Thanksgiving Fire Safety
Did you know that Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for fire departments when it comes to home fires involving cooking equipment? With more home cooks cooking larger meals than they are probably used to, the number of home fires involving cooking equipment spikes to nearly 4 times the daily average on Thanksgiving! Whether you plan to be in charge of the kitchen or are just helping out, be sure to follow these important safety tips when preparing this year's Thanksgiving feast!
- Start your Thanksgiving with a clean stove and oven! The weekend before Thanksgiving, remove any food or grease buildup from burners, stovetops, and the oven.
- Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. While items in the oven may not require as attentive an eye, food on the stovetop should have constant monitoring in case of spillage or splatter.
- Stay in the home while cooking the turkey. You don't need to set up camp and keep a constant eye on the turkey once it's in the oven, but you should stay inside and check on it frequently. The last thing you want is a burnt turkey that sets your kitchen on fire!
- Keep a flame-resistant oven mitt, potholder, or lid near your cooking space so that you can smother any flames before they get out of control.
- Should an oven fire occur, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. This should allow the fire to burn out on its own. Once the fire has gone out, open your windows before carefully opening the oven door to release the smoke. IF THE FIRE DOES NOT GO OUT ON ITS OWN: LEAVE THE HOUSE AND CALL 911.
- Make sure your home has working smoke alarms and that your family knows the fire escape route in the event of a fire. Remember to always plan TWO WAYS OUT of every room.
- Avoid using turkey fryers, but if you must, make sure to follow the fryer's instructions. Also be sure to completely thaw the turkey before frying and always fry outside at a safe distance from the home.
Stay safe this holiday season! Should your home experience any fire damage, be sure to call SERVPRO of Tustin to make that fire "like it never even happened".
How To Prepare Your Home For The Santa Ana Winds
Fall has officially arrived in Southern California. Unlike other parts of the country where fall means leaves changing colors and brisk temperatures, here it means it's wind season, Santa Ana winds to be specific.
The Santa Anas are very strong and dry winds, and can wreak major havoc on a home. The first winds of the season were some of the strongest we've seen in decades, with gusts reaching up to 75 mph! The winds are expected to last as normal from October through December, so it is important to make sure your home is protected for when they pick up again.
What can you do to prepare your home or apartment before the Santa Ana winds return?
- Clean your yard of any dead or fallen trees and limbs. Keep as much excess debris as possible out of your yard so that when the winds do come again, the debris isn't blown into your home causing structural damage.
- Trim your trees and bushes regularly. This goes along with keeping your yard clear of debris. A well maintained bush or tree will have less loose debris to blow into your home. This is especially important of any trees in close proximity to the structure. Cleaning up lose branches before the winds hit will make sure you don't wind up having any branches in your windows.
- Duct tape your windows. Strong winds can stretch your windows inward when it blows directly at them, and that can often lead to shattered windows. It's not the most aesthetic choice, but reinforcing your windows with duct tape could save you from having to replace a shattered window.
- Check your roof shingles annually and replace any loose shingles. You should also store extra shingles on hand in the event some are pulled up or blow away when the winds hit.
- If you have an exterior television antenna, satellite dish, or any outdoor decorations, you should tighten them up or remove them for a short while when high winds are expected.
Do You Know The Signs of Mold?
Do you know what's going on behind your walls?
Mold growth can be a nightmare for homeowners. That's why it is important to know the signs of mold so you can stop it before it spreads too far. Most of the time, once the mold has become visible on the surface, it has been growing behind the scenes for quite some time. Make sure you know the signs to look for BEFORE that mold becomes visible.
If you notice a strange odor, that could be a sign of mold. If an area of your home is giving off a persistent must smell, there is a strong possibility that there is mold in the room. You can typically follow the smell to where it is strongest in the room and find the mold.
Condensation can also be a tell-tale sign of possible mold. It can be excess moisture on windows, or condensation dripping from pipes. If there is excess moisture in your home, that is often a sign that mold may be growing somewhere you can't see.
A water damage in your home can also lead to mold growth. If there was a leaking pipe or appliance that went unnoticed for some time, there may be mold present. Mold can start to grow as soon as 48 hours after moisture has been present, so if you suspect that you had an ongoing leak, you may want to have a professional inspect for mold.
If you do suspect your home has mold, give SERVPRO of Tustin a call for an inspection 714-480-1340.
Signs of Water Damage in Wood Floors
Our technicians place wood floor recovery mats to dry wood floor affected by a leak of the water line to the fridge.
Hardwood floors are a popular flooring option for many homeowners due to their aesthetic as well as the relatively low maintenance required. While hardwood floors are extremely durable, they can be quite vulnerable to moisture. If your home has hardwood floors, it is important that you are always on the lookout for signs of water damage to the wood flooring.
A very common sign of water damage in hardwood floors in known as cupping. This occurs when moisture causes the wood to expand, which then pushes the boards together and deforms them in the center. Another common sign of water damage in wood floors is called crowning. Crowning is essentially the opposite of cupping. While cupping causes a depression in the center of the wood planks, crowning is when the boards are pushed together and result in a raise in the center of the wood boards. Both cupping and crowning can lead to a buckling floor if left unchecked. Buckling is when the floor boards have actually begun lifting from the subfloor, causing considerable damage to your wood floor.
Other signs to be aware of are if the floor starts to crack, the boards are separating, or the wood becomes soft and weak. If you notice any of these signs occurring in your wood floor, you have wood floor water damage, and need to take action to prevent further damage.
The first step in preventing further water damage is to determine the source of the damage. If you have an active leak, it is best to turn of the water to the home and have a leak detector or plumber inspect to determine the cause of leak and make a repair.
You should also call SERVPRO right away to begin the mitigation services. If the floor is salvageable, we can place drying equipment (including a floor drying mat system) to repair the damaged floor to its preloss condition.
If you think your home may be affected by a water damage, give SERVPRO of Tustin a call today! 714-480-1340
Is Your Office Prepared For An Emergency?
While you should always be prepared for an emergency, National Preparedness Month is a great time to go over your emergency plan(s) in your office building. Go over this list and make sure your office prepared for anything!
- Whether you work in a high-rise office building or in a single story building, it is important that you have your team prepared in case of an emergency. Take some time this month to meet with your team and practice different evacuation routes. It is important that everyone know at least TWO WAYS OUT from EVERY ROOM.
- Don’t forget to check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers (and to replace any that may have expired). Set a schedule for replacing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s best to replace the batteries before they run out of juice. Regular maintenance of air vents and sprinkler systems are also a great way to AVOID an emergency situation. Sometimes the best preparation is active prevention.
- Another way to make sure your staff is prepared for an emergency is to hold or offer classes for you team to learn potential life-saving skills! The Red Cross offers classes for CPR, First Aid, and AED among other skills.
Disasters and emergencies don’t plan ahead, but you can!
5 Common Causes of Water Damage in Orange County
Unlike other parts of the country, rain isn't the main cause of water damage in homes and other buildings in Orange County. Get to know some of the common causes of water damage so that you can do what you can to prevent it from happening on your property.
- Broken Pipes – A broken pipe can do a lot of damage to your home in just a short amount of time. Before you know it, gallons short amount of time. Before you know of water could be spewing through your home. Pay close attention to any leaks, drips, and signs of deterioration. Have a plumber come out to your house for regular maintenance, and if there ever is a broken pipe, you can always turn the water off before the plumber arrives in order to avoid further damage.
- Pinhole Leaks – common if a home has copper plumbing, a pinhole leak is a puncture of a copper pipe due to corrosion. If your home has a copper water system, check your pipes for signs of corrosion often.
- Old/Faulty Appliances – If your fridge or washing machines aren’t maintained well, or have gotten too old, they could start to leak and create a significant amount of water damage in your home. It’s especially important to keep an eye on the appliances in your kitchen, as water damage caused by your fridge or dish washer can affect not just your floor, but your cabinets as well. Often times, leaks that go undetected for some time will cause significant water damage behind cabinets, which in turn can lead to mold if the problem goes unnoticed for an extended period.
- Roof Leaks – We don’t typically see much rain here in Southern California, but when we do, a lot of homeowners tend to suffer water damage due to roof leaks. Check your roofs frequently and take care of any maintenance or repairs while the weather is still sunny. That way you won’t have to worry about your home flooding next time a storm hits.
- Accidents – Sometimes luck just isn’t on your side and one tiny mistake can lead to a big problem. A clogged toilet or too much soap in the dishwasher or washing machine can have water coming across your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. These parts of the home are generally better equipped than the rest of the house to handle a larger spill, but water moves fast and could potentially cause damage to the walls, ceiling, or other rooms in the home. If an accident ever does occur that you think calls for a professional, call SERVPRO of Tustin and we’ll make it"Like it never even happened."
Storm Damage? No problem for SERVPRO of Tustin!
When Tustin and Orange businesses suffer serious damage after storm events, SERVPRO of Tustin will work around the clock to clean up any debris and to restore the property to preloss conditions. We understand that commercial storm damage can be very costly in terms of productivity; that is why it is always our goal to get your business back up and running as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
We Have the Resources to Handle Large Commercial Storm Damage
When a storm hits Orange County, we can scale our resources to handle large-loss commercial restoration projects. We have access to equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,600 Franchises across the country, as well as elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
If your business is ever damaged by severe floods or storms, call us right away at (714)480-1340. Disaster can strike when we least expect it, but SERVPRO of Tustin will be there to help you weather the storm.
Avoid Mold Damage In Your Home In The Heat
Temperatures are high, which means your Tustin home is at a greater risk for mold growth. Mold spores can grow in temperatures ranging from 32 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimum temperature range for mold growth is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a common temperature range here in Orange County.
As the summer weather continues to remain hot and humid, it is time to be even more cautious of any possible moisture or water damage on your property. In order to reproduce, mold spores require moist or damp areas. Excess moisture in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are prime areas for mold to grow. Also be on the lookout for flooding, leaky pipes/windows/roof, etc., and call a professional right away should any of these problems occur.
SERVPRO of Tustin has a highly trained and experienced crew ready to make it "Like it never even happened."
Available 24/7, call (714)480-1340
Prevent Further Damage to Your California Home After A Fire
The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Tustin provides timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.
What You Can Do Until Help Arrives
Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
Do not clean any electrical equipment.
Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
SERVPRO of Tustin is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly. Give us a call at (714)480-1340
Are You Ready For Whatever Happens?
The best way to reduce interruption to your business following a disaster is to plan for it now! It is estimated that as many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster. Of the ones that do, an overwhelming majority of them had preparedness plans in place.
By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your 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 business.
Most contingency plans are made up of three main components: incident response, disaster recovery, and business continuity. The SERVPRO® ERP addresses incident response and disaster recovery. Think about potential disasters that could affect your facility. Now ask yourself: Are you ready?
Our SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start-up approach that provides important information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services.
Why the SERVPRO® ERP?
- A no cost assessment of your facility
- This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes SERVPRO® of Tustin as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
- Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
If you're interested in having an ERP done for your business (at no cost to you!), OR if you have more questions about the Emergency READY Profile, give SERVPRO® of Tustin a call!