Archived Blog Posts
Let’s Play the Feud- Category Top Causes of Commercial Water Damage
One of my favorite game shows of all time is Family Feud, where two families face off to answer the top answers in each category. This version was played by four SERVPRO of Orange County office team members, Yvonne, Holly, Rachael, and Sarah. Two per team with Yvonne and Holly as one team and Rachael and Sarah as the other. With the winning team buying lunch for the winner. In the spirit of the former host Richard Dawson and current host Steve Harvey- Let’s play the Feud.
Today’s category, Commercial Water Damage Causes.
Top 5 answers are on the board
Yvonne vs Sarah. Sarah hits the buzzer first and blurts out HVAC units.
HVAC units #4. Leaking HVAC units can cause significant water damage.
Yvonne has a chance to steal. Her answer: Pipe and Sprinkler Damage. Her answer ranks #2.
Pipe and Sprinkler Damage – can cause serious damage to property and profitability. Burst pipes and sprinklers can affect multiple floors and large amounts of square footage, causing significant business interruption. With a choice to pass or retain, Yvonne decides to retain. After conversing with Holly. Holly answers: Roof Leaks. Her answer ranks #1.
Roof Damage and Leaks is the top cause of commercial water damage. Having proper maintenance can prevent a large amount of interior water damage. However, some roof leaks can not be prevented and having a great relationship with a restoration company, like SERVPRO of Orange County, that can fix the roof and dry the structure is a blessing that can minimize business interruption and help you get back to preloss status.
Yvonne continues the streak of no strikes with her next answer, Storm Damage. Storm Damage is the #3 answer on the board. Storm events such as hurricanes, tropical storms and tornadoes cause millions of dollars of damage to commercial properties each year.
Yvonne and Holly high five each other knowing they are one answer away from sweeping the board. Confident in her next answer Holly states, “leaky windows and waterproofing.” Leaky windows and waterproofing ranks as the #5 answer completing the sweep.
Sarah and Rachael glare menacingly at the victors knowing their loss will require them to purchase lunch for the winners. Yvonne and Holly celebrate, and Yvonne yells, “Don’t Hate-Congratulate!”
Although this fun game of Family Feud only cost lunch, the impact of commercial water damage can be significant. SERVPRO Orange County makes it "Like it never even happened." with mitigation, restoration, and construction. Call (919)596-1242
How to Prevent Crawlspace Flooding
Crawlspace flooding can cause serious damage to your home and understanding how to prevent it is key to avoiding the costly repairs associated with type of water damage. For most homeowners the crawlspace is not an area of the home that often visited or even thought about. The common assertion is that the crawlspace is a dark cobweb filled cavernous, and creepy place that is to be avoided or left for a repairman to go inside for the sole purpose of fixing piping or an air handler.
However, the crawlspace requires attention on a more regular basis to assure that it is dry in order to protect electrical components such as the air handler unit of the heating and ac unit, prevent mold growth and preserve the structural integrity of the foundation.
During periods of heavy rains crawlspace flooding can occur. Several reasons for this are:
- Clogged gutters. If the gutter system on the home or building the large volume of water in an intense rainstorm will cause the water to overflow and water will collect along the foundation and lead to crawlspace flooding. To prevent this, have gutter guards installed or clean the gutters on a regular basis.
- Improper landscaping: If the landscaping of the home fails to divert water away from the structure, flooding is likely to occur. A great solution is to have a landscaping company install a French drain system and make sure that the lot is properly graded,
- Have a home inspection to check pipes that run along the floor joists for leaks. If any are found, have them immediately repaired.
- Install a sump pump: A sump pump is a valuable tool that will pump water out the crawlspace, upon detection, keeping your crawlspace flood free.
If you have a storm flooded crawlspace call SERVPRO of Orange County at (919)245-0788 for extraction and drying. We make it like it never even happened.
Why SERVPRO? Construction!
The Joneses called their SERVPRO representative at the recommendation of their insurance company for assistance with mitigating fire damage which had occurred because of grease catching fire in a skillet. The fire had damaged the hood vent, cabinets and a portion of the ceiling and walls. The smoke damage had gone into the adjoining dining room, living room, bedrooms, and hallway bathroom. The fire department had done an exceptional job in containing the fire but to get the family whole again would involve mitigation services in each room of the home. The furniture, electronics, clothing along with walls, ceilings and floors needed to be cleaned and deodorized. However, ground zero, the kitchen, needed far more than standard fire cleaning, it needed demolition and reconstruction.
The Joneses needed a one call solution that could tear out the damaged building materials, clean and deodorize the walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, electronics, and clothing and make the event like it never even happened. This is why they chose SERVPRO of Orange County. The Jones family was impressed with the fact that SERVPRO of Orange County was able to provide a turnkey job, right down to working with the insurance adjuster, tear and replacement of drywall, insulation, trim work, replacement of hood vent and cabinets and a fresh paint job. In addition to doing all this, the Joneses were overly impressed by the quality of work and the quick timeframe in which the job was completed.
If you find yourself in need of quality cleaning and reconstruction services, look no further than SERVPRO of Orange County. Call us at (919)245—0788.
Dry to the Touch is the Wrong Standard of Structural Drying
It’s 4:30pm on a Friday evening at a local apartment complex, when the maintenance department receives a call of a burst pipe to a dishwashing machine in a tenant occupied unit. The maintenance guy jumps on his golf cart with a shop vacuum, a mop and single air mover. Upon entry he cuts the water off to the dishwasher, extracts the visible standing water, sets up the air mover and runs back to the shop and grabs a dehumidifier. He returns and sets up the dehumidifier and tells the tenant he will return on Monday to get the equipment. What’s wrong with this picture? Didn’t the maintenance guy do this job and properly mitigate this water damage?
Sadly, he did not do the job according to the standards of professional drying as established by the IICRC S 500. The IICRC S500 describes the procedures and precautions to be taken when performing water damage restoration in commercial and residential buildings. This is the standard used by water damage restoration professionals to best certify that building materials are properly remediated and dried to prevent health hazards and prevent secondary damage.
What did the maintenance guy do wrong?
- He did not use a moisture meter to see how far the water progressed. This would enable him to correctly identify all areas that were wet so they could be dried properly.
- He was not able to identify if water was bound underneath flooring that could not be dried.
- He was not able to identify water that may have seeped underneath the cabinets or address the wet cabinets.
- There is no assurance of a balanced drying system.
Any areas where bound water remained trapped creates the opportunity for secondary damage such as microbial growth to occur. To properly address these issues, knowing what is wet is critical and that can not be done by visual assessment or by the touch. This can only be done with a moisture meter and know how to read it and understand what a correct drying goal is for the building materials being dried. Additionally, if water had progressed underneath vinyl or laminate flooring, the only proper way to dry it is to remove it. If water was trapped underneath the cabinets, the toe kick must be removed to get air into the cavity so that drying can occur. Also having a balanced drying system is critical. The moisture that is changed from liquid to gas using airflow created by the air movers must be captured by the dehumidifier. If there is more evaporation than dehumidification the excess moisture will seep into other moisture accepting materials potentially causing them to be damaged.
Also, not properly identifying the category of water damage creates the potential for health hazards.
There are standards for clean water, grey water and black water and knowing how to identify them and the procedure for proper remediation is essential for proper drying and safety. The maintenance guy treated the grey water from dishwasher the same way as clean water. There was no antimicrobial or disinfectant used to sanitize the affected material. This along with the other things that failed to address the standard for proper drying could have serious consequences.
If you are a property management company that understands the benefits of proper restorative drying and can appreciate the value of paying more to do the job right and alleviate the risks associated with doing it wrong, call SERVPRO of Orange County for all your future loses, at (919)245-0788.
Medical Document Drying
A medical office space that experiences a water damage emergency, one of the most critical elements for restoration is the drying, restoration, and preservation of client medical records. These documents contain sensitive personal information and cannot be handled by just anyone due to their sensitivity and the regulatory controls on handling such items. This is where SERVPRO of Chapel Hill and North Orange County is here to help.
The SERVPRO Restoration and Drying System:
- HIPAA Compliant: SERVPRO is certified in and HIPAA compliant, meaning the company is approved to safely handle and protect health information.
- Chain of Custody: Sensitive documents are inventoried and barcoded to assure their protection and preserve the proper chain of custody.
- State of the Art Drying System: Documents are protected from additional damage through a sublimation system using dry ice.
- Cleaned: Documents are cleaned of debris.
- Sanitized: Documents are sanitized for safety purposes.
- Deodorized: malodors are removed using the latest in deodorization processes.
- Digitized: Documents are digitally scanned so information can be preserved.
- Destroyed: Documents that can not be salvaged are safely destroyed.
If your medical facility in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, North Carolina, or the surrounding areas has need for restorative drying due to water damage of either the structure, contents or documents call SERVPRO of Orange County at (919) 245-0788.
Tips to Protect Your Orange County North Carolina Business from Storm Damage
Severe Storms in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Cedar Grove, or Hurdle Mills can damage brick and mortar businesses with driving winds, lightning strikes, and water damage from flooding and wind-driven rain. To protect your business as much as possible preventative measures must be taken, here are a few tips that can be implemented to help safeguard your business from the impact of severe water, wind, and lightning damage.
- Have your roof inspected prior to storm events. Having roof inspection done can uncover areas that may need maintenance. Repairs done prior to the storm can minimize water damage caused by heavy downpours.
- Check flashing. Any areas where the roof meets a wall or chimney will have metal flashing that over time may become loose. This provides a major weakness and unless repaired can lead to costly water damage.
- Inspect skylights. Make sure skylights are properly secured and sealed to prevent costly damage,
- Install a lightning system. A lightning system will protect your sensitive electronic equipment from damage.
- Inspect Air Conditioning Units
- Remove exterior items that can be blown by heavy wind and cause damage or be damaged.
- Install a back-up generator: In the event of a power outage a back-up generator can bridge the gap and keep you up and running.
- Board windows if necessary. In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane boarding windows is a necessity.
- Make sure you have the correct insurance. Meet with your insurance agent and have your business policies reviewed to make sure your business is properly insured.
It is impossible to prevent all storm damage, and should your Orange County, North Carolina business experiences water, wind, or fire damage contact SERVPRO of Orange County at 919-245-0788. We make it "Like it never even happened."
Five Uncommon Fire Hazards
There are numerous fire hazards that are obvious, however; the uncommon hazards are equally as deadly. Here are five hazards that most people are unaware of.
- 9 volt batteries: These powerful energy store houses can pose a significant fire hazard if not stored properly. If they are left loose inside a drawer or placed in a trash can where they come in contact with metal, a fire can ensue. Volt batteries should be stored and disposed of inside a plastic container that has nothing flammable or metal inside it.
- Coffee Creamer: Powered non-diary coffee creamer is highly flammable when dispersed and should be kept away from open flames and heat sources.
- Laptops: Laptop batteries can get extremely hot and if left on something flammable like a book, holstered furniture or bedding it poses a significant fire hazard. Place laptops on a flat table when not in use.
- Toaster: The crumbs inside a toaster are a fire hazard. Clean crumbs out regularly by turning the toaster upside down over a trash can. Newer models have a catch tray that can be easily removed and replaced to remove crumbs.
- Glass or crystal décor: These beautiful ornamentations can pose a fire hazard if left in direct sunlight where the concentrated sun rays can become a catalyst for a fire.
The 4 Pillars of Why SERVPRO
There is probably no doubt that you have seen the green SERVPRO vehicles driving around town or you’ve seen the commercials. The powerful brand image of lime green against orange in the logo is unforgettable. Most people know that SERVPRO is synonymous with fire, water, mold and biohazard clean up and restoration. The question still looms, why should you trust SERVPRO above all others with your home when a catastrophe strikes? The answer to that question is the 4 P’s or Pillars of SERVPRO: Personnel, Process, Products, and Price.
- Personnel: Great organizations are made up of great people. The greatness of SERVPRO is the people behind the brand. Caring, committed, professionals that take pride in their work are the foundation of the SERVPRO franchise system. SERVPRO professionals understand the importance of their work as they assist you in a difficult and stressful time in your life.
- Process: SERVPRO, as a franchise system, has built numerous processes to assure excellence in all areas of operations. With detailed training and structure and the newest technology, SERVPRO has the right processes to work on the smallest to largest jobs and provide exemplary service. The SERVPRO process allows jobs to move quickly from mitigation into reconstruction, shortening the time from start to completion. This truly allows clients to feel the “WOW” factor that SERVPRO provides
- Products: SERVPRO has an in house product development team that provides superior products that are designed to truly wow and awe. These products in the hands of a well-trained SERVPRO professional can take water or fire damaged items and in many cases makes them like they were never even damaged.
- Price: SERVPRO can assure fair pricing because the pricing used in insurance claims is set by the insurance company. Your insurance company has set the price that SERVPRO uses when they estimate your claim. Assuring that you will not be overbilled.
- When you need restoration and reconstruction services one call does it all, (919)245-0788.
Q&A Can High Humidity Cause Water Damage?
A homeowner exclaimed, “The air in my house feels heavy, and I can’t stand it.” The homeowner wanted relief. The conditions were unbearable, and went beyond the way it made him feel. There was the smell or malodor of mustiness and the appearance of opaque, greyish dots on the walls and on clothing. He wanted answers, and in addition to the cause, the answer to the question, can high humidity be the culprit? More eloquently stated, “Can high humidity cause water damage?”
The answer to this question requires an understanding of humidity and if it has any attributes that relate to water. Humidity or Relative Humidity is the amount of vaporized water that is contained in the air. Relative humidity had a direct correlation to temperature. The high the temperature, the greater the percentage of water vapor the air is able to hold. The lower the temperature the less moisture or water vapor the air can contain. When air reaches its saturation point, which is 100% capacity of the amount of water vapor it can hold t that temperature, the vapor will turn from gaseous state into a liquid. This is the principle that causes rain. When there is too much humidity in a house or building, water damage can occur if not quickly remedied.
If the relative humidity inside a home or building exceeds 60% the conditions for mold growth are suitable. Mold has the ability to grow 48-72 hours. Additionally high humidity left unchecked can rust metal. The excessive moisture in high humidity will be absorbed into fabrics and hygroscopic or water loving materials. This can result is discoloration and mold growth on these materials. High humidity can cause water damage and it is important to fix the cause quickly. The first thing to do is to find the source and correct it. Second start the process of dehumidification. Third remediate any mold if present. These three things are best accomplished by calling professionals to assess and correct the problems. SERVPRO of Orange County is a valuable asset in helping commercial businesses and homeowners deal with water damage resulting from high humidity. Contact us at (919)245-0788.
Storm Safety True or False
North Carolina weather is known for its thunderstorms during the hot summer months of summer. Thunderstorms are not to be taken lightly because of the numerous perils that accompany them such as flooding, high winds, and lightning sticks which can result in injury or death. To keep you and your family safe it is imperative that you know the facts versus falsehoods. Here is a quiz to test your knowledge.
- True or False: You should unplug electronics well before the storm arrives.
- True or False: Rubber soled shoes are adequate protection in the event you are struck by lightning.
- True or False: You should go inside a secure structure during a storm.
- True or False: It is okay to stand in the window or by the door during a severe storm.
- True or False: You should find the highest hill, open field, beach, or boat during a storm.
- True or False: You should avoid washing your hands, washing dishes, or showering during a storm.
- True or False: You should not lie on a concrete floor or lean against a concrete wall during a thunderstorm.
- True or False: You should wait 30 minutes after the last clap of lightning before going outside.
- True or False: You should shutter windows and secure doors to protect yourself, loved ones and the home.
- True or False: It is a best practice to remove dead or rotting trees that could fall and cause injury during a severe thunderstorm?
Should you experience water or fire damage due to a severe weather event contact SERVPRO of Orange County (919) 245-0788
Answers: 1) True 2) False 3) True 4) False 5) False 6) True 7) True 8) True 9) True 10) True
School of Rock Sings SERVPRO Praise After Hitting Sour Note Due to Water Damage
North Carolina weather in RDU during the month of January sometimes brings ice and snow as was the case on January 23, 2022, when Durham and Chapel Hill were blanketed with several inches of ice and snow. Unlike a heavy rain, when water turns to ice it expands and often exposes weakened areas of roofing systems as was the case with the School of Rock in Chapel Hill. Ice Damming caused a roof leak damaging ceiling tiles and poling water onto the floor. Water damage especially in a commercial setting such as this can affect revenue through business interruption, making it imperative to return things back to normal as soon as possible. SERVPRO of North Orange County, North Carolina was called in save the day so the future musical stars of tomorrow can hone their craft.
The School of Rock located at 1500 North Fordham Blvd Chapel Hill, NC 27514 provides group and one on one lessons from trained musicians. They teach everything from the classics of singing to piano, bass guitar, drums, and more. Students can learn popular local styles such as indie, folk, and blue grass. At School of Rock, students can perform live shows and develop their skills in a supportive and encouraging learning environment. To learn more about their programs call (919)338-1011.
SERVPRO of North Orange County was honored to assist our fellow Chapel Hill /Carrboro Chamber of Commerce member in their time of need.
Smoke and Air Quality, Should You be Concerned?
On Monday January 31, 2022, a fire broke out at the Winston -Salem Weaver Fertilizer Plant. The imminent danger was the potential for the over 600 tons of ammonium nitrate and 5000 tons of finished fertilizer to explode. Residents within a one-mile radius were asked to evacuate. From the onset, plumes of smoke have continuously billowed into the sky creating a haze throughout the entire region which impacts the air quality. Fires put harmful toxins into the air and according to the EPA, Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic materials burn. According to the EPA soot particles can cause health effects.
People with heart or lung disease, people with diabetes, the elderly, small children, and pregnant women should take their doctor’s advice as to the best way of dealing with soot particle inhalation. In the case of the fertilizer plant fire, the fire department is sending up drones to monitor the air quality. Concerned citizens can monitor the results by following the local weather reports.
A structure fire can impact both the outdoor and the indoor air quality. Even if you have a fire that does minimal structural damage the indoor air quality will be impacted. It is important to have the soot and fire residue removed by a trained restoration company, such as SERVPRO of North Orange County, to not only eliminate odor, but to restore air quality to preloss conditions. If you experience a fire, large or small, or are just concerned about indoor air quality SERVPRO of North Orange County can help. Our trained technicians can clean fire damaged buildings and contents, removing odor and improving air quality by capturing harmful airborne particles with air scrubbers. Additionally, SERVPRO of North Orange County offers duct cleaning as a further method of improving indoor air quality. Call 919-244-0788
Why SERVPRO? Cause We Make It "Like it never even happened."
In the newest SERVPRO commercial a helicopter carrying a large water balloon drops it on a building in the test lab run by Test Director Rick. The water from the balloon causes massive damage to the building, ruining everything from walls, ceilings, flooring, furniture, and artwork. The shocking image of water damage is followed by trained SERVPRO professionals extracting the water, drying the structure and furniture, and then completing the rebuild, restoring the building to its preloss condition. The commercial ends with Test Director Rick saying, “This is how making it "Like it never even happened." happens.”
Although the commercial is fiction the message conveyed is true. Water damage happens every day to commercial businesses and personal residences. When this happens SERVPRO is trained and ready to come to the rescue.
The SERVPRO orange house logo and green vehicles are highly recognized, but what stands behind the bold colors is a company of qualified and certified project managers, crew chiefs, technicians, managers, and office staff. These professionals take a catastrophic water, fire, mold, or biohazard event from mitigation to full reconstruction. SERVPRO customers have one company, that makes bad better and then makes the entire event like it never even happened.
If you or someone you know is experiencing water damage to your commercial business or home in Orange County North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Prospect Hill, Cedar Grove or the surrounding area call SERVPRO of Orange County at 919-245-0788. To view the SERVPRO commercial go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOXnE1ThsWM.
Understanding Waterproof Laminate Flooring and Water Damage Restoration
Laminate Flooring is one of the most popular flooring options that homeowners choose for its decorative, functional, durable and cost efficient properties. Laminate floor gives the appearance of real hardwood floors at a fraction of the cost. These floors are composed of a laminate surface over an image layer bonded to compressed particle board that interlocks with adjoining pieces. Traditional laminate flooring is subject to swelling and delamination if it gets wet. When water gets inside the joints and absorbs into the particle board substructure the results are catastrophic and the flooring must be removed and replaced. However; there is a new version of laminate flooring that touts that the flooring is waterproof.
Waterproof laminate flooring has new features including:
- Waterproof seal: First, the surface features a water-repellent seal that keeps spills and moisture from the core.
- Watertight joints: Each plank locks together tightly to prevent water from seeping through. Some waterproof laminate flooring features bevels that wrap over the plank’s edges for even better moisture protection at the joints.
- Water-resistant core: Then, waterproof laminate’s core layer is made of compressed high-density fiberboard (HDF) with resins. This makes it less susceptible to swelling and ensures better water resistance.
These floors can be highly effective if the edges are sealed against the walls to prevent water from getting underneath the floors. If the edges are not sealed and water intrudes between the laminate and the subfloor the flooring will still require removal because the water will be trapped between the laminate, the membrane, and the subfloor. The trapped water cannot be dried until the laminate flooring is removed. If however; the laminate flooring is manufactured with the bottom membrane adhered to the core, drying can occur if there is a crawlspace that would allow the flooring to be dried from the bottom though the subfloor. If you have water damage, contact the specialists of SERVPRO of Orange County at 919-245-0788.
Super Hero Ready Your Commercial Property
Imagine it’s 4:00pm on a Friday afternoon and your work week is about to come to an end, when an employee runs up in a panic telling you that water is spewing everywhere flooding the hallway and adjacent rooms . The squiggly thought bubbles of inappropriate words swell to the forefront of your conscious mind, Murphy’s Law of what could go wrong has occurred. Are you built for this moment, like a super hero ready to save he day? Do you know what to do or will a bad situation get worse? Have you planned for the unexpected? Do you know where the water shut-off valve is or will you hope and pray you can get maintenance on the phone?
If the answers these questions are unsettling because there is no plan, or the plan is in a binder somewhere not easily accessible, SERVPRO of Orange County has a solution to calm your anxiety- The SERVPRO Ready Plan App. An App that’s like having a super hero on speed dial.
The SERVPRO Ready App Benefits:
- No Cost Facility Evaluation – a walk through to assess critical information that is often overlooked and not readily accessible in critical moments of necessity.
- Minimizes damage and lost revenue due to business interruption, helping you keep the doors open for business
- Identifies key shut off valves for water, gas and electrical services
- Provides key contact information, accessible instantly
- Identifies key line of command for emergency services to begin
- Establishes SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
- Puts information at your fingertips on cellular platforms for Apple and Android
- No Cost for Service
With the SERVPRO Ready App installed on your smartphone you will be empowered by having the critical information you need readily available to act quickly to avert disaster by minimizing the impact of an unfortunate situation. You will not be at the mercy of hoping you can reach the maintenance engineer because the app will tell you where the shut off is, so you can stop the water flow. What makes it even more powerful is that your employees, equipped with this app, upon seeing the flooding will be empowered to stop the water flow prior to alerting you of the situation. Every second and minute matters in a disaster situation and time saved, is money saved. Don’t let another day go by without scheduling a free facility assessment. Call (919)245-0788 and be prepared for the unexpected.
An Important Fact About Flood Water and Your Home
North Carolina weather can bring flash flood alerts during any season of the year. These severe weather events can be the result of a major thunderstorm, microburst, tornado, or hurricane. Flood or ground water affecting your home can be dramatically different from a pipe or water heater that ruptures.
Flood or ground water is classified as a Category 3 water loss, meaning it is grossly contaminated. Water is a solvent, and it picks up anything soluble that it encounters. Contaminates in flood water can include germs, microorganisms, bacteria, toxins, fecal matter, chemicals from improperly discarded medicine, oil, or gasoline. The hazardous nature of flood or ground water makes it extremely hazardous. As a result of these hazards, flood water is required by the water remediation standard know as the IICRC S500 to remove and discard all porous materials impacted by Category 3 water intrusions. This will include drywall, insulation, carpets, padding, impacted furniture and other contents.
Clean water sources such as pipe or water heater that is caught within a few hours can be properly dried without the removal and disposal of impacted structural items or contents.
Flood or ground water is costly and is not covered by standard homeowners’ policies. A covered claim would require a separate flood policy. Most homeowner” don’t purchase one unless they live in a flood plain. Although the flood policies are expensive it might be something you want to consider.
If your home or business has been impacted by flood or ground water contact the water specialists at SERVPRO of Orange County to mitigate, remediate and reconstruct your home or business. Call us at (919) 596-1242. We Make It "Like it never even happened."
Dangers of Portable Heaters Exposed
Dangers of Portable Heaters Exposed
As temperatures plunge keeping warm inside as well as outside is a necessity. Even with central heating and air systems or gas heating units certain rooms may require an additional boost of warmth to provide comfort. To meet this need portable space heaters are used. According to the National Fire Protection Association heating equipment is the second leading cause of house fires in the United States and the third leading cause of death. Is this mainly due to make and design of portable heating units or misuse by operators?
Portable space heaters must meet certain regulatory requirements to be sold in the U.S. and most are UL rated for safety. Additionally, when sold new, all portable heating units come with operator instructions that list proper operating procedures for safety. With this being the case, the majority of fires caused by space heaters can be attributed to improper use by the operator. In order to keep safe when using a portable heater follow these tips.
- Do not place the heating unit near combustible materials, such as upholstery, bedding, clothing, paper etc.
- Never leave a portable heater unattended.
- Do not go to sleep with a portable heating system running.
- Do not attempt to use portable heaters as a primary heating source.
- Never use a portable heater with a frayed electrical plug.
- Never place a portable heater into an outlet that is loose.
- Never attach a portable heater to an extension cord.
- Attach your portable heater on a circuit by itself due to the amount of energy it consumes.
- Never run the electrical cord of the portable heating unit underneath a rug or carpet as this could result in a fire.
- If the unit is defective do not use it.
- Place portable heating units on flat surfaces where they can’t tip over.
- Keep pets away from portable heating units.
- Never use an outdoor space heater inside where it does not have proper ventilation. Improper use of this sort can result in death due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County Celebrates Service with First Responders Day
On Friday October 8, 2021, SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County recognized First Responders from Orange County North Carolina at the UNC men’s soccer game against Wake Forest University. Town of Chapel Hill Fire Department, University of Chapel Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Hillsborough Police Department and Orange Rescue Squad were in attendance. In a combined effort with Tarheel Sports Properties and SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County autographed soccer balls were given to each first responder that attended and chose to be recognized on field level during halftime.
In addition to field level recognition SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County and the Town of Chapel Hill Fire Department each had marketing booths providing swag and information regarding life safety for any attendee. The night was capped off by each Town of Chapel Hill Fire Fighter giving their autographed soccer ball to a child in the stands.
SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County is honored to bring awareness to our first responders who are willing to come to our rescue and aid in our time of need. This event is our way of saying thank you for all you do.
Does your family know what to do? 30/30 rule
Does your family know what to do before, during, and after a lightning storm? Learn the facts and practice your plan. The 30/30 rule is if there is less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, seek shelter. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving shelter.