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SERVPRO of Wilson County : Fire Safety with Your Kids

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

It’s in the nature of a young child to be curious about fire. With this in mind, it’s best for parents of young children to learn the best way to satisfy their child’s curiosity while also instilling good fire safety practices. Use their curious nature to start a conversation about fire safety, and be sure to cover the following points.

Young Children and Fire Risks

According to the USFA children below the age of five have a much higher risk of dying in a home fire especially when compared to kids in other age groups. The reason for this is obvious: young kids aren’t capable of exiting a home in the event of a fire or understanding the dangers posed by fire.

Introducing Fire Safety to your Kids

Generally, kids aren’t really sure how to react to fires and may even hide from them instead of fleeing to safety. But if you are able to teach them about some basic fire safety facts and tell them in a fun way the exact steps to take or things to do to be safe, they will be able to protect themselves, even when you are not around.

Teach your Kids About Fire Safety 

Regardless of how busy you are or how tight your schedule is, you have to make out time to teach your kids about fire safety. The most important thing to tell your kids about what to do when they encounter a fire is for them not to ever hide under their bed, in their closet or anywhere at all when there is a fire. Instruct your kids to find a safe way to leave the house when there is a fire so they don’t get trapped and to call the authorities once they get to safety.

Make a Family Fire Plan

Instead of bombarding your kids with the intricate details about fires, start small and talk about basic fire. Make sure to talk about the subject often so that it will become second nature to them. Once they’re ready to move forward, start small with making a fire plan that can be used as an exit strategy to help your family get out of the house as safely and quickly as possible. Make sure to review and practice your fire plan both during the day and at night to ensure it’s easy to follow in an emergency.

Coping After a Home Fire

Home fires can have serious emotional and physical consequences and the aftermath can take a while for young kids to overcome. The best way to protect your kids is by preventing home fires in the first place. If you’re unable to prevent a home fire, then make sure to call SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 to help quickly restore your property to its pre-fire condition following a fire.

SERVPRO of Wilson County : Proper electrical safety to avoid fires in the house

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

When working with electricity, safety needs to be your top priority at all times. According to the NFPA, one of the major dangers associated with electrical hazards are fires. Each year, electrical malfunctions account for 35,000 home fires, causing over 1,130 injuries, 500 deaths and $1.4 billion in property damage. To keep electrical components in a state where they are not misused or improperly maintained and cause a fire, it’s best to follow this guide.

Keep an Eye Out For Electrical Red Flags

When it comes to your electrical components, make sure you’re aware of the key warning signs of overloaded electrical systems. This includes (but is not limited to) outlets that are frequently blowing fuses, tripping circuit breakers and lights dimming when other devices are used. Furthermore, if you hear a buzzing sound coming from outlets or switches, or they are warm to the touch, you could have an overloaded electrical system.

Watch for the warning signs of a stressed or worn out electrical system.  These include:

  • Cover plates that are unusually warm to the touch may indicate a loose connection. 
  • Crackling, sizzling or buzzing noises behind outlets, switches or walls may indicate there’s an unsafe wiring condition called arcing.
  • Tripped circuit breakers are yet another indication of an over stressed electrical system. Circuits typically trip because of electrical overloads.  Circuits that trip repeatedly indicate a potential problem that needs attention from a licensed electrician.

Other Signs of Faulty Wiring

As a home ages, so does the wiring system. You can experience issues with worn out outlets, switches, GFCI outlets, and even the circuit breaker panel. Wiring systems in homes that are more than 30-years-old weren’t designed to handle the demands of today’s electricity needs.

If you also find that you are constantly using extension cords to power your appliances or electronics, it might be time to reconsider your electrical outlet needs. This is because extension cords can heat up and catch on fire easily, especially if they’re overloaded.

Lastly, if you find that prongs are not staying secure in your receptacle, it’s definitely time to get your receptacle’s worn contact repaired before a fire breaks loose. This is because loose contacts are known to cause arcing, which can ignite dry wood and dust, leading to fires in no time.

Electrical Fire Restoration Solutions

Electricity is something that even when harnessed and secured, can still lead to home fires due to outside sources such as a power surge, lightning strike or other natural disaster. If an electrical fire breaks out on your property under your watch, it’s best to call SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 to go over your fire restoration options immediately.

SERVPRO of Wilson County : How to prepare my older home for a storm

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

No matter what region of the country you live in, natural disasters are virtually unavoidable. The question is not if a storm or natural disaster will occur but when. If you’re living in an older home in an area that is prone to severe storms and/or flooding, it’s best to plan accordingly to ensure that you’re protected before, during and after a storm.

Keep You and Your Family Safe

Before the storm hits, make sure to do the following to ensure you and your loved ones can ride out the storm safely in your old home:

  • Have a family plan that covers what to do in case of a storm and how you would survive for a week or longer without electricity or aid.
  • Have a plan for people with a disability or serious illness or those who need life-support equipment.
  • Locate the shutoffs for electricity, water and gas.

If your home hasn’t been updated and is more than 70 years old, it most likely won’t have a modern electrical circuit breaker. If that is the case, you might have screw in 25-35 watt electrical bulbs that will be powering your two prong outlets. If this sounds like your electrical panel, it might be best to buy extra electrical outlet bulbs before the storm sets in.

Stay Safe During the Storm

While you’re in the middle of a storm, make sure your old home is able to withstand its energy by:

  • Staying in your safe room, away from doors and windows.
  • Turning off electricity if flooding begins.
  • Using flashlights, not candles, for lighting.

If you have your windows boarded up before the storm hits, you should be in the clear from any damage that may occur if your window panes were to shatter.

Once the Storm Passes

Once the storm has passed and everyone has stopped acting crazy, start thinking long term about getting your old house ready for the next storm, because there will be a next storm. If your old home has incurred severe storm damage that requires a professional touch, make sure to call SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 for a consultation immediately.

SERVPRO of Wilson County : Can a storm damage my foundation?

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

In order to last for generations, your property needs to maintain a solid foundation. Most modern properties are built on concrete foundations which can withstand a myriad of physical stressors. But, if the foundation is under incredible stress from storm or flood damage, it’s liable to crack over time. Read more about what leads foundations to get damaged during storms and what you can do to sidestep permanent foundational damage in the future following a flood.

How Do Floods Lead to Foundation Damage?

Whether the flood event includes long periods of standing water or rapid moving waters over a short time, flooding can do severe water damage to your foundation. Flooding penetrates deep below your foundation, causing shifts and upheavals that can compromise its strength and structural soundness. The tremendous amount of weight that water carries with it is what you should be on the lookout for. Even if you let just a few inches of water linger over your foundation for an extended period of time, the weight might be too much for your foundation to shoulder.

Preventative Measures to Take

The key is to prevent water from pooling anywhere near your property. You can take these precautions:

  • Inspect your downspouts and ensure they point away from the home. If your home lacks a gutter system altogether, install one before the next incoming storm.
  • Install a sump pump or foundation vent. This enables water to flow through the home rather than pool around it.
  • Apply sealants and coatings on your walls, windows, and doorways. This prevents floodwater from entering the home through cracks in these components.
  • Grade your lawn so that the ground slopes away from your home. If the slope is toward the home or the ground is completely flat, water can pool around the house.
  • Keep mulch away from the home. Mulch can absorb water and cause the foundation, walls, and siding to rot.

Calling the Pros When Things Get Out of Control

The aftermath of a flood can deal immense damage to a foundation if the problem isn’t addressed and the water is left to linger. If you find that your foundation is sloping in a direction that it wasn’t before a storm or has cracks that used to be solid, it’s best to call SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 for a consultation. Our team has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition thanks to our emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

SERVPRO of Wilson County : Storm is Coming and You're Not Home

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Storm is coming and you’re not home

Wilson County (https://www.SERVPROwilsoncounty.com/)

When you catch wind of a severe storm approaching your home, you need to seek shelter immediately. Of course, the safest place to be when a tornado or hurricane approaches is in a basement or storm shelter underground. But if you are not able to get to a shelter or basement, you need to find shelter that is available. See what measures you should take to protect yourself while away from your home in these two common places during a severe storm.

What to do if You’re at Work or School

If a storm reaches your region during the middle of your work or school day, there are several actions that you can take to protect yourself:

  • Go to the basement or an inside hallway at the lowest level
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, gymnasiums, large hallways or shopping malls
  • Get under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or heavy table.

What to do if you are in your Vehicle

If you haven’t had a chance to make it home yet but are on your way home, then follow these steps to keep yourself safe until the severe storm passes:

  • Never try to outrun a severe storm (especially a hurricane or tornado). Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can instantly lift up a car, truck or any other vehicle and toss it through the air.
  • Get out of the vehicle immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.
  • If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the vehicle and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.

What to do When you get to your Home

Once the storm passes and you’re able to safely reach your home, do a quick visual inspection from a distance. After you’ve documented any storm damages and notified the appropriate authorities, make sure to get in contact with the experienced team at SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 for a consultation.

SERVPRO of Wilson County : How to Prevent Lightning from Damaging Your Home

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

How to prevent lightning from damaging your home

Wilson County (https://www.SERVPROwilsoncounty.com/)

Spring thunderstorms can involve rain, hail, high winds, and lightning, all of which can threaten your roof and home. If your home is struck by lightning, it can sustain significant damage—both visible and hidden from view. Learn more about the ways that lightning can damage your home and how to prevent lightning damage to ensure the continued protection of your property.

How Can Lightning Damage your Home?

Roughly 1 in 200 houses are struck by lightning every year. Direct strikes to homes can cause power surges that ruin electrical systems and electronics. Indirect strikes can also leave homes dismantled when lightning hits either a nearby tree or power Lines.

Since lightning takes the path of least resistance, a nearby strike on your property or in your neighborhood could cause surge issues in your home. Surge issues tend to be pretty similar whether a nearby lightning strike has affected your home or it was directly struck by lightning. Although these surges can affect electrical components in your home, they can also affect gas lines and possibly lead to home fires.

3 Ways to Prevent or Minimize Lightning Damage

Of all the solutions that have been proven effective at keeping your home safe from a fire following a lightning strike, here are our top 3 solutions:

  1. Use a home lightning protection system - One of the best ways for homeowners, in particular, to protect their homes from lightning is to install a home lightning protection system. Research has stated that a properly installed system is approximately 99 percent effective in preventing lightning
  2. Unplug electronics and appliances - In addition to causing structural fires, lightning can damage the electronics in your home. An easy step homeowners can take to avoid electrical damage is to unplug any electronic devices or appliances in anticipation of a storm.
  3. Install transient voltage surge suppressors - One way to make sure your electronics are always protected from lightning is to install transient voltage surge protectors. According to Allstate, transient voltage surge protectors are connected to computers and other electronic equipment to limit voltage to 5 times the normal voltage.

Call the Best After Lightning Strikes

If your home or another structure you're in is hit by lightning, check for any fires or scorching, Especially immediately after a strike, do not touch metal window frames, pipes, or electric cords, and do not use your water. If you see a fire or smell smoke, call emergency services to be dispatched to your property. Once the dust settles, call SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 to assess the damages and give you an estimate for restoration.

SERVPRO of Wilson County : How to use a Fire Extinguisher

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

How to use a fire extinguisher

Wilson County (https://www.SERVPROwilsoncounty.com/)

We should all have at least one fire extinguisher somewhere in our home, but it’s not enough to simply keep one under the kitchen sink. If there is a fire, the safety of yourself and your home relies on knowing how to properly use that fire extinguisher. In case your fire extinguisher has been sitting around collecting dust, here’s everything you need to know before brushing it off and fighting a fire in your home the right way.

Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher for the Job

Most household fires fall into one of the following categories:

Class A: These fires are fueled by solid combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth.

Class B: These fires are fueled by flammable liquids such as oil, petroleum, and gasoline.

Class C: These fires are started or fueled by faulty wiring, fuse boxes, and appliances.

Class K: These fires are started or fueled by cooking oils and greases, animal fats, and vegetable fats.

Properly Using a Fire Extinguisher

To use a fire extinguisher, follow the acronym PASS as outlined below:

Pull - Pull the pin on the extinguisher 
Aim - Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire 
Squeeze - Squeeze the trigger to release the product 
Sweep - Sweep the nozzle from side to side (slowly)

After Using your Fire Extinguisher

After your first use of your fire extinguisher using the PASS method, follow these steps to stay safe:

  • Keep an eye on things: After the flames appear to be out, continue to watch the fire area to make sure it doesn’t reignite. If the fire does start up again, repeat the PASS process.
  • Call the fire department: If you didn’t have the chance to call the fire department before discharging the fire extinguisher, do so now. They will be able to inspect the site of the fire and make sure that it is completely extinguished.
  • Get to a safe place: Once the fire is out, or if you are unable to extinguish the fire, leave the scene and find a place out of reach of the fire.

Who to Call for Fire Restoration in the Heat of the Moment

Home fires can be highly tense, nerve wracking experiences that can cause anxiety to even the most experienced firefighter. Hopefully, using these tips on how to best use your fire extinguisher in case of a home fire will help you stay safe, it may not always be effective at putting out a fire. In these cases, it’s best to not try to be a hero and instead call the fire department to continue fighting the fire and helping to save your home.

After a home fire has been put out, it’s time to think about getting your home back to its original aesthetic appeal. Although that might be a tall task for some companies, the team at SERVPRO Wilson County is more than capable to restore your property quickly after a home fire. Make sure to call us at (615) 449-5000 for a comprehensive consultation!

SERVPRO of Wilson County : How to Keep Items Safe from Fire

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

How to keep items safe from fire

Wilson County (https://www.SERVPROwilsoncounty.com/)

When disaster strikes your home, it can leave a trail of devastation behind. But the real gut-wrenching loss are those valuables that cannot be replaced, whether a family heirloom, photographs or some other memento. While we certainly cannot predict when a fire or flood will hit, there are some steps you can take to protect those items that are most valuable to you.

The Most Important Items to Protect During a Fire

Although we may consider many items in ours homes to be relatively valuable to us, that list gets narrowed down very quickly when a home fire hits. This list includes (but is not limited to):

  • Birth certificates
  • Property titles (i.e. your home deed)
  • Insurance policies
  • Safe deposit box keys
  • Social security cards/Passports/Forms of ID
  • Spare car/house keys
  • Wills and living trusts

This list encompasses anything that is either incredibly difficult or impossible to replace and holds tremendous value to your continued financial wellbeing. These items have relatively no value when it comes to insurance policies so getting reimbursed for the loss of any of them is nearly impossible to do.

Ways to Protect your Priceless Items

When disaster-proofing your priceless items, there are no hard and fast rules about what to keep them. The goal is to have everything in at least two places in case one is destroyed or inaccessible. Generally speaking, you have 5 places to choose from when deciding where to keep your papers:

  1. Wallet
  2. Safe Deposit Box
  3. Online/Digital Storage
  4. Attorney
  5. Friend or Relative living elsewhere

What to do After your Home Fire

Following the above tips will help you rest easier knowing that, in the case of a home fire, you don’t have to scramble amidst the mounting flames to get your priceless items in order; instead you can focus on the safety of yourself and loved ones. As soon as you have documented everything from your home fire, be sure to call the experienced team at SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 as soon as possible. We have decades of experience in restoring homes from fire damage and you deserve the expertise that we bring to the table.

SERVPRO of Wilson County : Can you fix flood damage?

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Can You Fix Flood Damage?

Wilson County (https://www.SERVPROwilsoncounty.com)

No matter what the source of water is that caused a flood on your property, there are steps you must take to protect your family, save your home, prevent health hazards, and decrease the costs involved in the restoration process. Although flood damage can be remediated, it takes a concentrated effort by all those involved; from the homeowners that have been affected to the professional team that is tasked with remediating the water damage. Read on to learn how flood damage can be fixed and how to prevent mold damage from forming after a flood.

The Post-Flood Cleanup Process

Cleaning up after a flood is a long, arduous process that involves meticulously removing all water damage, salvaging any personal items in the area, safely drying out the space in a way that doesn’t spread the mold spores out, and disinfecting any areas or objects the water touched. All these tasks must be done while wearing proper safety gear to avoid contact with bacteria and fungi that are likely present.

Remediating Flood Damage

After the flood waters recede and the cleanup has been done, most homeowners are eager to get back into their homes and start rebuilding. The problem with going that route of rapid rebuilding after water damage is that your wood has been submerged in water. Its surface has likely absorbed a large amount of water making the process of rebuilding too quickly a cause for concern. This could lead to mold growth, insect infestations, and deterioration of the wood and wall coverings or worse if you don’t consult with a professional water damage remediation company.

Preventing Mold Damage

Keeping your space mold-free before or after flood damage is key. Installing dehumidifiers that have a capacity large enough for your space can help you keep the humidity in your home low enough so that mold doesn’t grow. Cleaning water-soaked carpets and floors is difficult under any conditions, but in the aftermath of a storm or flood, contamination by mud, silt, sewage and mildew, can compound the problem.

If you’ve noticed that your surfaces or furniture have encountered water damage due to a recent flood, you may have to make a judgment call based on its current condition. If the water has seeped into the surface of your flooring or furniture, you may have to budget for a replacement or at least to remediate the damages that you’ve incurred.

Being Prepared for Flood Damage

Rather than not know who to turn to in the case of flood damage or try to DIY the repairs yourself, you can get peace of mind that your property is protected from flood damage in the future by calling the team at SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000 for a consultation! We use professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents as well as advanced cleaning equipment that helps us quickly and efficiently remove water damage and hidden moisture from homes of all sizes.

SERVPRO Wilson County : Is my carpet ruined after a flood?

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Is my carpet ruined after a flood?

Wilson County (https://www.SERVPROwilsoncounty.com)

If you’ve experienced a flood in your home that reached your carpet, you’re probably looking for the fastest solution for making your house livable again. You might be asking yourself whether you’ll need to replace your carpet completely or if you can get the water damage remediated. Before you decide to drop the funds needed to replace your water damaged carpet, it’s important to understand all the factors that correspond to your carpet’s health after a flood occurs. Read on to learn what a flooded carpet means for your property and whether you need to replace it or if you can safely remediate it with help from a local water damage restoration company.

Carpet Flooding

If your home had a water leak that made it to your carpeting, it’s essentially a race against time to prevent unwanted fungal and bacterial growth to take hold and start leaving their telltale black spores. If you can look past the water-damaged carpet that is altogether aesthetically displeasing, you might find that salvaging it could have lasting structural and health consequences in the long-term if you decide to restore it instead of replacing it.

Do You Need to Replace Your Carpet After a Flood?

If a carpet has been wet for 24-48 hours or longer, consider replacing the carpet, carpet pad, flooring and subflooring. This is because mold often takes no longer than 48 hours to form and spread which can make it nearly impossible to clean out of carpet fibers in that time. If your carpet was soaked with water from suspicious floodwater sources that contain sewage, you shouldn’t even consider salvaging it.

Who to Call for Water Damage Restoration

The best choice that you can make for ensuring your home is clean and pristine after a flood or other water damage is to call SERVPRO Wilson County at (615) 449-5000! Our team’s ultra-fast response time is sure to make a difference in lessening the damage, limiting further damage and reducing future costs.