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Safety Recommendations for Smoke Detectors

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safety Recommendations for Smoke Detectors Smoke alarms are an essential part of your overall fire protection plan

According to “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires,” a recent report published by the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of every 5 home fire deaths are the result of a lack of working smoke alarms in the home. This is why current national building codes require smoke alarms in residential and commercial properties. Your locally owned and operated SERVPROof Danbury/Ridgefield wants to remind our community in the greater Danbury area that smoke detectors really do save lives and are an essential piece of safety equipment to prevent harm to your family and fire damage to your home.

Types of Smoke Alarms

There are two main types of smoke alarms/detectors on the market today—photoelectric and ionization. Ionization alarms detect smoke and are triggered when smoke enters the testing chamber, disrupting an electrical current. They are the older generation of smoke alarms and are known to trigger easily, often resulting in false alarms. In contrast, photoelectric alarms use a light sensor; when smoke enters the chamber, the light is disrupted, triggering the alarm. The ionization alarm is better at detecting flash fires, when small amounts of smoke are produced early in the burn cycle. Photoelectric sensors are better at detecting fires early, during the smoldering stages.

It is worth noting that while there are dual sensor smoke detectors available on the market today, they have received hit-and-miss reviews. So which should you use in your home to prevent fire and smoke damage? It depends. Many local fire departments have outreach programs and educational events to help you select the right smoke detector and alarm for your home. These outreach programs will also provide important details on requirements for the placement of smoke alarms in your home, and these should be followed.

Another factor to consider is whether to choose hard-wired or wireless smoke alarms. Each has its benefits, and the ideal solution for your home may even be a combination of the two. Wireless smoke detectors can be placed virtually anywhere in the home. They are battery operated and reasonably priced. Hardwired smoke detectors often require an electrician for proper installation; however, the benefit is they can be linked to one another as a network so that when one alarm is triggered, the rest of your alarms also trigger.

Placement of Smoke Alarms

Your fire department and code enforcement offices can provide you with exact details for your area and type of home. Also be careful to adhere to local building codes. However, here are some general recommendations for smoke alarm placement:

First, there should be a minimum of one smoke detector on each level of your home; this includes your basement and attic. Second, a smoke detector in the kitchen is required in most areas. The National Fire Protection Association recommends positioning it about 10 feet away from the stove, to prevent false alarms. Third, each and every bedroom and sleeping area should have a smoke detector, and each hallway leading to sleeping areas should also have a smoke detector.

In addition to the above minimum standards, most safety professionals recommend the following additional installations:

  • Rooms with fireplaces
  • Rooms with space heaters
  • Garages
  • Workshops
  • Storage sheds

In the last 20 years, recommendations for smoke detectors and alarms—as well as the technology used—have changed dramatically. Once, it was believed that one smoke alarm per floor was enough. Today, it is safe to say that considerably more than two smoke detectors are recommended in homes to prevent fire damage and loss of life, although local jurisdictions vary to some degree in building codes and requirements. Smoke alarms are an essential part of your overall fire protection plan, which should also include an escape plan and routine fire safety checks.

Storm Damage Remediation in Danbury, CT

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage Remediation in Danbury, CT Storm damage in Danbury,CT

Thunderstorms are frequent in July and August. Damage from them is nearly as common as the storms themselves. 

Despite everyone's best efforts, storm damage in Danbury, CT does happen. Removing the flood water isn't the end; cleanup is just getting started. On top of the flooring and walls, every bit of furniture, clothing and other items exposed to the storm will have to dried, cleaned, deodorized and sanitized. 
SERVPRO utilizes a variety of cleaning equipment and chemicals to return your carpets and floors to a usable state. Depending on the size, material, and color-fastness, the options range from simple spray and wiping to immersion cleaning. 

Storm damage can leave odors as well as a damp carpet. We use industrial grade air scrubbers and specialized fogging equipment to remove the musty smell and not just cover it up. While removing the odor is important, getting rid of the mold which causes it is even more so. The application of a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial agents is necessary. Our personnel is trained to use the product that will not only restore your property but do so in a manner that is safe for your family and employees as well as the environment. 

Once the mold has been remediated, each item should be either disinfected or sanitized depending on its function. Kitchen, breakroom, and bathroom equipment must be sanitized to ensure the health of anyone who may use them. Standard office spaces such as conference rooms would not need that level of cleaning unless the contaminated water affected the flooring and walls. Our IICRC certified technicians can be relied upon to provided the highest level of professionalism and courtesy.

SERVPRO of Danbury/Ridgefield does its best to help you restore your home or business to its pre-storm damage condition as quickly as possible. As a locally owned franchise, we value our customers as neighbors and not just a job to be completed. If you want to schedule a free inspection or believe you may need our restoration services, please call us today at (203)-791-0920

Setting the Standard: Rules for Cleaning Mold

12/2/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Setting the Standard: Rules for Cleaning Mold Small leak causes large mold issue in Redding Ridge,CT

Mold growth in your commercial property in Redding Ridge,CT, is not a problem you want to ignore. The EPA and OSHA set mold standards for commercial buildings, and the IICRC outlines professional cleaning requirements that technicians must follow to fully remediate the problem. The first decision that you as the building’s owner have to make is whether you can take care of the problem yourself or if you must hire someone to do it.

Assessing the Severity

The EPA gives several guidelines for property owners to decide if the assistance of mold remediation experts is in order. A small black mold problem can probably be handled with a strong detergent and fervent scrubbing. You will need to hire professionals, however, if the problem exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Covering an area larger than 10 square feet
  • Resulting from a contaminated water spill
  • Infiltrating the HVAC ducts

When you hire technicians to clean your building, it’s important that they understand federal mold standards. Make sure that they are certified for mold remediation and has experience dealing with such a problem.

Knowing the Process

The benefit of hiring certified technicians for the mold clean process is that they have been trained and tested on their ability to thoroughly rid your building of mold growth. They know the correct personal protective equipment to wear and how to contain the area so that the problem doesn’t spread. They are trained in different methods for combating fungus and can control air flow and resolve moisture issues so that the growth does not return. They understand how mold affects different surfaces and can adjust their removal method accordingly. The IICRC ensures that every technician that holds certification has earned it.

Removing mold growth from your commercial property may take a few days, but if you hire the right professionals, the problem should be resolved completely. The mold standards set by the EPA, OSHA and the IICRC are designed to make sure your building stays up to code.

What Is Covered When A Business Experiences Fire Damage?

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Is Covered When A Business Experiences Fire Damage? Fire damaged studio in Ridgefield,CT

Fire Insurance Coverage

If your business in Ridgefield,CT, suffers fire damage, it is important to understand what is covered and what is not under interruption insurance. As you begin the fire restoration process, you can expect your insurance to cover these three things:

1. Any Loss Sustained

Any property physically destroyed as a result of fire damage is typically covered by interruption insurance. The insurer may also pay the insured if he or she sustains an interruption of business that leads to a financial loss. Generally, the insurer will pay the dollar amount of damage occurred but will not exceed the limit that is in the policy.

2. Taxes Your Business Owes

Despite the fact that your business has suffered from fire damage, you will still be required to pay taxes, regardless of the situation. It is wise to pay taxes promptly and not go into debt. Business interruption insurance can help pay those taxes on time and keep you in good standing with the IRS.

3. Your Monthly Loan Payments

Between rental space and equipment, most businesses have some type of loan they are paying off in order to keep things going. Insurance can help you keep up with those monthly payments so you do not fall behind. This is important because falling behind on loan payments could affect everything from your payroll to your building and resources — or even the viability of the business itself. Therefore, it is wise to stay on track and do whatever it takes to make those payments in a timely manner to avoid failure.

Interruption insurance can save your business from going under when you experience damage from a fire. It covers any loss you sustain in the fire, it covers your taxes, and it will make your monthly loan payments, so you can stay on track and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Weathering Storm Season: Common Roof Damage and Mitigation Steps

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Weathering Storm Season: Common Roof Damage and Mitigation Steps Roof damage in Hayestown,CT

Roof Repair

Wind damage is no laughing matter. While a storm may not leave any visible trace of roof damage, it is possible that the exposure to prolonged winds or hail may have weakened the roofline in some way. Whether apparent or not, a roof repair may be necessary to fix several common issues resulting from a storm in Hayestown,CT.

  • Roof leaks
  • Gutter damage
  • Flashing issues
  • Lifting, curling or missing shingles

In the most extreme cases, a storm may cause significant holes in your roofline that need immediate attention. You can mitigate further damage to your home while you wait for an insurance adjusters assessment by following three simple steps.

1. Reduce Exposure

After a storm, inspect your roofline for obvious issues. Look for missing or damaged shingles, exposed flashing or holes. If you find any problems, patch them as quickly and safely as possible. Any potential exposure to the elements leaves your roof vulnerable to excess moisture and possible mold or mildew.

2. Clean Up Debris

Once you have patched the area, clean up any debris that may be a safety hazard or hinder inspections by your insurer or a third-party contractor hired to do the roof repair. Additionally, cleanup ensures safety for everyone involved.

3. Dry and Photograph the Area

Depending the severity of the roof damage, you may require the use of air movers, wet/dry vacs and fans to help dry the affected areas. Once everything is dry and safe, you may want to photograph the damage to ensure that you have proof of loss for your insurance records.

4. See Assistance, If Necessary

While there are many instances where you can handle necessary mitigation on your own, extensive roof damage may be best left to a professional restoration company. These companies have the experience and expertise to enter areas that may not be safe for you and your family.

Roof repair is a common result of high winds and severe weather. While you can mitigate further loss by inspecting, protecting and cleaning the area yourself, the use of a professional company will ensure the safety of you and your family.

The Top 5 Pet Fire Safety Tips

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Top 5 Pet Fire Safety Tips Place a window cling in your Redding,CT home to alert firefighter about pets in your home

A fire escape plan should account for every member of your household. You should also take measures to keep pets safe in the event of a fire emergency. Start with these five pet preparation tips.

1. Post Pet Decals Near Entrances

Attach decals or window clings that account for the number and type of pets in your home near the main entrances. If a fire breaks out and you successfully evacuate all of your pets, notify the firefighters. If pets remain in the residence, these pet safety signs can help firefighters save the animals.
 
2. Don’t Leave Open Flames Unattended

This preventative measure can help you to avoid a fire emergency. Pets can knock over candles or get burned by open flames. Avoid placing candles on low surfaces and monitor pets near a fireplace.

3. Prevent Pets From Turning On the Stove

Some pets can turn the knobs on a stove. Whether they release gas or actually heat or ignite the burner, this can result in a heightened fire risk. Use a gate to keep animals out of the kitchen while you are not at home or install protective equipment.

4. Store Records In a Fire Box

Keep pet ownership and vaccination records in a fire box in a convenient location. This pet preparation measure can increase the chances that you will retain these materials after a fire.

5. Include Pets in a Fire Escape Plan

Your evacuation plan should account for pets. Every human occupant should know who is responsible for animals and whether pets can be safely evacuated through both primary and secondary escape routes.

These pet safety measures can increase the likelihood that animals will stay safe in the event of a fire emergency at your home in Redding,CT. If your residence sustains damage, rely on the equipment and expertise of a mitigation and restoration service.

3 Things You Must Do To Repair Your Business’s Leaky Roof

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Things You Must Do To Repair Your Business’s Leaky Roof Dents and dings on metal roof can be another issue that needs to be fixed

If your business in Ridgefield,CT experiences a roof leak, it’s important to start the cleanup process immediately. However, you may be uncertain about how to stop further damage and clean up the area. There are several steps you should take to make sure your damaged roof is properly fixed.

1. Remove Wet Materials

As soon as you become aware of a roof leak, it’s important to remove any materials that are wet. Rugs and other items made of cloth are often breeding grounds for mold to grow and moving out anything that has been damaged is necessary to prevent mold growth. By moving all wet items out of the affected area, the cleanup process can happen more quickly and efficiently.

2. Dry and Clean the Area

Once all wet items and materials have been taken out of the affected area, the next step is to focus on drying and cleaning what has not been badly damaged. Depending on the amount of damage sustained, it might be necessary to replace carpeted floors, damaged inventory or other items entirely. However, it is often possible to disinfect items after they have been dried. Floors, walls and other areas can be disinfected with special products as long as they are not badly damaged.

3. Make Needed Repairs

When everything has been dried and it is safe to do so, restoration is the final step to fixing your roof. Unfortunately, a leaking roof often occurs in conjunction with other issues. A combination of strong winds and heavy rain can result in missing shingles, holes in the roof or other problems. To prevent further damage to your building, the structure of your business’s roof will need to be fixed.

A roof leak doesn’t have to cause your business to close its doors if you quickly act as soon as you notice a leak. Working with professionals in water damage restoration will ensure that your business’s roof is fully restored.

Bathroom Leaks: Fixing a Leaky Toilet

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Bathroom Leaks: Fixing a Leaky Toilet Find the problem to your leaking toilet by hiring a professional in Danbury,CT

A leaking toilet can be irritating, as every flush causes another mess to clean up. Thankfully, a bathroom leak from a toilet is one of the easiest plumbing issues to fix. Learn to fix your plumbing problem below.

1. Find the Problem Area

A leaky toilet typically leaks because of either a malfunctioning flange or loose connections. You can tell when there is a faulty flange because the toilet continuously runs, making a constant hissing noise. If there is no noise and the tank fills and stops, then you may have a loose connection. Snug up the water supply hose as well as the bolts securing the toilet to the floor. If the leak persists, then the problem may be a faulty gasket.

2. Replace the Gasket

If you suspect a faulty gasket is causing your leaking toilet, then you can replace it by first exposing the gasket. Turn off the water, flushing the toilet and emptying the tank. Once the toilet is empty, loosen the bolts and lift the toilet from the gasket. Replace the gasket and return the toilet on top, securing the bolts.

3. Test the Fix

After you have replaced the gasket and secured the toilet, you can turn on the water supply and test the fix. Flush the toilet a few times, allowing plenty of water to cycle through the new gasket. If water is still leaking from around the base of the toilet, then it may be time to either replace the commode or call for help.

4. Call for Assistance

As the toilet is such an essential element of daily life, you will want to resolve any problems quickly. Hiring a professional in Danbury,CT, will allow you to both remedy the situation fast and give you confidence that the issue has been wholly resolved.

A leaking toilet can be a manageable problem. Most common issues stem from malfunctioning flanges or loose connections, which have easy DIY solutions. However, it may be wise to call a professional for

Water Damaged Wood: How Important Is Quick Cleanup?

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damaged Wood: How Important Is Quick Cleanup? Air movers on a water damaged office building in Bethel, CT

If your commercial building suffered a pipe burst that led to your wood floor being water-soaked, you may be wondering how soon you should clean the wetness. Is time of the essence, or is it safe to put off any cleanup? As it turns out, there are at least three important reasons to quickly address a wet floor made of wood in order to prevent replacement.

1. Wet Wood Can Stain

Even if your Bethel, CT, business’ floor does not end up suffering any severe structural damage, there is still a very high chance that the moisture will leave behind unsightly water stains that permanently ruin its appearance. Quick drying and cleaning is key to keep your floors from looking unpleasant.

2. Moisture Increases Mold Risk

Any time that you allow a wet surface in your building to sit without being dried, cleaned or replaced, you are opening your property up to such issues as black water contamination or mold growth, both of which can snowball into other complications. These could include rotted wood or the spread of fungal colonies to other indoor surfaces. Quickly addressing wetness from the pipe burst is crucial in order to avoid such nightmares.

3. Water Can Lead to Damage

Even if your wood does not look discolored or seem to be growing mold, the water that it has sustained can lead to destruction that is beyond repair. You do not want to derail your daily work life by losing your sturdy flooring; always take the safest route by quickly putting a cleanup plan into place.

How To Approach Cleaning

The best method for cleaning your wood floor after a pipe burst is getting help from water damage specialists in your area. They understand what liquid can do to your investment, and will make every effort to dry and preserve anything that can be salvaged. They also will be able to mitigate potential mold infestation issues. Do not leave the situation to chance — contact emergency professionals so you can get back to your professional life.

What does Restore vs Replace mean?

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What does Restore vs Replace mean? A cavity drying system used by a professional water damage restoration company.

Restore vs Replace

Imagine you come home for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with water and your ceiling has collapsed.

What do you do?

Who do you call?

Do you call your family friend local contractor or Water Restoration Company?

What is the difference?

There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies. Here are a few:

  • A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO is certified in drying water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
  • A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO’s average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/356 and someone to monitor your job daily.
  • Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.

When you call SERVPRO of Danbury/Ridgefield you can expect a First Responder on site within two hours and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians.