Hurricane Season is Back!
Hurricanes are powerful storms, and should not be taken lightly.
While hurricane season for 2023 started back in June, it took until relatively recently to start seeing major news regarding upcoming storm events. Hurricane season is a period of time every year, typically from June through November, where the temperature and ocean conditions are just right to form tropical depressions, which commonly lead to tropical storms and occasionally hurricanes. The way a hurricane forms is similar in many ways to the formation of tornadoes in the North American Midwest, so their power and destructive capability should NOT be underestimated. Several years ago in 2017, Hurricane Harvey tore through the Texas and Louisiana coastline, quickly becoming one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.
At the time of this writing, the 2023 hurricane season is seeing storm systems in the form of Hurricanes Franklin and Idalia, and more could be on the way in the near future. The best way to keep yourself up to date on potential storm events is to check your local news and weather channels. Modern day technology has the capability to predict these storms days in advance, sometimes even up to a week or two. For more information, check out the National Hurricane Center. Their website displays a weather tracker for the Atlantic, and includes a library of public information to help you keep informed about storm terminology, as well as archives on past hurricane seasons. When it comes to your safety, knowledge is one of the greatest tools!
Lunch With The Cedar Creek Chamber
The Cedar Creek Chamber welcomed a new business today!
SERVPRO of Kaufman County, Mesquite had a great year last year, but we're flying full-speed ahead in 2023! It's been a while since we've made an appearance, but today we attended a luncheon with the Cedar Creek Lake Chamber of Commerce at the local country club in the area. The event was very nice, with catered lunch and speakers talking about upcoming events for the Cedar Creek area. Our team loves attending these types of events, and with this as our first for the year, we hope to be able to make many more appearances going forward not just at Cedar Creek, but in all our territories. From Kemp to Malakoff and every town in-between, SERVPRO of Kaufman County, Mesquite will be there to help make your issues "Like they never even happened®"
Preparing For a Winter Storm
Keeping winter storm safety tips in mind can make all the difference in safety for you and your home/business.
Winter storm Elliot is on the way to Texas, and he's bringing below-freezing temperatures with him. With storms like this, precautions have to be made in order to prevent damage to the home or business. While we've had ample time to prepare, it's always good to keep certain safety tips in mind if some last minute planning needs to be done.
Winter Storm Safety Tips
- Cover up exposed spigots and pipes with insulation. Many stores sell styrofoam covers for spigots and pipe sleeves for pipes.
- Keep the heater running in your home or business, even when you're away. Even if the heating bill is higher than normal, it's preferable to a costly repair service for burst pipes.
- Allow water to drip from your faucets. This goes a long way in helping to prevent frozen pipes by allowing flowing water to come through.
- Bring all pets indoors. They're family too, and they shouldn't be left out in the cold.
- Locate your water supply main. Once things start warming up, knowing the location of your water main will help greatly in the event of water damage.
For more information, please consult the Red Cross Winter Preparedness page for more winter storm safety tips. And in the event of damage to the home or business due to water, don't hesitate to call us here at SERVPRO of Kaufman County, Mesquite. We're always available to help wherever needed and strive to make your troubles "Like it never even happened®".
Christmas Tree Fire Safety 101
Having proper fire safety knowledge can put your mind at ease and let you enjoy the holidays with a wonderfully decorated tree!
It's December, and around this time of year, many families will be getting a tree to decorate for the holiday season. While artificial trees are very popular to use for ease of setup and cleanup, many families opt to use real evergreen trees for decorating. There's certainly a special feeling about going out with the family to get the right tree!
Living trees inside a home can raise risks of a fire hazard, so we at SERVPRO® are Here to Help™ with some handy tips for how you can keep your home and office safe for the holidays.
- Make sure the lights you purchase for your tree are safe for use in it. Some lights have a higher wattage and produce more heat than others. Making sure you choose the right kind of lights can make all the difference in preventing a fire.
- Make sure your live tree gets plenty of fresh water. When purchasing a tree, also look out for ones that are incredibly dry or are shedding needles. These are more susceptible to fire damage.
- Always unplug your lights when you go to sleep or leave the home/office. Accidents can happen when you least expect them to, so make sure the lights are off and unplugged whenever you're not home to keep a close eye on your tree.
- Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from any source of heat. The hotter and dryer the tree gets, the more likely that it could catch fire in the event of faulty wiring in the lights or if there is a live flame near it. Keeping it away from heat sources serves to mitigate this issue.
With these handy fire safety tips in mind, you'll be able to go all out in decorating your tree for the holidays. In the event of fire and smoke damage, you can also call us here at SERVPRO of Kaufman County, Mesquite to assist and make the damage "Like it never even happened™".
Heat Wave Safety
No cloud cover and excessive heat? Make sure to keep shaded and hydrated!
North Texas is still in the midst of a brutal heat wave. While relief is coming soon in the form of much-needed rain and cloud cover, the days leading up to it will be incredibly hot and humid. A heat wave can best be defined as a period of excessively hot weather, sometimes accompanied by humidity. Heat waves can be dangerous as they can heat up metal outdoors to burning temperatures, cause prolonged periods of drought, and even heat exhaustion in people. Here are some handy tips and precautions to keep in mind during a heat wave:
- Staying hydrated is key. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks/foods, as they can cause you to become more thirsty/hungry.
- Make sure to have adequate supplies of food, water, and medicine in case of emergencies.
- Keeping your home cool can help provide relief during a heat wave. Drapes to cover the windows, weather strips on doors and windows, and insulation against the heat can help make your home a refreshingly cool safe haven.
- NEVER leave children or pets in a vehicle unattended. Temperatures inside vehicles can trend 10 or 20 degrees higher than the outdoor temperature.
- Stay healthy. Heat waves are a type of disaster and can prove to be mentally draining, so eating healthy foods and staying hydrated can help create some peace of mind.
For more information on how to beat the heat and staying safe during a heat wave, Red Cross has a page on heat waves and treating heat-related illnesses. Knowledge is a vital tool in keeping safe. Also, in the event of heat-related damage to your home such as a fire, keeping the AC running with a duct cleaning, or mitigating water damage from broken water pipes, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite is always ready to help make it "Like It Never Even Happened".
Dryer Fires: How To Avoid Them
Keeping a dryer's ducts and lint filter free of debris is a great way to avoid a dryer fire.
Laundry is one of those inevitable parts of life, painstaking in its process and unavoidable. If you have a large family, the domestic chores can become overwhelming at time and dryer safety is a critical concern that most people overlook in the bustle of day-to-day life. At SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite, we've seen first hand the devastation dryer fire can cause. Anyone with access to the machine must be aware of the risk factors for dryer fires, as well as what can be done to prevent them. Every year sadly, dryers cause catastrophic damage and loss to American families.
The following is what the US Fire Administration says regarding dryer fires:
- Every year, 2,900 dryer fires occur.
- Property damage from these dryer fires is estimated to be in over 35 million dollars.
- These fires also result in 100 injuries and 5 deaths each year.
How can dryers be dangerous?
- The lint filter keeps lint and debris out of the dryer's internal mechanics, preventing them from becoming caught and causing a fire. Using a dryer without the filter in place is one way an innocuous household appliance can become a serious hazard.
- Similarly, overloading your dryer can result in lint buildup, which can cause fire.
- It's a risk to leave your dryer on while you sleep or leave the house. If a lint buildup or another issue causes a fire, you may not be able to put it out or even be aware of the condition until it is too late.
How can homeowners protect against dryer fire?
- According to the United States Fire Administration, overfilled lint traps cause 34% of dryer fires each year. Cleaning your lint filter ensures that your dryer is properly ventilated. Dryer ventilation allows garments to dry faster while also preventing the overheating that can cause fire.
- It is critical to inspect dryer ductwork on a regular basis. Blocked ducts can also cause overheating which leads to fires. One symptom of a blocked duct is if your clothing takes longer to dry than expected. If you notice any obstructions in the ducts, clear them out before using the dryer again.
- Replace any ducts that are outdated or damaged beyond repair. For new ducts, heavy-duty metal is indicated as the best material to use.
Regardless of how many safeguards are taken, homeowners may still face dryer fires. If the worst happens, your friends at SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite are ready to step in. Restoring your home is our business, and our expert technicians are on hand and ready to limit the spread of damage and restore your home quickly, and safely. We hope you are never affected by dryer, or any kind of fire. But if you are, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite is always here to help.
Smoke Alarms and How They Help
Making sure your smoke alarm is in good condition can be all the difference in keeping your home or business safe.
Checking smoke alarms on a regular basis is an important element of home and building maintenance that will keep your house or company safe. Smoke detector checks are a simple and effective way to safeguard your building and its occupants from smoke and fire emergencies, and keeping yours in good working order doesn't take much effort. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly by following the guidelines below.
Why check smoke alarms?
Smoke alarms are one of the few products in your house or business that can genuinely save lives in the event of a fire. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, house fires are more than twice as likely to turn deadly in homes without functional smoke detectors. Whether it's a large commercial facility that takes additional time to evacuate or family home full of individuals who are sleeping, providing as much time as possible to flee the premises is critical during a fire. Working smoke alarms provide important early notice which can directly affect the survival of valued family and employees.
Tips for checking smoke detectors
While smoke detector technology has improved and become more dependable than ever before, it is still necessary to inspect and test yours on a regular basis. To conduct a complete smoke detector check in your home or office, follow these suggestions from the experts at SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite. Enjoy daily peace of mind knowing that you'll have life-saving assistance when you need it most.
- Be compliant: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) maintains fire prevention rules and requirements for all types of occupancies. To guarantee you have the most up-to-date information and are in compliance, look into the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code and the Life Safety Code from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Adhere to manufacturer guidelines: The maker of your smoke detectors will provide model-specific maintenance and testing recommendations for your home or company. All documentation should be kept so that you can refer to it as needed.
- Check to see what types of smoke detectors are installed: Smoke detectors are divided into two types that are typically seen in homes and workplaces. A smoke alarm that runs on batteries is common in homes and may be fitted almost anyplace. An AC-powered (hard-wired) smoke detector is better suited for long-term use and is commonly found in commercial buildings.
- Alert your family/employees and run tests. Smoke detectors emit a high-pitched sound that may offend or frighten some members of your family, staff, or customers. Everyone will be able to shield their ears or prepare for the sound if they are given advance notice prior to smoke alarm testing.
- Assign someone to stand at the furthest location from the alarm: While the sound of a smoke alarm test may be audible close to the device, it may not be audible elsewhere on your property. Consider installing another smoke alarm in that area if the sound is low or muffled.
- Monthly testing: Use the integrated test button to check every smoke alarm in the building at least once a month. To indicate that the device is receiving electricity, some newer models have flashing or steady LEDs that shine. Other models are linked, allowing you to test them all at the same time.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year if they have a replaceable battery. Do not wait until your alarms begin to chirp before replacing the batteries. Make a note of it and make sure you're always safe. When you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time, it's a good idea to replenish your batteries.
- Replace smoke detectors every ten years or 87,000 hours to guarantee you have the most up-to-date technology and the finest protection possible. Even "long-life" smoke alarms must be changed after 10 years since non-removable lithium batteries only have a 10-year guarantee. This is necessary owing to a buildup of impurities in the internal sensors.
Protect your home or business by maintaining your smoke detectors.
Any home or business can be destroyed by a fire. While SERVPRO's remediation experts are here to help you recover from smoke or fire damage to your home or company, you can make sure the right safety procedures and equipment are in place to keep your family and coworkers safe and minimize fire damage in an emergency.
Sudden Summer Storms
Sometimes storms can occur in Summer without prior warning. Knowing certain safety tips can help protect you and your home or business!
Summer 2020 was one of the costliest seasons on record for storm damage. While no large coastal storms or thunderstorms have occurred yet, it's always nice to have certain information handy in the event of a sudden storm. By following a few simple preparedness tips, you can protect your home and business from becoming a statistic.
Ahead of a Storm
- Make a disaster-preparation strategy. Create an exterior meeting spot as well as escape routes from each room in your home. Practice the plan with family members as well. Include your pets in the plan and make sure they are wearing identification tags.
- Make sure you and your family know how to use a fire extinguisher and how to turn off utilities.
- Be sure your policy includes flood insurance. This may be an additional item, as it isn't covered by most ordinary insurance policies.
- Prepare your emergency supply kit, including the following:
- 3–5 days’ worth of non-perishable food and bottled water
- Scissors, tweezers, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, non-latex gloves, and other items for a first-aid kit.
- External batteries for cell phones, etc., as well as a battery-powered flashlight and radio with backup batteries or solar chargers.
- If necessary, prescription drugs.
- Blankets and warm clothing are essential.
- Items for personal hygiene (toilet paper, tissue, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste)
During a Storm
- When a storm is approaching, bring all of your valuables inside and relocate all of your vehicles and equipment to higher ground.
- Walking through moving water is not a good idea. You can be swept off your feet by just a few inches of quickly moving water.
- If you're outside, move to higher ground and stay away from low-lying places that may be vulnerable to flooding.
- Make sure the doors and windows are securely shut if you're inside. Avoid being struck by shattered glass by staying away from windows. If the storm is severe, seek cover in your basement.
- Use of utilities and wired electrical equipment should be avoided. Turn off utilities to reduce the risk of damage from flooding or other disasters.
- Keep up with weather reports and follow local officials' instructions if they urge you to leave your home.
After a Storm
- Check to see whether everyone is okay and if your home has been damaged. Keep an eye out for potential dangers.
- If you suspect that utilities have been damaged, contact your local authorities and wait for their clearance before turning them back on.
- If your home has been flooded, stay away from the floodwater because it is likely contaminated.
- Make a note of the goods that have been damaged or lost, and take photos of them.
- Make a claim on your flood insurance.
- Floodwater is deemed polluted in its entirety. As a result, if you have water damage, all contaminated absorbent materials should be removed and thrown away (carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, etc.).
- Water damage needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise, mold contamination will occur, causing a slew of additional concerns and issues.
If you are affected by a summer storm, the experts at SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite are ready to help. Our trained mitigation team is ready to respond quickly and efficiently to minimize the damage and restore your home or business "Like it never even happened."
Technology and SERVPRO
Keeping a list of emergency contacts or creating an Emergency Ready Profile is easy to do on a mobile phone.
Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free ways to store different types of files, from a word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.
Follow The News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter or Facebook for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter or Facebook.
Mark Yourself safe
The American Red Cross offers a safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in a situation where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in the affected area at that time.
Get In Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.
SERVPRO is proud to offer Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP) at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business.
Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with you local SERVPRO Franchise Professional today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business, and SERVPRO will be there to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Making SERVPRO Your First Choice
SERVPRO is always ready to help out in the event of disaster in the home or business!
When your business is harmed by a natural disaster, a serious plumbing problem, a fire, or a flood, you must move quickly to minimize commercial water damage, minimize financial loss, and keep your doors open. Commercial restoration companies provide a variety of services to help you restore your property to its original state, which you probably won't be able to achieve on your own if you've had extensive damage. Why is SERVPRO better than the competition? SERVPRO's trained experts are among the best in the industry. No task is too huge for their Commercial Large Loss Division, which can manage any magnitude disaster anywhere in the United States. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our Disaster Recovery Team will respond quickly to water damage caused by floods, tornadoes, blizzards, and other natural disasters. Every day we help customers who have suffered damage to their home or business, get back up and running. SERVPRO provides a wide range of restoration services to help you get your home back on track after a disaster, including:
- Cleaning up the water
- Commercial cleaning services are available.
- Restoration after a fire or smoke
- Storm damage rehabilitation for businesses
- After a disaster, excessive growth development is a common concern owing to water damage and wet conditions. Growth cleanup firms like SERVPRO can take care of the infestation and restore the property to its preloss state.
SERVPRO professionals understand that the longer a commercial property owner is forced to deal with a disaster, the more money they will lose. For years, this organization has been Kaufman County, Mesquite, and the surrounding communities' go-to option for top-tier restoration services.