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HVAC and Electrical Fires in Commercial Buildings

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

HVAC System Malfunction

Roughly 9% of fires happen when an HVAC system malfunctions. This includes central heating systems, as well as water heaters, space heaters, and other appliances.

Heating systems should be regularly inspected, especially during winter when they are used most heavily. And always ensure flammable materials are kept well away from heat sources. Areas where the main HVAC system is housed, as well as any water heaters or storage rooms, should be outfitted with smoke alarms.

Electrical Malfunction

About 7% of fires are linked to an electrical system malfunction, often due to problems with wiring in the building. These fires are more likely to occur in older buildings with questionable wiring. Make sure your building is regularly inspected.

If your business has suffered fire and/or smoke damage, please call SERVPRO of Helotes / Leon Springs today. We are here to help. To learn more about commercial fire damage restoration, click here.

Source: Smoke Guard Online

Flooding and Sandbags - Which to Choose

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

When the threat of a flood is close to your home, sandbags for flooding become as valuable as gold, yet they’re cheap. There have been advancements with sandbags, which is great, thanks to water-activated sandbag which mimic the ability of real sand bags. Yes, they cost more, but are much quicker to move and implement in the case of a flood so the cost is negligible.

Sandbags for flooding are essential tools if you live in an area prone to flooding.  It is not advised to use other bags that are not intended for use as sandbags as they may not be as effective. Sandbags are constructed for the use of containing sand or soil to prevent or reduce the impact of water damage in the event of a flood. They are typically made with woven polypropylene or burlap sacks. Plastic garbage bags are slick and will not create a sturdy structure when stacked. Feed sacks, although made of similar materials to sandbags, are usually large and are also not practical for handling.

If your home or business has experienced a flood, please call the professionals of SERVPRO of Helotes / Leon Springs right away – open 24 hours for emergency services and here to help!

Source: Chainshaw Journal. Jan 2020.

SERVPRO® Will Work with Your Business' Insurance Company

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® Will Work with Your Business' Insurance Company

In the unfortunate event your business suffers water, fire, or mold damage, SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs will work with your insurance company, so you have less work load on your plate.  Our employees talk with insurance adjusters every day to make sure things are billed correctly with your insurance and the job is properly documented to ensure things are going according to plan. Being in business for over 14 years, whatever property and casualty insurance company your business uses, odds are we have worked with them in the past.  Give us a call to set up an emergency preparedness plan for your business today. SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs will work hard to get your business up and running as quickly as possible. Here to Help.

How to Set Up Weather Emergency Alerts on Your Phone

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Search for "CMAS" or "WEA" in your phone's messaging settings. You can also dial "##2627##" (minus the quotes) on your phone to turn them on.

 If neither of these do the trick, you might not have a phone that is WEA enabled. But, you can still get emergency weather alerts with weather apps like the Weather Channel app or WeatherUSA, for which you can search your app store.

WeatherUSA sends out real-time alerts to you every time there’s any weather-related warning in your area. They send these alerts out whenever they are released by any federal agency, including the National Weather Service. These alerts are sent across to the subscribers via SMS or email. You can choose to add your county or state for the local weather warnings.

For Android users, To meet the FCC standards, Android introduced “Emergency Broadcasts” features in all its mobiles. Through this service, you can get severe weather alerts instantly. Apart from these alerts, this feature also sends out an alert whenever there’s any emergency in your area.

Source: USA Today Online

Safety in Removing Water After a Storm

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Should you experience a flood in your home after a storm, our team of technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered. If you suspect your home or business has been contaminated with "black water", please do not try to remove it yourself. Please call the professionals at SERVPRO of Helotes / Leon Springs who are bio hazard certified.

What exactly is black water? Category 3 "black water" is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any emergency situations that arise. We are here to help.

How To Use Your Fire Extinguisher

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Learning how to use your fire extinguisher

Once you've made your purchases, familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher directions so you’ll be prepared in case you need to put out a fire. Typically, fire extinguishers are fairly easy to use in the case of a fire. Most of the types operate using the P.A.S.S. technique:

  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher in order to break the tamper seal.
  • Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire. 
  • Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent. 
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished. 
  • If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.

Source: Nationwide

Storm Damage Prevention and Treatment

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damage prevention and treatment: reducing damage from storms with preventive action using trees.

Damage to trees from storms can be minimized by designing and implementing a tree management plan. Designing and executing a plan can help prevent problems.  There is no doubt trees can cause damage and be damaged in storms. However, appropriately placed and well-maintained trees can help to reduce storm damage to structures by deflecting wind, as well as reduce damage to the tree itself. Appropriate actions include: proper placement and planting, structural pruning prior to the storm, and proper species selection. Actions in the weeks and years following a strong storm can help bring damaged trees back to health.

If your home or business is affected by a storm, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Helotes / Leon Springs. To learn more about storm damage restoration with SERVPRO of Helotes / Leon Springs, click here.

Understanding Fire Extinguisher Classes

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Understanding fire extinguisher classes

There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energized fires
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals

Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B, B-C or A-B-C.

Purchasing your fire extinguisher

Now that you know how many extinguishers you need and what types to get, you can head to the hardware store. Look for fire extinguishers that you can easily lift. Larger extinguishers may pack more power, but you must be able to use it properly.

Source: Nationwide

Make Sure to Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home or Business

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Make Sure to Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home or Business

Not only is it smart to keep fire extinguishers in your home, it’s also the law in many states.

It's important to make sure you have the right types of fire extinguishers on hand to put out common household fires. Read our fire extinguisher safety tips to learn how to stay safe and don't forget to make sure you have the right coverage if your home sustains fire damage.

Getting started with fire extinguishers

The first thing to do when choosing a fire extinguisher is to decide which rooms in your house need one. You should keep at least one on each level of your house. Make sure you keep fire extinguishers handy where fires are more likely to start, like in the kitchen and garage.

Source: Nationwide

The Top Three Common Causes of Commercial Building Fires

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

The Top Three Common Causes of Commercial Building Fires

From 2007 to 2016, these are the top three causes that were identified as the most common reasons behind commercial fires.

  1. Cooking/Kitchen Appliances

Cooking remains at the top of the list as a cause of non-residential fires at 25% to 30%. The fires sometimes started because of human error while cooking and sometimes by an appliance malfunctioning.

Because kitchens are an extremely high-risk zone, strong effort should be taken to ensure full protection and prevention. Sprinklers, alarms and easily accessible fire extinguishers are an absolute must.

  1. Arson/Intentional

Arson, or an intentional fire, is the next common cause of a non-residential fire, with roughly 10% of fires occurring from arson.  Intentional fires are most likely to occur after working hours, between 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.  An arsonist may start a fire anywhere, but bathrooms, trash cans, dumpsters and garages are likely spots.

While you can’t prevent arson completely, you can take precautions to limit the damage and opportunities:

  • Make sure trash cans are emptied every day.
  • If possible, keep dumpsters away from the building so a dumpster fire can’t spread to the building.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to make them harder to set on fire and so arsonists can’t use them for cover while setting a fire.
  • Put up motion detection cameras or lights in dark or normally unused areas so any fires can be caught and put out faster.
  • Install smoke/fire curtains near the doorways of the areas most likely to be used for arson.
  1. Human Error/Unintentional

Human error, or unintentional fires, are also responsible for about 10% of fires. Because there are a vast number of reasons why a fire might occur accidentally, employee fire safety training is extremely important.

Some examples of an unintentional fire include cigarettes being improperly discarded, employees leaving heating equipment too close to walls or flammable surfaces, candles, and improper use of electrical cords.

Source: Smoke Guard Online