Fire Pit Safety
Check Out These Fire Pit Safety Tips
Warmer weather is upon us and it is time to work on your s’mores game. Here are some tips on how to play it safe for your next backyard fire.
- Never place a firepit closer than 10 feet from anything flammable, including your house, shed, and overheard tree branches. Also avoid bushes, fencing, awnings, and electrical wires, which are vulnerable to sparks and extreme heat.
- Homeowners’ associations and local authorities are great resources to find out the exact regulations of fire pits in your area. There may be rules about the hours of use, type of pet allowed, size, and location. Knowing these specific guidelines before adding a fire pit to your yard can prevent you from receiving potential fines and tickets.
- Choose your fire pit fuel wisely. Avoid using softwoods like cedar or pine, which tend to smoke or spark. Use hardwoods like ash, hickory, or oak which burn longer. Also, avoid logs that are longer than three-quarters of your fire pit’s diameter, this prevents sparks from flying. It is recommended that you use seasoned wood that was cut six months earlier. Construction materials are off-limits to burn, as they release toxic chemicals into the air.
- When using gas fire pits, make sure all vents are clear to avoid smoky flare-ups. Only use the fuel your fire pit is built to burn.
- NEVER use lighter fluid, gas, or kerosene to light a fire.
- Children and pets should always be supervised and should stay 10 feet back from any fire. Always be cautious of someone walking around the fire, anyone can trip and end up in the fire. Drinking makes this an even greater risk.
- When putting out a fire, check ahead of time to see if your pit can withstand a dousing of water. Sometimes water can crack ceramic or even metal fire pits. Douse the fire with a garden hose with the nozzle set on a wide spray so that it can lower the temperature gradually and cool the area. Try to avoid using a focused steam of water (like pouring a bucket) because this could spread embers. If it cannot get wet, or you are not sure, keep a bucket of dry sand nearby to dump on the flames. For a gas or propane pit, turn off the supply before attempting to extinguish any fire.
- If a fire spreads beyond the confines of the fire pit or flares above your head or prevents you from switching off the supply, calmly evacuate everyone from the area and call your local fire department.
Fire safety is important for every member of your household to follow. If you are planning on using your fire pit this season, be sure to practice proper fire safety to prevent emergencies and injuries.
SERVPRO Spring Cleaning Tips
The first day of Spring is right around the corner and this is the time to start thinking about spring cleaning around your house. It might be a little overwhelming trying to tackle everything at once, but check out this handy checklist to help get yourself organized:
- change smoke alarm batteries
- clean/polish fixtures
- clean mirrors/glass
- clean rugs, floors, baseboards
- dust/polish furniture
- dust bookshelves; donate books
- dust light fixtures, bulbs
- wipe walls and ceilings
- wash curtains
- wash light fixtures/ceiling fans
- wash windows
- clean garage/shed
- clean gutters
- clean house siding
- clean patio furniture
- clean porch/deck/patio
- seal driveway
- wash/inspect light fixtures
- clean out closets and donate
- put away winter bedding and clothes
- rotate mattress
- wash bedding
- organize room clutter
- shampoo sofa cushions
- clean and sanitize sink
- clean and sanitize tubs, shower & toilet
- clean out medicine cabinet
- clean under bathroom sink
- dispose of expire medicine
- clean and sanitize sink
- clean appliances inside and out
- clean oven
- clean pantry; toss old food
- clean refrigerator/freezer
- polish stainless steel appliances
- wash cabinet inside and out
For a deep, professional cleaning of your home or business, call our team at 757-825-9700.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
What Are Ice Dams?
Ice dams form on slopped roofs where snow and ice build up on the gutters and block the flow of water. These are problematic and can cause potential water damage in your home if not taken care of. The snow and ice that become trapped on the eaves of the roof from the ice dam, will eventually melt from the heat inside the home and could leak through the roof causing water intrusion in your home.
Preventing Ice Dams
- Make sure gutters are clear to lessen the build up of snow and ice
- Knock down icicles that begin to form to prevent the ice dam from forming
- Examine your roof look for where ice could build up especially in the valleys and eaves
- Make sure your attic or storage areas are properly insulated so the heat won’t affect the roof
- Seal and insulate ducts
If your home is affected by water damage, call the water mitigation and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Hampton North.
Are You Ready Before Winter Storm Hits
With the likelihood for severe winter storms to hit our Hampton area soon, we want you and your home to be prepared and as ready as possible ahead of the storm.
Follow These Tips to Prevent Water Damage From Busted Pipes
- Drip your faucets! Even a small trickle of water moving through the pipes can prevent them from freezing.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Keep garage doors and other doors that lead to the outside closed to prevent the influx of cold air.
- If you will be leaving your home during the cold weather make sure that you leave the heat on in your home (55 °F or higher)
If you experience a water damage this winter, we here at SERVPRO of Hampton North are on standby 24 hours a day 365 days a year. We offer emergency water extraction, electronic drying, document drying and restoration, as well as mold prevention and mitigation.
Which Fire Extinguisher Do I Use?
Did you know that there are five types of fire extinguishers? Each type is designed for a specific type of fire and knowing which type to use can make a drastic impact on your safety and using the proper extinguisher can significantly reduce the damage to your home.
Type A Fire Extinguishers - These are for use with ordinary materials such as paper, cloth, or wood.
Type B Fire Extinguishers - These are for use with flammable/combustible liquids such as gasoline, oil based paint and grease.
Type C Fire Extinguishers - These are for use with electrical equipment such as tools, appliance or any other equipment that is plugged in to an electrical source.
Type D Fire Extinguishers - These are often found in factories and are to be used on flammable metals.
Type K Fire Extinguishers - These types of extinguishers are often found in commercial kitchen as they are used to put out fires that involve oils from animals or vegetables, or animal fats in cooking appliances.
It is important to keep fire extinguishers in a place that they can be easily accessed in case of an emergency. Make sure that all parts of the extinguisher are in proper working order and be sure to review the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions on regular maintenance and inspection. At SERVPRO Hampton North we are here to respond Faster to any size disaster. A fire in your home can be stressful, but our franchise professionals are on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help with your fire clean up/restoration needs.
Preventative Tips for Your Commercial Building
Proactive maintenance can help prevent damage to a property, saving time and money throughout the year and can also help with insurance claims. Below are a few items to be examined and cleaned.
Roof and Exterior
Wind, snow and rain can impact a building’s roof and exterior. Walking the property and being on the lookout for standing water or leaks from roofs and gutters is important. Chipped paint, siding dents and damage, cracked or leaking windows, foundation cracks, roof leaks, and clogged gutters should all be photographed, reported and repaired. If left unresolved, long-term issues can lead to more serious issues including foundation erosion and more.
Landscaping and Irrigation
Harsh winds, rain and snow can damage plants and limbs, especially on boxwoods, small shrubs and ornamental trees. Mulching, trimming broken limbs, pruning back plants, and cleaning debris needs to be done to prepare for spring growth.
Colder temperatures arriving means the facility mechanical systems should be inspected and maintained. Replacement of air filters, flushing of water heaters, and checking carbon monoxide detectors and sprinkler and fire suppression systems should be done before summer arrives.
Call Us Today to Prepare Your Emergency Ready Profile (757) 825-9700.
Collect Important Documents Before an Emergency
Collect and Protect Essential Documents Before An Emergency
It's important to know that when we advise people to collect and protect important paperwork, we are referring to any important documents and personal data that might serve as proof of your identity, your insurance or instruct others on how to help you in an emergency. This important paperwork includes an Emergency Action Plan, and medical, vital, and immunization records.
Copies of medical records and advance directives should include: Health insurance cards, vaccination records, living wills and power of attorney forms, birth & death certificates and adoption records
Personal Id's: Passports, driver's licenses, social security cards, green cards
A current care plan for a child or person with special needs.
User manuals, model and serial numbers, and contact information for the manufacturer or provider of medical devices, like glucose meters and nebulizers.
- Keep an up to date list of all your prescription medications with dosage amounts, your eye prescription, your medical supply needs and any known allergies.
- Save electronic copies of important papers in a password protected format to a flash drive or an external hard drive or a cloud-based service. You should store these items in a fire proof container or with a trusted friend or relative, or even a safety deposit box at a bank.
- Pet ownersmake copies of your pet’s veterinarian records like rabies certificate, prescriptions and a recent photo of your pet(s).
Whatever happens, we’ll be there with you and your community, every step of the way.
Heater Safety This Winter
With winter in full swing, it is important that we keep ourselves and our families warm during these colder months. We here at SERVPRO Hampton North want you to be prepared to safely heat your home or business.
Never heat your home or business with a gas top stove or oven. Not only does this method of heating create an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, leaving an unattended stove can cause a fire.
Read, understand and implement all manufacturer warnings and instructions when using space heaters. Most home heating fire deaths (86%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.
Make sure that all heating equipment especially chimneys are regularly maintained through periodic cleaning and inspected prior to use.
Keep heating equipment at least 3ft away from materials that are susceptible to catching fire such as furniture, clothing, bedding paper materials as well as other holiday decorations like Christmas trees.
Almost half of all heating equipment related home fires occur during the months of December - February. So now is the time to inspect, clean and test all heating equipment to ensure that it is in proper working order.
SERVPRO Hampton North wants you, and your business to stay safe during these winter months. If you do experience a fire or water damage call our franchise professionals at 757-825-9700.
Prepare Before Winter Storms
At SERVPRO of Hampton North, we want you and your family to be as prepared as possible for any type of weather. With winter right around the corner, it's important to be ready, knowledgeable, and prepared for prepping your home and your family in case a snow storm comes through. Check out some tips of what to do before the snowstorm:
- fill up your gas tank
- insulate your pipes and cover outdoor spigots
- make sure you have flashlights and batteries in an accessible spot
- purchase a generator or inspect yours to make sure its working properly
- charge your phones, and any other electronics, and even consider buying wireless charging devices for your phones
- stock up on water, food, medications and toiletries
If you experience a water damage after a snowstorm from burst pipes, or roof leaks, call the professionals at #SERVPRO of Hampton North. Our team will always be ready for whatever happens. 757-825-9700
Christmas Tree Fire Safety
As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, Christmas tree fires cause property damage totaling more than $14 million annually. That figure can’t account for the heartbreak of a house fire over the holidays. These simple tips can keep your home and family safe while you all enjoy the Christmas tree’s bright lights and warm glow.
1. Check for Freshness
When picking out your tree, look for a tree with fresh, green needles, that do not fall off when touched. If needles fall off by your touch, the tree is already beginning to dry out, and that can pose a fire hazard.
2. Before Placing the Tree
Cut 2” from the base of the trunk. Make sure your tree location is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, or even candles. A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four of Christmas tree fires.
3. Give it a Stable Stand
Safely show off your Christmas tree in a sturdy, weighted stand with screw-in stabilizers that help anchor its weight. A large stand also holds plenty of water to keep a thirsty tree fresh inside your home. Be sure to add water to your tree daily.
4. Lighting the Tree
Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect. Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
5. Watch Kids and Pets
A beautiful tree can tempt little hands with pretty ornaments and inspire rowdy playtime around its base. Talk to the kids about home fire safety. Explain that running around close to the tree can topple it and start a fire. The family dog and cat can create Christmas tree fire hazards too. Discourage dangerous chewing and tangling accidents by hanging tree light strands and decorations above your pets’ playful reach.
6. Turn Everything Off
Always unplug tree lights before you leave the house or go to bed for the night. Turn off nearby space heaters, extinguish candles, and make sure embers are out in the fireplace. More than one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
7. After Christmas
When a Christmas tree stops taking up water and starts dropping needles, it becomes more of a fire hazard with each passing day. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program to properly dispose of your tree.
We’re Always Here For You
This year, gather the family around for a quick review of Christmas tree safety strategies. Make sure everybody understands how important it is to follow the guidelines.
All of us here at SERVPRO of Hampton North send our warmest wishes to you and your family. It’s our honor to serve and be a part of this wonderful community, and we really value your support. Our teams are always here for you, with the best fire damage cleanup and fire restoration services available.