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Are You Watching for These Fire Hazards in Your Home? SERVPRO® of Piscataway

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Are You Watching for These Fire Hazards in Your Home? | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common household fire hazards. Because no one wants to experience the unfortunate possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire, it’s important to learn and understand how you can protect your home from this harsh reality by understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them.

Be Mindful When Burning Candles

Candle usage caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. There were an average of 24 candle-related home fires reported per day during those five years, with December having the highest number of calls during the year for home candle fires.

Of the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent and 51 percent, respectively, of the associated deaths and injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States answered calls to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candle use. These fires were responsible for 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.

Never use a candle if oxygen is being used in the home. Always blow all candles out before leaving a room or going to sleep. And be sure candles are kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over.

Disaster Can Stem From Indoor Smoking

While cooking is the main cause of home fires, smoking is the main cause of home fire deaths. Approximately 17,200 home structure fires caused by smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes and cigars, were reported in 2014. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.

All cigarettes should be doused in water or sand prior to throwing them out—and keep in mind that one out of four fatalities from smoking-material fires is not the actual smoker whose cigarette started the fire.

Dust Bunnies = Fire Hazards

While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.

Were you aware that some kinds of glassware in your home could pose a fire risk? When sunlight passes through the glassware, the concentrated ray may ignite flammable materials. It is best to keep glass accessories away from windows and out of sunlight.

Dust bunnies are also a fire risk if left to collect near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind entertainment centers can help prevent buildup.

Check for loose electrical outlets in your home. The movement of these loose electrical outlets could possibly loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing and sparking, which could ignite a fire.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, is accompanied by water damage from the firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire, smoke or water, SERVPRO® of Piscataway is here to help you restore your home to pre-fire condition.

 

Fire Safety Basics For your Family

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Basics for Your Family | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

Every year in the United States, more than 350,000 house fires occur, adding up to more than $5.5 billion in property damage. These fires also lead to nearly 3,000 deaths and another 10,000 injuries.

Your best defense is to prepare in advance for a fire. That’s why it’s important for every person in your family to know how to prevent fires and understand what needs to be done if a fire occurs.

Start by teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines at a young age. Also take a look at these three other fire safety precautions you can practice as a family:

Finding Fire Hazards in the Home

If you were to walk through your home looking for fire hazards, you might be surprised at how many you spot! Take some time to check every room as well as your outdoor space to spot and correct these hazards.

  • Appliances should be in good working condition.
  • Check to be sure electrical cords aren’t damaged.
  • Ensure electric outlets and/or extension cords aren’t overloaded.
  • Light fixtures should be used with the correct light bulbs.
  • Electrical wiring should never be covered up by rugs or carpet.
Fire Safety for the Kitchen

Home fires are often caused by cooking. That’s why it’s important to be especially careful in the kitchen.

Anyone who’s cooking needs to follow some basic cooking safety rules:

  • Never cook when distracted or tired.
  • Supervise kids and teens at all times when they are cooking.
  • Keep a lid nearby when cooking on the stove. In the event of a grease fire, smother it with the lid.
  • If the oven catches fire, keep the door closed and turn the oven off.
  • If a kitchen fire occurs and starts to spread, leave the room and close the door.
Design a Fire Safety Plan

Should a fire spark, every person in the family must know how to react and what to do—which includes how to get out of the house and where to go once they’re out.

But don’t just create a plan and not practice that plan.

You’ve heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” Regular practice of your fire plan will make everyone involved more likely to remember the steps if an actual fire occurs.

If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of Piscataway can help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.

HVAC Maintenance for Every Home | SERVPRO® of Piscataway Trivia time: Most homeowners don’t know that, according to Energy Star, half of the energy

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

HVAC Maintenance for Every Home/Office | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

Trivia time: Most homeowners don’t know that, according to Energy Star, half of the energy expenses for a home are a result of energy from the heating and cooling system. We all enjoy the comforts of an HVAC system, but there is definitely an investment associated with operating them—thankfully, with some basic maintenance, your investment goes much further.

Because an HVAC system is so important, it’s necessary to do regular maintenance to stop problems before they start.

Below is helpful information about how your HVAC works and how to care for it.

  • As the AC runs, the cooling coils absorb water from the air and drain it away. If the drainage becomes obstructed, contamination and mold growth will build up. Regularly check drain pans and nearby surfaces for moisture accumulation to ensure water damage isn’t happening.
  • For maximum air quality and efficiency, it’s recommended for you to change HVAC filters every 30 to 90 days depending on the quality and type of filter. Other ways to improve heating and cooling include ensuring a snug, secure fit when filters are installed and using the highest efficiency filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends.
  • Simply keeping up with routine dusting and vacuuming in your home can do wonders for your HVAC system. By clearing this debris out, you’re stopping it before it’s able to invade the air flow system and dirty up your vents. Further the benefit by always using the highest efficiency filter for the vacuum, and purchasing one with a HEPA certification if possible.

Tip: If you’re planning to do construction or renovations, always seal off both supply and return registers. Wait to unseal them until all the dust has been removed.

  • Schedule regular maintenance checkups and cleaning. While there are quite a few things homeowners can do to maintain their HVAC system, they should be done in addition to having a professional survey your system two times per year. A professional cleaning can improve air quality and allow your unit to run more efficiently, allowing your family to breathe cleaner air and see a reduction in energy usage.

If you’re interested in how getting your ducts cleaned can help with your HVAC maintenance, contact SERVPRO® of Piscataway today to schedule a consultation!

How to Build an Emergency Kit for the Whole Family

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Build an Emergency Kit for the Whole Family Things needed for a Storm Emergency

How to Build an Emergency Kit for the Whole Family | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

In 2017, there was over $306 billion in damage related to natural disasters. Not being prepared for an emergency situation is a risk, and the number of severe weather and natural disasters makes it an even bigger one.

At SERVPRO®, we understand the importance of being prepared for emergencies. That’s why we’ve assembled tips on how to pack your family’s emergency preparedness kit, to help you stay comfortable and safe until help arrives:

Food and Water: For food and water rations, experts recommend packing a 72-hour supply for each family member. Not sure what to pack? Think of resilient items like granola bars, trail mixes or nearly anything you might find in a store’s camping section. Canned foods and dehydrated dinners are also viable options, but typically require the use of a camping stove or water heater.

Tip: Have pets? The same 72-hour rule applies to their food and water.

Stay Comfortable: When packing the emergency kit, remember that you might be dependent on it for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Things like blankets, pillows and a change of clothes might not be needed for a short time, but you wouldn’t want to go several days without them. Also, make room for practical items like hand sanitizer and paper towels, to keep the living space sanitary until help arrives.

Tip: Pack small, fun items for the kids—cards, books and puzzles are great for this.

Odds and Ends: Small items are easily forgotten, but can often be the handiest. Always pack first-aid kits, as well as any prescription medication, copies of important documents, and cash or travelers’ checks. Additionally, resourceful tools such as flashlights, headlamps, a Swiss Army Knife and duct tape are useful in a number of scenarios, without taking up too much room.

Tip: Feel like you’ve forgotten something? Take inventory of everything your family uses in a three-day period—chances are, if they use it, you should pack it.

If you need help preparing for or recovering from a disaster, SERVPRO can help. Contact our Piscataway location today 732-752-4445 to get connected with our team of professionals.

 

Commercial Restoration & Cleaning Services

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to your commercial property, we mean business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results. Whether you need professional cleaning to make your business shine, or emergency water restoration services, SERVPRO of Piscataway has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep-cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO of Piscataway to get the job done right the first time. We’ll respond promptly and make your work space look its very best. Learn more about our commercial cleaning services.

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Piscataway is available 24 hours a day to restore your South Plainfield property and get you back to business. We have the expertise, equipment, and highly trained personnel to handle your commercial water, fire, or mold damage. We can also access the resources of our national network of 1,700 Franchises to handle large commercial projects and major storm events. Learn more about our commercial restoration services.

Give us a call we can help

732-752-4445

Here's What You Can Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Here’s What You Can Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

While damages from fire can often be mitigated with restoration, learning that you’ve been affected by a home fire is still devastating. When you begin the cleanup process, to ensure the restoration is properly done, don’t cut corners by not hiring a professional.

Working with a professional has several benefits—not only will they work with your homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf, but they will also be able to salvage more items in the cleanup. That being said, it’s understandable to want to begin cleanup right away, while you’re still waiting on help to arrive.

While most things should be left to the professionals, a few tasks can be done while you wait so you can get your life back to normal faster. If you decide you’re ready to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three things you can safely do:

Laundry

If your washer and dryer have not been affected by the fire, starting laundry right away is a great way to help the cleanup process. By washing clothing, bedding and other machine washable materials with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution, you’ll be able to get back to normal more quickly as most things must be washed several times. However, always leave delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains to professional care.

Increased Ventilation

To reduce the smoky smell, open windows and doors, and keep them open as long as weather allows. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to ventilate further, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.

Preliminary Cleaning

Tile, countertops and other non-porous substances can benefit from a scrub with soap and water to cut through the initial layer of grime. Use a mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner to get a preliminary scrub taken care of. Cleaning improperly can result in more severe and possibly permanent damage to your surfaces, so leave anything you’re unsure about to the pros.

If you’ve had damage due to a home fire, SERVPRO® has a team of trained professionals that can help your life get back to normal, faster.

 

Water Damage and the Types Of Pollution It Causes

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage and the Types of Pollution It Causes | SERVPRO® of Piscataway

If you’re familiar with water damage, you’re likely familiar with terms like “black water” and “clear water” to describe the water pollutant levels left behind. Though the implication is that clear water is less hazardous than black water, the reality is that there are three types and they can all cause their own kinds of damage to your home or office.

Because we know the devastation that comes along with water damage, we’ve outlined the three types of water contamination you might come across and what these terms mean.

Classifications of Water Damage

Category 1: The first classification, “clear water,” refers to water that has originated from a clear source and is free from contaminants. Water from broken inbound pipes, water supply lines, leaky faucets or direct rainwater would fall into this category. It is not recommended, but category 1 water should not be harmful if consumed.

Category 2: Grey water, the next category, is a bit more serious. This refers to wastewater generated from appliances, drain overflows or other types of typical household flooding. Because this water has come into contact with many surfaces, category 2 water is contaminated and will cause illness if consumed.

Category 3: The most notorious of the categories, category 3 water is commonly known as black water. Sewage overflows, rising flood waters or water that has remained stagnant and has begun breeding bacteria are all cause for concern and can cause illness or death if consumed.

Categories Do Change

The nuances of water damage can become even more complicated after the initial flooding because water that starts as one category can easily advance to another. Water that develops higher pollution levels from coming into contact with surfaces or breeding bacteria can become even more dangerous as time goes on.

Because this is impossible to determine from appearance alone, professional cleanup is essential to obtaining peace of mind and a properly restored property.

If you’ve suffered from water damage in your home or office, SERVPRO®’s team of water restoration professionals is here to help!

 

Mold Growth Prevention for the Most Vulnerable Rooms

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Growth Prevention for the Most Vulnerable Rooms | SERVPRO of Piscataway

When you’re working on mold prevention, a well-ventilated home is a great place to start, but even the driest of homes will have damp spaces. Pipes, faucets and steam can all encourage mold growth, and the spores are notorious for their resiliency.

While the moisture is unavoidable, harmful mold growth is not.

We’ve handled quite a few mold cases, and we understand that even the most inconspicuous of situations can lead to the harmful growth. Mold infestations can be stressful, so use this helpful room-by-room guide to develop a prevention strategy for any home.

###Bathroom:

The bathroom generates the most moisture, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most mold-friendly areas in the home. Thankfully, prevention is as simple as a few regular habits:

  • Each year, reseal tile grout to stop moisture buildup.
  • Replace shower liners regularly and use a shower curtain that can be laundered.
  • Crack a window or use a vent fan when steam starts to accumulate.
  • Purchase a squeegee to rid the tub of excess moisture after each shower.

###Laundry Room:

A laundry room isn’t the most likely room to harbor mold, but the pipes and machines themselves can lead to sneaky growth behind-the-scenes. Here’s how to prevent it:

  • Examine pipes for leaks often.
  • Remove clothes from the washing machine immediately after the cycle ends.
  • Open washer and dryer doors after each use.
  • Check the dryer vents regularly—lint can encourage mold to spawn.

###Basement:

Basements are notorious for dampness and mold, but they also have the most hands-off prevention strategies. Here’s how to keep your basement clear with a small time investment:

  • Set up an automatic dehumidifier to keep humidity low.
  • Clear out clutter that mold could hide behind.
  • Insulate pipes to prevent sneaky leaks.
  • Keep the foundation clear of standing water.

If you’re struggling with mold, SERVPRO of Piscataway knows how to help! Contact us today for tips on prevention or for mold remediation services.

Basement Floods We Are Here To Help

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Piscataway basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (732) 752-4445

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Piscataway and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration 
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Always Here To Help (732) 752-4445

How do Storms Form?

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Where Do Snow Storms Occur?

According to the Natural Disasters Association, snow storms occur in locations where air and ground temperatures reach below freezing.

North America and Canada experience around 10 snowstorms a year, each affecting approximately 2.5 million people.

Snow storms are usually referred to as blizzards. They are characterized by strong winds, heavy snowfall and flooding caused by large quantities of melting snow.  Areas along the eastern seaboard of the United States are the most common locations for snow storms during the winter. According to Science, the northern plains are the perfect location for blizzards because the flat terrain allows the wind to reach blizzard-speed requirements. The cold temperatures in the region also allow the snow to be light and easily blown around. A blizzard can cause the visibility to drop to about a quarter of a mile and can last up to three hours.

Intense snowstorms are usually accompanied by cold waves, ice or glaze, heavy snow, blizzards or a combination of these. A large snowstorm has the ability to destroy large areas and isolate and injure people and livestock in its path. Southern states also experience occasional severe winter storms that can present severe hardship and loss of warm-weather crops.

What causes a Winter Storm?

Winter storms develop when low pressure systems come into contact with a cold front or a warm front, which causes low temperature precipitation such as snow and freezing rain.

Common types of winter storms caused by low pressure systems include snow storms, ice storms and blizzard.

If you have any questions feel free to Contact us 24/7

SERVPRO of Piscataway

732-752-4445