home
Did you know that there are more water damage insurance claims filed than weather-related causes? Most water damage claims are filed for pipe breaks, plumbing, or appliance issues. Water damage, such as, a backed up clog or a plumbing failure, can lead to popping tiles, wet moldy building materials, and warped hardwood floors in the bathroom or the kitchen. To prevent pipe breaks, backups, and clogs, follow these simple tips to keep your water to flow smoothly.
- Use a drain guard or screen in the shower to catch hair. Avoid using oily or greasy body care products that can clog up the pipes.
- Chemical clog removal products can erode your pipes over time. It is best to use natural clog removal methods, such as, vinegar or baking soda.
- Always run cold water in a garbage disposal before adding food. The cold water will harden the food to make it easier to grind up and push out the drain pipe. Avoid tossing stringy or high fiber foods that are difficult to break down. Examples are celery sticks, potato peels, carrots, and corn on the cob.
- NEVER put/pour grease down the drain. Cooking grease can wreak havoc on your pipes. Use an old container can to dispose of the grease or repurpose the leftover grease. Another option is to line a bowl with aluminum foil, and when the grease hardens you can just ball it up and throw it away!
- Keep the toilet drains clear by avoiding flushing products like moist “flushable/non-flushable” wipes and feminine hygiene products.
With hope, these tips will help make your kitchen and bathroom maintenance easier. Following these basic tips are the first defense in preventing water damage from a broken pipe or clog. If your home or business experiences water damage, call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg immediately at 601-544-0512. Our professionals have the skills to reverse and prevent the effects of flooding and water damage.
The Different Classes of Fire
- Class A Fire Damage: Class A fire damage is the result of a fire involving flammable solids, including, paper, cloth, various plastics, rubber, and wood.
- Class B Fire Damage: Class B fire damage consists of damage as a result of flammable liquids or solids that can become liquefied. This includes gasoline and different forms of oil, petrol, paint and various waxes and plastics. However, fires caused by cooking oils and fats do not count as Class B.
- Class C Fire Damage: Class C fire damage is one involving flammable gasses, such as, butane, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane.
- Class D Fire Damage: Class D fire damage consists of fires caused by combustible metals. This may include sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Class E Fire Damage: Class E is fire damage that results from the factors in both Class A and Class B. The difference is Class E involves the introduction of electrical elements, which makes fighting the fire and the resulting damage very different from Class A and Class B.
- Class F Fire Damage: Class F is a fire that results from cooking oils and fats. This type of fire varies from Class B because these fires are significantly hotter and the damage more severe.
Call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg Immediately at 601-544-0512.
Smoking a Cigarette the Safe Way
If you are a smoker and you currently own a home in Hattiesburg, MS, you need to be aware of the dangers of a cigarette fire. One little accident can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, or maybe even worse. This kind of tragedy can be avoided by being mindful and aware. Here are a few simple steps to preventing a cigarette disaster.
1. Make Sure Smoke Alarms Are Working
It is important to have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your house, including the basement and attic. Be sure to test them every month to make sure that they are working properly.
2. Avoid Smoking When Medicated, Sleepy or Drinking
Be careful to avoid lighting up when you are tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never smoke in bed or while reclining on the couch because a cigarette could easily fall from your hand and set a mattress or other furniture ablaze.
3. Do not Smoke in the House
The most effective way of preventing an ashtray fire in your home is to limit your smoking to outdoor areas, such as, patios and backyards. When you feel the need to smoke, make a habit to go outside to smoke. Not only does this prevent the possibility of a cigarette fire, but it also has the benefit of keeping tobacco odors out of your home.
4. Keep Cigarettes and Matches Away from Children
Keep your cigarettes and any matches or lighters in a secure place that children cannot access. A curious child could easily start a fire by dropping a burning match or cigarette.
Hopefully by taking the precautions provided above, you can prevent a fire before it has a chance to happen. If you are ever the unfortunate victim of a cigarette fire, you may want to contact a professional fire cleanup company to make sure the needed repairs are done properly. SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is always here to help. Give us a call at 601-544-0512.
How to Avoid Kitchen Fires
Fires usually start in a home’s kitchen and can quickly cause devastating amounts of damage. Here are a few tips to help prevent and remove kitchen fire hazards.
- Keep oven mitts, curtains, kitchen towels, and plastic bags far from the oven and an open flame.
- Do not leave food on the stove unattended, since it only takes a second for a big fire to start.
- Because grease fires are one of the worst, you should clean the stove and grill regularly to prevent grease buildup. Keep in mind, that you should NEVER pour water on a grease fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Make sure all the burners and the oven are turned off.
- Unplug electric appliances when not in use.
- If possible wear short sleeves, since wide sleeves can catch fire without you even noticing it.
- NEVER use the oven to heat your home.
- Install a smoke detector near the kitchen, but NOT in the kitchen.
Home Safety Tips: How to Put Out a Grease Fire
Cooking is one of the most common causes of house fires in the United States. Generally, cooking fires are triggered by grease, which can be dangerous for both your home and others. In an effort to keep everyone safe, here are our tips to safely contain and extinguish grease fires in your kitchen:
- DO NOT USE WATER! Water does not have any smothering or absorbing properties. Trying to extinguish a grease fire with water can be catastrophic. This will only cause the burning oil to splash and cause the fire to get worse.
- TURN OFF the heat source! When a grease fire starts, heat fuels the flames and can make it spread and grow stronger. Turning off the heat will reduce the main source of fuel.
- Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Do not remove cover until it has cooled. This will help contain the fire and suffocate the flames.
- If possible, pour some salt or baking soda onto the fire– the substances will help smother the flame and significantly reduce its strength.
- If none of the previous steps are successful in putting out the grease fire, spray the fire with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher.
An important note - IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO EXTINGUISH A GREASE FIRE, GET OUT. Please keep in mind that your safety and the safety of others is most important. A grease fire can become very dangerous very quickly. Evacuate, and once everyone is safely out of harms way, call 911. Do not re-enter your home until the fire has been contained by firefighters.
If your home is damaged by grease fire or any other type of disaster, SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is always ready to help with the restoration process. Give us a call at 601-544-0512.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Correctly?
As a safety conscious homeowner, you have a fire extinguisher in your home. Even though you probably think that you will never need it, you should still know how to properly operate this safety device. In some cases, the proper use of an extinguisher can help ease the damage and make the fire cleanup a little easier.
The Operation Method
The first thing you need to know when it comes to putting out a fire is how to run the extinguisher. Most residential models use a simple technique known as P.A.S.S.:
• Pull the pin.
• Aim the nozzle at the bottom of the fire.
• Squeeze the handle.
• Sweep the nozzle from side to side as you continue to aim at the base.
You can repeat the last three steps until the fire is extinguished.
Consider Appropriate Use
Now that you know how to run a fire extinguisher, you need to know when to use it. If the flames are too big or the air is not safe to breathe, it is better for you to simply find an escape route and leave the house rather than trying to fight the fire. Only use an extinguisher if the fire is in its incipient (beginning to develop) stage.
Know When to Leave
There are many factors that can tell you it is time to leave. First, if your extinguisher runs out of solvent, you should evacuate as soon as possible. Second, if the fire spreads more than 60 square feet or enclose parts of the wall and ceiling, you may need to vacate the area. Third, if the fire damage includes high heat that you can easily feel on your skin, leave immediately.
If a fire breaks out in your house, you want to do what you can to minimize the damage. If your home is in need of restoration, SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is always here to help. Please contact us at 601-544-0512.
What should you do after a flood?
Sometimes floods cannot be prevented and can happen so quickly that many people are caught unprepared. What you do after a flood can save you thousands of dollars on flood remediation and water damage repair costs. Here are some tips to take after you notice flood damage.
1. Stay Safe
Water from a flood can be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Do not go into the water without protection even if it is clear. If there is possibility of downed or live wires do not risk it, wait for a professional. If it is safe to go into the water, you should wear hip- or waist-high wader waterproof boots. In addition, wear rubber gloves to remove water- damaged possessions and to avoid contaminants. The best way to ensure your safety and the safety of your belongings is to hire a professional to do flood clean-up. Any food that came into contact with the water from the flood should be thrown away. Boil all of your water until authorities declare the water supply is safe.
2. Take Pictures
Fully document the damage to send to your insurance company by taking photos or videos before you remove any water or make any repairs. Document the damage and conversations at every stage of the process. If you start removing water or making repairs before photographing the damage, you are making a risk of decreasing the extent of your coverage.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
After you and your family are safe from the flood water, the first person you should contact is your insurance agent. If the floods have affected an entire area, you should note that your agent might be dealing with their own flooding emergency and may not be available. If that is the case, contact your insurance company’s headquarters and they should be able to direct you to the right extension.
Let your insurance company know the complete amount of damage from your home and any repairs you plan to do immediately. Your adjuster may want to inspect the property before making any repairs.
Call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg
Our expert flood damage remediation specialists can help you recover from water damage. We use technical drying concepts and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete. SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is always here to help, please call us at 601-544-0512.