How To Develop a Home Fire Evacuation Plan
By having a fire evacuation plan, you will be prepared for an emergency situation and know what to do if one occurs.
Fire is one of the most dangerous threats to any home. It's important to know how to evacuate your house in case of an emergency and have a plan in place if something goes wrong. Having an evacuation plan can save lives, including those of your pets and children. Here are some tips on how to develop a plan:
Know Your Emergency Exits
Know the best way to get out of your house when a fire erupts. Know how many exits there are in each room, and how to easily get out to the hallway and the outside.
Know Your Meeting Place
The meeting place should be a safe, nearby location where everyone in your group can gather. Designate specific locations following a fire so that you can be sure to meet up with all of your family and friends. Remember this is an emergency, so if someone does get separated from the group, they should report to their designated meeting place immediately.
Build a Disaster Supply Kit
Your kit should include:
- A working flashlight with spare batteries
- Bottled water and nonperishable food
- Special medications (if needed) in a waterproof container, such as a plastic bag or metal canister.
Teach Your Kids What to Do and Practice
Teach your kids what to get low and go. Teach kids to drop to the floor, cover their heads with their hands and crawl toward the nearest exit. Practice this in a safe environment, such as at home when there's no danger of fire or in an empty classroom if you can get permission from your school.
Have you practiced the plan with your family? If not, it's time that you do. Make sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency and practice using your family's home fire evacuation plan at least once a year. If some members of your family have special needs or access issues, consider practicing with them as well so that they can get out safely in case of a fire.
As with the rest of your family, you should include pets in your evacuation plan.
If you have family members with disabilities, it’s important to consider their needs during an evacuation. People with mobility issues may need assistance getting out of the home, while those who require medical attention will need to make arrangements for their care.
Once everyone is safely outside, make sure that disabled people are not separated from their caregivers or friends. If possible, stay together as a group until everyone has been accounted for by firefighters or another emergency response team
There are steps you can take to ensure that you and others on your property stay safe from fire and other emergencies. By having a fire evacuation plan, you will be prepared for an emergency situation and know what to do if one occurs. If you experience a house fire, give SERVPRO of San Ramon a call! We will get your san Ramon home back to normal as quickly as possible.
Holiday Fire Safety Tips
When fire damage affects your home, our team at SERVPRO can remove the debris and restore your kitchen!
It’s the season for holiday celebrations and family get-togethers, but it's also a time when homes are filled with more people than normal. And that means more potential for fires. Here are some tips on how to keep your home and loved ones safe this holiday season.
Reduce the Risk of Christmas Tree Fires
- If you are planning on using a real tree, make sure it is fresh and green.
- Keep the tree well watered. A dry tree will be more flammable than a well-watered one.
- Keep the tree away from heat sources such as candles or lamps that use flame, ovens or electricity.
- Don't place candles near the tree because they can cause it to catch fire if they fall over or get too close to branches of your Christmas tree when lit up with lights that have become old and worn out over time (more than 3 years old).
Holiday Decorating Tips
Use lights that are marked as flame retardant. When buying holiday lights, look for the label "flame retardant" on the package. These types of lights are designed to withstand a potential fire and contain less toxic materials than most other artificial Christmas decorations.
Keep your tree away from heat sources such as candles or space heaters.
Don't overload extension cords with too many light strands; make sure they aren't tangled up with each other or anything else in your home that could cause them to short out (like paper towels on the floor). Also consider using an outlet timer so you don't have to worry about turning off all those lights at night!
Avoiding Candle Fires
Keep candles away from curtains and other flammable materials.
Don't leave candles unattended, even for a brief period of time.
Burn candles for no more than 4 hours at a time—and never leave them burning overnight.
Place your candle on a stable, heat-resistant surface that is not easily combustible (such as wood).
How May Electrical Fires be Prevented?
Christmas lights are a popular feature in many homes during the holiday season. It is important to practice Christmas light safety and use caution when installing or using electrical decorations.
It is recommended that metallic trees not be illuminated with electric lights. Extension cords should be used for indoor and outdoor lighting needs, including those for trees, garlands, wreaths, etc.
All electrical decorations should be turned off when leaving the house or going to bed at night. This includes indoor and outdoor Christmas lights as well as other electrical decorations such as inflatable lawn figures or inflatables of any kind that require electricity for operation.
Is Your Fireplace Prepared for the Christmas Season?
Check your fireplace to make sure it's clean. This will help prevent creosote buildup, which can cause dangerous chimney fires.
Make sure you have working smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained in every room of your house.
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher located on each floor of your home (in addition to the one in the kitchen), near all exits and clearly labeled with instructions on what type of fire they can be used on (such as "Class A" or "Class B"). Some states require two types of extinguishers per building, with at least one being automatic; check your local regulations for specifics about placement and maintenance requirements for these devices before purchasing them from a hardware store or online retailer.
Having an easy-to-reach location for a fire blanket nearby is also important—if anything catches fire before you get back from running errands downtown this afternoon then hopefully you'll remember where it was stored!
With these tips, you can make sure your home is safe and secure during this holiday season. Remember, a fire is not something to take lightly. While most people know how to deal with small fires, larger ones can quickly overwhelm even the best-equipped homes unless you're prepared for them ahead of time!
How To Protect Your Home From Flooding
Our team at SERVPRO knows exactly how to help you if you experience flood damage!
Flooding is one of the most devastating natural disasters that can happen to your home. It doesn't matter if it's a small-scale flood or a massive storm that has caused major flooding; both can cause significant damage to your home and belongings. In order for you to protect yourself and your home from flooding, it's important to understand what causes flooding in the first place. This article will help shed some light on how you can prevent flooding in your home so that you never have to experience this catastrophe firsthand.
Seal any cracks in your foundation.
Leaks through your foundation are the most common cause of basement flooding. They can happen because of cracks in the wall, foundation or floor that allow water to seep in.
To prevent leaks, check for any cracks in your foundation. If you find any, fill them using concrete sealant or a waterproofing membrane.
Maintain drainage areas.
Maintaining your home’s drainage system is crucial to keeping it safe from flooding. Keep rain gutters and downspouts clean, clear leaves, debris and ice away from the roof of your home, and make sure that downspouts are draining away from the house. Use a broom to remove standing water from your yard if there is any after a heavy rainfall. If mud or debris has washed up against your foundation drainpipe or downspout, use a garden hose to wash it away so that it doesn’t clog up the pipe or block any water flow to those areas.
Install Sump Pump.
A sump pump is a mechanical device that removes water from a basement. It's connected to the sewer system through a drain pipe and must be installed correctly in order to function properly. You should test your sump pump regularly (at least once per month) by connecting it to an extension cord and turning it on for 15 minutes or so, then unplugging it and checking for leaks in the floor around where you have placed it. If no leaks are found, your sump pump is working well!
Keep your water heater safe.
The water heater is your home’s most vulnerable appliance, so it needs careful placement. The best place for a water heater is in an area that can be accessed easily but won’t be damaged if there are leaks. If you have a basement, make sure the floor is sturdy and can support the weight of a full tank of water. If you don’t have a basement or another safe spot, put your hot water tank on a stand or platform so that it’s at least 6 inches off the ground.
Keep in mind that any wall or ceiling near your hot water tank may not be able to survive a flood—and could collapse as soon as you open up the valve to turn on your faucet after flooding has subsided!
Keep valuables and important documents in a safe place.
In the event of flooding, your first line of defense is to avoid exposure to harmful water as much as possible. For example, if you live in an area that may experience flooding, it’s wise to keep valuables and important documents in a safe place. If you have a safe, use it! If not, consider buying one or keeping essential items in waterproof containers. It’s also important to store any irreplaceable items high up so that they won’t be damaged by rising water levels during a flood.
Flooding can happen anywhere; it is important to take measures to protect your home.
Flooding can cause damage to your home and lead to mold growth. It is crucial that you take precautions before the next flood season arrives.
You can prepare your home to protect against flooding. By taking the steps above, you can help keep your property safe and dry in the event of an emergency.
Protecting Your Home from Earthquake Damage
Are you ready in case of earthquake damage? Be prepared in case of earthquakes!
Earthquakes can be devastating to homes, causing significant damage. The shaking can cause furniture and appliances to fall over, and even the most carefully constructed building can have its walls cracked or crushed in an earthquake. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to protect your home from earthquake damage before it happens. Here is what you need to know:
Secure your water heater.
If your water heater is not bolted to the wall, it can move and injure you. If you have a gas-powered water heater, do not locate it near a fireplace or chimney as they could cause leakage. Do not locate your water heater under an overhanging roof or in an area where its weight is unsupported by the floor. Finally, do not place your washing machine or dishwasher directly above the water heater as if one of these appliances falls on top of your hot water tank, it will explode and cause serious injury.
Bolt down any large appliances.
You can also bolt appliances to the walls. For example, if you have a large refrigerator in your kitchen, it is a good idea to place it down on the floor and then bolt it to the wall. If you have a dishwasher or washing machine in your laundry room, they should be bolted as well.
Anchor items that can be easily moved in a small earthquake such as mirrors, tall furniture and wall hangings.
Use earthquake straps and other fasteners to secure items to studs or walls, if possible. Anchoring items to the wall studs will help prevent the item from falling during an earthquake. If there are no studs available, use an alternate method of anchoring (such as attaching hooks) that will hold your item securely but still allow it to be removed after an earthquake passes.
If you choose to anchor items above a load-bearing wall, make sure you do not place any strain on the supporting beam(s). A weight limit label should be present on many appliances such as refrigerators; if this label cannot be found then assume it is safe for your equipment currently located above the load bearing wall.
Consider adding latches to all drawers and cabinet doors.
One measure that can help keep your belongings safe is to install latches on drawers and cabinets. Latches are particularly helpful in protecting items in the kitchen, as they keep drawers closed even when there's an earthquake shaking the floor. This can be done by attaching a latch to each drawer or cabinet door and then locking it into place with a key or combination lock.
To install latches:
- Remove the current hardware from your drawers or cabinets; if it's just glued on, you may be able to gently pull it off with your fingers. If not, use a screwdriver to gently pry up existing hardware until you can remove it completely from its mounting surface
- Attach wooden blocks about two inches high between where each hinge normally sits (this will make sure your new hardware will fit properly). Then attach metal brackets at least one inch longer than your wood blocks on either side of these wooden blocks, so that when you reattach them all together they'll support whatever weight you want them too
Preparing your home for an earthquake can help reduce the amount of damage to it when an earthquake happens.
This can be done by doing a few simple steps:
- Make sure that all of your water and gas lines are properly secured, especially if you have pipes that run through walls, or if you have a new construction home with a lot of open space in the walls.
- Install smoke detectors on every floor of your house, including basements and attics (even though they're areas that are less likely to be damaged). Smoke detectors are cheap and easy to install—there's no excuse not to do it! Check them once a month just as you would with any other piece of equipment in your home.
- If possible, move heavy items like bookcases and cabinets away from windows so they don't break during an earthquake. If this isn't possible then make sure these items are secured onto the wall using brackets or screws so they don't fall during an earthquake and cause injuries or damage other things in your house.
Remember, an earthquake can happen at any time and without warning. It’s important that you take the steps above to protect yourself and your family from injury.
Home Renters Insurance and Water Damage: Am I covered?
When water damage strikes your rental property, do you know if you are covered by insurance?
Water damage is an unfortunate reality for renters. It can happen in the blink of an eye, and the result can be devastating. Whether it's a burst pipe or even a broken appliance, you'll want to know if your renters insurance will cover the costs if any of these things happen.
Is Water Damage Covered by Renters Insurance?
Yes, but only in certain situations. Water damage is covered by renters insurance if it was caused by one of the following:
- A covered loss (such as a fire, lightning strike or storm)
- Neglect or routine wear and tear (think leaky faucets or a clogged drain)
Many other kinds of water damage will be covered by renters insurance.
If you're a renter and your pipes burst, or if your dishwasher overflows, or if your toilet overflows, or if you forget to turn off the water before leaving for vacation, or if you have a leaky roof—any of these things could result in water damage. And if this happens to anyone, it's usually not their fault. That's why renters insurance covers most other kinds of water damage as well.
When you look for renters insurance, check that it's the right policy for your needs.
In order to make sure your renters insurance is the right policy for you and your needs, it's important that you check the details of the policy. When you are looking at renters insurance policies, make sure that:
- You understand what is covered by the policy. If there is something in particular you want to be covered, such as jewelry or expensive electronics, look for a policy that covers those items specifically.
- You understand how the policy works. For example, some policies will have an additional fee per month if they have to pay out a claim while others will not charge extra fees until after five claims have been filed.
- The coverage amount matches what you actually own and keep at home (e.g., if there are high-value items like artworks then this should be calculated into their value). This can help prevent underinsurance when it comes time to file claims against those assets too!
Renters Flood Insurance
Renters flood insurance is a separate policy from your normal renters insurance. The cost of a renters flood policy depends on several factors, including where you live and the amount of coverage you need. For example, living in an area prone to floods might require higher limits of coverage than someone who lives in an area that’s less likely to see flooding.
A renters flood policy also covers damage done by water seeping into your home through the walls or windows. This includes water coming in through plumbing, pipes and appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers too! If there are cracks or holes in these items then they could result in a lot of dirty water getting into your home – so if this happens then all those costs will be covered under this type of insurance too!
If you're looking to protect your belongings, then renters insurance is the way to go. Make sure that it covers water damage and check out our tips above on how to choose the right policy for your needs. You'll also need to go through a little bit of hassle when filing a claim so make sure it's worth it by reading up on what could happen if you don't have coverage before signing anything!
What to do in case of a fire
Fires are unnerving situations that one hopes never to be put in. None the less, you should be prepared in case a fire breaks out because you may only have seconds to act. The main three aspects to surviving a fire is the following:
- Learn how to work a fire extinguisher. Learning to protect your home but having a fire extinguisher can minimize the amount of damage to your home. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, you should go out and get one. For smaller household fires, these tools can be effective in stopping the spread of the fire and save your home. When using an extinguisher, remember to use the P.A.S.S
- Pulling the Pin.
- Aiming the nozzle at the base of the fire (From a safe distance)
- Squeezing the lever (to release the extinguishing material)
- Sweeping the nozzle from side-to-side until the entire fire is extinguished.
- When fires cannot be extinguished easily, or you don’t have one readily available, you should get your family and pets and vacate the building as soon as possible. Having an escape plan and a safe meeting place in case of emergency is important during this process to make sure that all members of your family are safe. Here is what you should do when you need to escape the building:
- Move quickly but safely. If there is smoke, you should always crawl on your hands and knees. Smoke rises first along the ceiling, so you’ll want to crawl quickly to any exit.
- Test doors and doorknobs. Before you open any door, you should check the doorknob. If the doorknob is hot the fire is on the other side of the door and that is not a safe exit. If you open a door, do so slowly.
- Get out. If you can reach members of the family or pets without risking your safety, do it quickly and get out. Once you have reached the outside off the building, do not re-enter the building. Take a headcount and report to the authorities any missing people or pets.
- Call for help. Once you are safe outside, call 9-1-1 for help. Enlist neighbors for assistance if needed.
- When you can’t escape, this is where prior preparation could save one’s life. It is important that all family members, including children, know what to do in case of a fire within the building. Make sure that children are not afraid of firefighters, making sure they know how they dress in order for them to call out for them. They should never try to hide from a fireperson trying to save their life. Make sure that everyone knows to close doors and cover vents, cracks, or holes. Use a phone, window, or your voice to call for help and alert everyone where you are in the building. Have a backup plan in case you are in a building that has multiple levels and finally, if you catch fire, Stop Drop and Roll. Do this until the fire has been extinguished from your clothing.
If your business or home has been affected by a fire, call SERVPRO of San Ramon @ (925) 999-0927.
Common Sources for Commercial Water Damage
When you're running a business, the last thing one wants to think about is dealing with a water damage loss. Eventually, when you are running a business and have stayed in the building for a long period of time, you may run into some level of water or flooding loss. Below are some common causes of water damage to your commercial building.
1. Leaking or bursting pipes
2. Leaking toilets and sinks (Potential sewage back ups occur as well)
4. Poor gutters and downspouts
5. Worn Roofing.
When you experience water loss in your place of business or your commercial building, call the professionals at SERVPRO of San Ramon at (925) 999-0927. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Categories of Water
Water damage can be common in a home. Determining the type of water, or category, is important to determine the plan of action one should take in remediating the damage. Here at SERVPRO of San Ramon, we determine the category of water based on the guidelines set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. The 3 different types of water damage categories are as follows:
- Category 1 water is considered clean water that does not pose a substantial risk to one's health. This type of loss happens due to broken supply lines, tub and sink overflows that contain no contaminants, and appliance malfunctions due to supply lines.
- Category 2 water is considered dirty water (Grey Water) that is significantly contaminated. This category of water can pose potential risk to one's health and can cause mild discomfort of illness if ingested. This type of loss happens due to discharges from dishwashers or washing machines that has contaminants, overflows due to washing machines, tubs, and sinks with contaminants, or overflows from toilets that doesn't contain feces.
- Category 3 water is considered severely dirty water (Black Water) that is grossly contaminated. This level of contamination can cause severe illness or death if the water is ingested. This type of loss happens due to overflows from toilets that contain feces, sewage back-ups, flooding from seawater, river water, or lakes, Water coming from the outdoors that contain different pesticides and other chemicals that can cause severe illness.
SERVPRO of San Ramon is here to help you during these emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call us at (925) 999-0927 to have us assist you with your residential or commercial water loss.
What to do if you have a Water Loss
Water losses and flooding can happen unexpectedly, and the first step is to call SERVPRO of San Ramon. We are here to help and make your home like new, as if it had never happened. Here are some tips to help you before we arrive:
- Remove excess standing water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe water from wood furniture.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery and cushions.
- Put furniture legs on wood blocks or aluminum foil and get it away from wet carpet.
- During the summer, turn air conditions units on for maximum drying effect.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Hang leather goods and furs.
When SERVPRO of San Ramon arrives on-site, we will assist you with your water loss and helping you communicate with your insurance provider.
The Specialists at SERVPRO of San Ramon are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with your residential or commercial emergency. If you have any questions, give us a call today at (925) 999-0927.
We can hardly believe it’s that time of year again already! It’s been another very busy year and we have had the privilege of working with so many fantastic homeowners, businesses and clients over the past 12 months. In 2018 we will see even more things happening, including building new relationships and forming lasting bonds between our current relationships. We wish everyone had a great Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!