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Summer Grilling Safety Tips: Protect Your Property and Loved Ones

4/23/2024 (Permalink)

grill safety Summer safety when it comes to grilling

As the delightful scent of grilling fills the air and Memorial Day weekend looms closer, it's essential to revisit crucial safety guidelines for outdoor cooking. With approximately 7 out of 10 adults owning a grill, it's imperative to prioritize safety to avoid accidental injuries, property damage, and potential fire-related hazards. Here are essential tips to ensure that all your grilling occasions yield a safe and enjoyable experience.

  1. Outdoor Grill Placement:
    Regardless of whether you're using charcoal or propane, always position your grill outdoors and at a safe distance from any structures that could potentially ignite, such as your house, deck railing, eaves, and overhanging branches.
  2. Preparing the Grill:
    Before lighting the grill, remember to open the cover to avoid any gas accumulation, which could lead to hazardous combustion.
  3. Safe Handling of Lighter Fluid:
    Exercise caution when using lighter fluid. Avoid excessive usage, maintain a safe distance while lighting, and utilize a newspaper or paper to ignite the coals from a distance. Always refrain from using gasoline or any other flammable liquid for starting the grill.
  4. Maintaining Safety Distance:
    Maintain a minimum distance of three feet between the grill and any children or pets to prevent accidental burns or injuries.
  5. Supervision and Cleaning:
    Never leave the grill unattended, and ensure that it is free from excess fat and grease buildup to mitigate the risk of uncontrollable flames.
  6. Propane Grill Safety:
    For those using a propane grill, regularly inspect the tank and connections for any leaks to prevent potential hazards.
  7. Proper Disposal of Coals:
    After grilling, allow the coals to completely cool before disposal. Once cooled, place the coals in a metal container for safe and proper disposal.

Prioritizing safety during your grilling activities is paramount to ensure a favorable and risk-free experience. By adhering to these fundamental tips, you can safeguard your property, loved ones, and yourself from potential mishaps. Make this summer's grilling events not only delicious but also safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Fire and Odor Go Together

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

House Fire House Fire

Even the smallest fire with minimal damage will have pungent and irritating malodors. Eradicating malodors is a process that often requires multiple methods and meticulous cleaning.  Additionally, not all fire odors are the same which stems from the different types of fires.  The material being burned emits a unique type of smoke and the smoke particles themselves are the source of the odors.  Hot burning wood or paper has a white smoke that is cleaner than burned plastic which is black and creates a distinct fire signature which looks like spider webs.  A protein fire has a greasy texture, opaque appearance and overpowering odor. 

The process for odor elimination begins with the removal of any charred and unsalvageable materials as well as suspended airborne smoke particles with the use of an air scrubber.  This is followed by either a wet or dry cleaning followed by ozone treatment and possibly a thermal fogging as a final measure.  The cleaning may require a cleaning of the HVAC system as well as the duct systems smoke was sicked into the ventilation system.  If you are experiencing the unfortunate ordeal of a commercial or home fire and the odors associated with it, call SERVPRO of Orange County for a no cost estimate at 919-245-0788.  Our trained staff can make fire damage and the accompanying odors, “Like they never even happened.”

Quick and Easy Tips to Prevent Home Water Damage While on Vacation

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Residential flooding Residential Flooding

Summer vacations are in full swing as children wrap up the school year.  Whether a vacation is a long weekend or extends over several weeks there is always the potential for water damage to occur while the vacationers are away unless steps are taken to prevent it.  In the about the same time, it takes to load the car for a vacation safety precaution can be taken to assure that if there is any water damage can be held to a minimum.

The first thing any homeowner can do is to is to identify both the individual and main water shut offs for the home.  Once the shut offs are identified turn them clockwise to tighten.  This cuts the water to the unit and will minimize any water damage to only water left inside the pipes.  Internal water offs are the hot and cold-water valves underneath sinks and vanities as well as toilet supply lines and the hot and cold-water knobs to the washing machine. 

Additionally, a monitored water sensor can be added to a monitored security system which can alert you of water damage so it can be mitigated quickly.  These simple and quick steps have the potential of saving you thousands of dollars.

In the event that you have a water damage in Orange County and need mitigation and restoration services call SERVPRO of Orange County at 919-245-0788.

It's All About Reputation

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

When choosing a mitigation and restoration company, reputation matters! The experience of a water damage emergency is traumatic enough without the complications of poor customer service and inadequately trained service providers that makes things worse by breaking contents and causing additional secondary damage due to improper drying techniques. 

When it comes to your home, it most likely your most valuable physical asset and your place of solitude.  Your home is where your heart is and that makes it personal.  For these reasons anyone that crosses the threshold should have the upmost respect for you and your property. 

SERVPRO of Orange County prides itself on having over twenty years of experience of creating happy customers.  It all begins with the core philosophy of striving to be the best.  SERVPRO of Orange through strict screening processes hires personnel that are good, hard-working, and honest people that understand the value of providing quality customer service.  The personnel are then trained on the technical side and certified to execute the onsite job requirements that make your water or fire damage emergency, “Like it never even happened.”

If you experience a water or fire damage emergency and want an experienced caring company, that provides excellent customer service call SERVPRO of Orange County at 919-245-0788.

How to Safely Enjoy Fireworks

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Adolescent holding sparkler Fourth of July (July 4th) celebration with child holding sparkler and fireworks in background

With the 4th of July just days away and firework stands touting their wares in most major shopping complexes, safely enjoying this seasonal novelty is dependent on using common sense and the implementation of fire safety strategies to prevent personal injury and property damage. 

Here are several tips to safely enjoying your fireworks:

  • Always ignite fireworks outdoors
  • When igniting fireworks never light near homes or buildings where sparks or flames could start a fire
  • Light Fireworks on pavement- dry grass and leaves pose fire hazards and if ignited could spread to structures
  • Monitor weather conditions- if it is windy do not ignite fireworks, as sparks could be blown onto combustible materials
  • Never allow children to use fireworks unsupervised
  • Never light more than one firework at a time
  • If a firework fails to ignite, discard it
  • Never through used fireworks directly into the trash
  • Make sure they are fully extinguished prior to discarding

Have a safe fun-filled 4th of July!

Bound Water and Why Building Materials Must Be Removed to Dry

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

It is a common occurrence that clients will call with a need for mitigation service due to water damage caused from any number of sources, including a burst pipe, toilet supply line, ice maker line, overflowed washing machine or washing machine as well as storm related water damage.  One common fact is that most water damage restoration will require the removal of some building materials due to bound water.  Bound water is water that becomes trapped underneath flooring, inside walls or behind molding.   If bound water is not removed it provides the perfect catalyst for secondary damage such as delamination of impacted walls, flooring, odor, and mold growth.

Professional remediation entails only the removal of areas that are impacted and can’t be dried effectively any other way.  In some cases, only the molding will be removed to expose the wet drywall.  Then holes will be placed in the drywall at the molding level so air movers can concentrate airflow behind the drywall to dry bound water.  In cases where water gets underneath vinyl or laminate flooring, the flooring must be removed because the flooring itself acts as a vapor barrier preventing the drying process.

 All professional remediators dry according to the standards set by the IICRC S500 otherwise known as the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.   The standards set forth by the IICRC S500 are recognized by all insurance companies and their adjusters as it relates to water damage claims.  Only impacted building materials supported by the IICRC S500 are removed by professional remediators such as SERVPRO of Chapel Hill and North Orange County.

If you have a water damage small or large call (919)245-0788 for fast, efficient service. Like our motto, “Like it never even happened.”

Do You Have Storm Coverage?

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

An insurance agent reached out to me to call a customer of his that had significant water damage in his flooded basement.  The agent knew the customer needed our services, but he didn’t know if the damage would be covered.  The determining factor would rest on how the adjuster classified the cause of loss. 

When I called the customer, I was told by them that there was over two inches of standing water covering the1500sf finished basement.   The flooring was laminate and there were multiple rooms of furniture and other contents that were affected.   Their assessment of how the water had gained access to the home was due the heavy torrential rains that had occurred the previous night.  Based on this information and that of the agent, it was clear that there would likely be no insurance coverage for this massive loss.  This is because homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood water damage.  A separate flood insurance policy would have provided the much-needed coverage to mitigate and reconstruct the home.

It is advisable that all homeowners have an annual insurance policy review and discuss their coverages.   Although SERVPRO can help with any mitigation situation, it is sad when good people have a bad situation in which they are unable to afford the cost to rectify the situation.  In conclusion, it always a wise practice to have both a homeowner’s and a flood policy.  This will assure that SERVPRO will be able to make it "Like it never even happened.”

Where is the Water Shut-off?

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Imagine you’re a nonprofit property manager and you receive a frantic call from a tenant who has water flowing from a burst pipe with no immediate shutoff valve inside the home. Gallons of water are flooding the home each minute. What do you do? How can you get the water shut off to stop further damage that could easily affect adjoining units? These are important questions that should be contemplated during crisis.

Having a plan and addressing these issues is advance can minimize damage and save thousands of dollars. Failing to plan is planning to fail, which is why SERVPRO provides a complimentary service known as an ERP or Emergency Ready Plan. The ERP is the solution to having all your emergency shut-off information, location of such, directions, and special notes at your fingertips. The SERVPRO Ready Plan is an app which is available for Android and Apple devices. When implemented you have all the required information you need to minimize the damage, including vendors and direct contact to your local SERVPRO franchise for quick 24/7 mitigation.

SERVPRO of Orange County offers a free assessment of your facility where shut offs are located and documented within the app. Photos along with notes, local police, fire, hospital, and your company direct emergency response contacts are imputed, giving you the peace of mind that you are ready for whatever happens.

IF you have multi-tenant properties in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Cedar Grove, Efland or Mebane call SERVPRO of Orange to schedule your free ERP assessment at 919-245-0788.

Categorically Speaking

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Categorically speaking not every water damage is the same and as a result is not mitigated in the same manner.  This fact is critical to assure safety.  The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC in the water damage restoration certification class categorizes water damage in three categories.

  • Category 1 is water damage that results from clean water. A broken pipe, a ruptured ice maker line or supply line from a toilet are all Category 1 damage at the point of origin.
  • Category 2 is water damage that is referred to as gray water. This water contains microorganisms or other particulates.  A washing machine that overflows with detergent and dirty clothes mixed in with the water is an example of gray water or Category 2 water damage.   It is also important to note that a Category 1 water damage that goes untreated for a day or more can become a Category 2 or 3 as the water absorbs contaminants from the things it encounters.
  • Category 3 water damage is a water damage from a grossly contaminated source such as sewage water. Category 3 water damage contains bacteria that can cause sickness. 

When a professional mitigation and restoration company treats a water damage one of the first things, they look at is the category of the water.  If the water damage originates from a clean source drying methods are far less aggressive than in Category 2 or 3, where some impacted materials must be removed and discarded for safety reasons.

Storm Proof Your Roof

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season.  Each year hurricanes and tropical storms cause millions of dollars of damage to commercial and residential properties.  One the largest building systems damaged by high winds and water are roofing systems. As the highest point with multiple parts, roofs take a vast beating from torrential rain and high winds. Roofing systems are also constantly exposed to the seasonal elements of blaring heat from the sun and the extreme cold of winter along with the snow and ice that accompanies it.   Although no preventative practices can assure that no damage will occur to your building or home; storm proofing your roof can save you thousands of dollars in costly repairs.  Here are several practices that should be employed to protect and storm proof your roof.

  • Routine maintenance- The roof needs to be checked regularly for loose or damaged shingles, flashing or vents or pipe collars. Additionally, metal roofing and flat roofing systems should be professionally maintained. 
  • Check your attic for water spots and mold which would indicate that there is a leak. Also check for wood rot on rafters. If any of these things are found, immediate maintenance to correct the issue is essential to prevent more costly damage and the possible denial of an insurance claim after a storm.
  • Insurance review- Review your insurance policy to be apprised of your coverage and deductible limit.
  • Clean gutters- If the roof has gutters that do not have gutter caps that prevent clogging from debris, routine gutter cleaning is necessary to prevent damage to fascia boards caused by water overflowing the gutter.
  • Cut overhanging tree limbs and dead trees that could fall on the roof. A fallen tree limb can puncture a roof causing massive damage.  This is also true for a fallen tree that can break rafters and potentially result in the injury or death of occupants.  Having dangerous trees surrounding your business or home removed is one of the most effective means of storm proofing your roof.