Recent Posts

EXTREME HEAT

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.

According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter. Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov

Disaster Safety Tips

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

1. If you live in a high wind or hurricane-prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.

2. Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.

3. In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse (dead twigs, branches, etc.) fuels within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements.

4. Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fastflowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

The Importance of Cleaning Drying Vents

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO of North Morris County can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.

For more information on cleaning dryer vents, contact your local SERVPRO of North Morris County Professionals.

Improve Your Air Quaility - Duct Cleaning Can Help!

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

  • The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning or to schedule an appointment, contact your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals today.

The FEMA App

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The FEMA App The devestation of a catastrophic storm can affect your home or business

Be prepared to weather the storm with the FEMA App.

This app allows you to get National Weather Service alerts for up to five locations to keep you informed on-the-go. It also has information on what to do before, during, and after different disasters.

In the midst of an emergency, the app can give you directions to open shelters nearby, help you locate someone to talk to at a Disaster Recovery Center, and let you share images of damage and recovery efforts to help first responders and emergency managers.

This app is available to download for free for iOS and Android at the Apple Store and on Google Play

A Salute to First Responders

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” This famous Mr. Rogers quote comes to mind when we celebrate first responders: those who arrive first on the scene of any disaster or emergency.

In the event of a disaster or emergency, there are many different agencies and people in your community who are ready to respond. Whether it’s a house fire or a hurricane, we are thankful every day for these first responders. Firefighters, EMTs, and Police Local fire and police departments, as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), are often first on the scene of an emergency.

In the U.S., there are more than 29,700 fire departments with 1,160,450 total firefighters, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s 2015 U.S. Fire Department Profile. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are almost 245,000 EMTs and paramedics in the U.S.

In the U.S. there are about 18,000 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, employing more than 750,000 fulltime sworn officers, according to the Uniformed Crime Reporting Program collected by the FBI. Military

When events such as natural disasters strike, different branches of the military are often a first line of response. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard, with over 342,000 soldiers, respond domestically when deployed by their state Governor, often during states of emergency from weather-related events.

They can also be called upon during terrorist attacks or civil unrest, or called overseas by the President of the United States. Active duty soldiers can also be called upon for certain domestic events as well. FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

As a part of FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), these volunteers are trained to be prepared for any disasters that may affect your local area in an effort to support professional responders. CERT volunteers are trained in “basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations,” according to FEMA.

With more than 2,700 CERT programs, over 600,000 individuals have been trained nationwide. Teams are managed locally, but supported nationally by FEMA. SERVPRO® recognizes these and the countless other first responders in our communities for keeping our communities safe.

HOARDING: A Serious Situation

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

According to The Mayo Clinic,

“Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.”

Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

SERVPRO of North Morris County encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, we are called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when we arrive on-site. Out crew chief will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored and/or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.

Another way SERVPRO of North Morris County encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of North Morris County professionals are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call us today.

Severe Weather Safety

3/31/2018 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms: 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods or flash floods, 1,300 tornadoes, and 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes.

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same. 

GENERATOR SAFETY

3/24/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below from the American Red Cross:

-Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.

-To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.

-Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.

-Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

Call the Cleanup Team That is Faster to Any Disaster

3/10/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of North Morris County. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, we will help you take it back