Thunderstorms & Lightning
All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning. While lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. On average in the U.S., lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.
Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities – more than 140 annually – than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard. Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and can start wildfires.
Before Thunderstorm and Lightning
To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
- Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
After the Fire...
Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.
1. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
2. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
3. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.
4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Here at SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, McIntosh, and East Liberty Counties we will always put our customers first.
5 Things You Should Know about Microbial Growth
Microbial growth occurs in homes and places of business. If you believe your home or business has mold growing do not hesitate to give us a call at (912) 445-5190. We will send a technician to you as quickly as possible. Continue reading to gather more information on microbial growth.
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float among in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, AC/heating systems, or attach to clothing or pets.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Microbial spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
Do not wait until the microbial growth has taken over an area in your home to call us. Mold remediation needs a professional touch, and with our IICRC certified team, we are the professional touch you need to make your home look "Like it never even happened."
Camp Fire Safety
Outdoor fires are absolutely beautiful especially in the fall. The air is crisp and being outdoors is a fall favorite. When creating a fire outdoors, you definitely need to consider the environment surrounding the fire. Whether you are near your home or in a national forest, you want to ensure the fire will not burn the area. Here are some tips to keep your home and our nature areas safe.
- When selecting a fire pit location make sure you are at least fifteen feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees, or anything that might catch fire.
- Make sure the pit area is level and clear of debris.
- Make sure the wind spot you have chosen is calm.
- Dig your pit about one foot into the ground, and circle the mouth with stones.
- Always remember to check with your campsite or the U.S. Forestry Commission to see if you are allowed to have a fire at the time you plan on camping.
- Make sure that any fire you build is kept low and out of the wind. This will help keep the embers down.
Never for any reason leave a fire unattended or hot. Make sure you pour water on the fire until it stops hissing.
Tips on How to Prevent your Place of Business from Water Leaks
When owning or managing a place of business, disasters are always in the back of your mind. What if something happens and you have to be closed for a significant amount of time? Something such as a water leak can do this to a place of business. So what can you do to prevent this from happening?
Check the usual suspects of a water leak. Appliances, pipes and drains, and the roof are these suspects. The older these things are, the more often you need to check them. When you are checking these items if you see something wrong, immediately get them fixed. Keep a close eye on lose hose connections and caulk areas since these are simple fixes. In addition, you should continue to update maintenance on all appliances and equipment. In regards to the outside of your place of business, keep the gutters free of debris. This will help reduce the likelihood of your roof being damaged.
In addition, you should look into SERVPRO’s ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) which goes into play when a disaster strikes your place of business. If you want to inquire about the ERP or have a disaster happen at your place of business, call us at (912) 445-5190, and we will make it look “Like it never even happened."
Fire Classes and How to Extinguish the Fire
Class A fires are defined as ordinary combustibles. These fires are commonly flammable material one may find around their home. These items include wood, fabric, paper, trash, and plastic. To extinguish a Class A fire use either water or monammonium phosphate.
Class B fires are defined as one that uses a flammable liquid or gas as its fuel base. These fires are a common hazard in industries dealing with fuels, lubricants, and certain types of paint. Class B fires used to be majority of kitchen fires. However, because kitchen fires are typically the most common house fire, they have their own classification. Smothering Class B fires to remove oxygen will result in extinguishing the fire.
Class C fires are defined as fires that use electrical components and/or energized equipment as its fuel source. These fires are typically fueled by motors, appliances, and electronic transformers. Electrical fires are more likely to be seen in industries that use heavy electrically-powered equipment. Bad wiring can result in electrical fires. To extinguish these fires, one should cut the power off to the source and use a non-conductive chemical to extinguish the fire.
Class D fires are defined as one that uses a combustible metal as its fuel source. These combustible metals include titanium, magnesium, aluminum, and potassium. Class D fires are typically in a laboratory environment, but they can be found in other industries. You want to completely avoid throwing water on these fires because it is ineffective and can have the opposite effect. To extinguish these fires, use a dry powder agent which will absorb the heat and smother the fire.
Class K fires are defined as a cooking fire involving combustion from liquids used in food preparation. Greases, cooking oils, vegetable fat, and animal fat are all fuel sources that Class K covers. These fires are extremely dangerous and extremely destructive. To extinguish these types of fires, wet chemical fire extinguishers should be used.
If you or someone you know falls victim to a house or business fire, call SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, McIntosh, and East Liberty Counties at (912) 445-5190.
Work in Historic Downtown
SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, McIntosh, and East Liberty Counties responded to a call to a historic building in Savannah early one morning. The Marshall House is Savannah’s oldest and most recognized hotel. It has beautiful hallways filled with local history. They provide guests with a wonderful stay to see the charm downtown Savannah has to offer. So when we got a call to help out this historic building, we were overjoyed to do this for our community. Because of a faulty sprinkler system, we moved furniture out of danger to water damage. In addition, we placed fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air. Not only was it wonderful to help a local treasure, it was amazing to be working in such a historic building. It was simply beautiful!
Prevent Kitchen Fires in your Home
Fire safety is extremely important. The kitchen is an area in the home that is more likely to catch fire. Keep reading for some safe cooking tips for your kitchen. Before cooking, you want to wear clothes that are closer to your body so it does not get too close to a hot surface. Check the area for anything too close to a burner such as paper towels, pot holders, food packaging, and more. Clean the area before cooking in case there is any residue left from previous cooking. While you are cooking, never leave the stove unattended. This could easily catch fire and spread to other others quickly. In addition, you need to have a fire extinguisher somewhere close to your kitchen in case of a fire. Most people assume the best place to keep it is close to the stove or oven. This would be wrong. If a fire breaks out in that area, the last thing you need to do is go toward the fire and harm yourself. Keep the fire extinguisher in a place such as the pantry or close cabinet that is away from any area that is more prominent to a fire. If you experience a fire in your home and need SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, McIntosh, and East Liberty Counties, give us a call day or night at (912) 445-5190.
How to Remove Soot and Smoke from your Contents
You may want to separate items made from different materials because they will clean differently. Create a mixture of vinegar and a Mr. Clean and vinegar. The vinegar will deodorize the scent while Mr. Clean removes the soot. You may need to clean the items multiple times to completely remove the soot and smoke from each piece. When it comes to clothing, you need to separate items that are reparable and items that are not reparable. The items you deem reparable need to be washed several times. With each wash, put vinegar in addition to the laundry detergent to remove the scent of smoke. The most difficult items to clean will be items such as mattresses, couches, and chairs. These items will need to be placed in a garage or carpet to air out. In addition, you will need to vacuum each item very slowly. If you feel as if you need professional help, SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, McIntosh, and East Liberty Counties is here to serve you.
When it comes to hurricanes, the category means a lot. If a CAT 1 hurricane is coming your way, you can ride out the storm in your home. However, if a CAT 4 hurricane is barreling your way, you want to evacuate. So what does each category mean? Category 1 is a minimally damaging hurricane with winds reaching 95 miles per hour. The storm surge could range anywhere from 4 to 5 feet above sea level. Category 2 hurricane is referred to as moderately damaging. Winds could be anywhere from 96 to 110 miles per hour and the storm surge reaches 8 feet. Category 3 can bring extensive damage with winds ranging from 111 to 130 miles per hour, and the storm surge reaches 12 feet. Category 4 brings extreme damage with winds reaching 131 to 155 miles per hour. The storm surge for a CAT 4 is between 13 to 18 feet. Lastly is a category 5 hurricane, this cat of hurricane brings catastrophic damage with winds reaching well over 155 miles per hour, and the storm surge going over 18 feet. With any category of a hurricane, you want to board up your home and secure the perimeter around your home. The winds could easily blow items around your home into a window or damage your vehicle. If you do not know exactly what to do in order to prep your home for a hurricane, watch the local news for tips and ideas on what to do to best fit your home.