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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Protecting Your Business: How to Prepare for a Fire Emergency

4/17/2023 (Permalink)

A fire is a rapid oxidation reaction that releases heat and light. It can be caused by many things, including electrical wiring or equipment, combustible materials like paper and wood, or even human error.

Fire is one of the most common disasters in the world today. In fact, it's responsible for more deaths each year than any other natural disaster--and it's not just homes that are at risk; businesses need to prepare for fires as well as they would earthquakes or tornadoes.

If you own or manage a business that stores flammable materials like chemicals or paints (or just has lots of computers), there are extra steps you'll need to take before an incident occurs--and then again after one does occur!

Identifying Fire Hazards

Identifying potential fire hazards in the workplace Flammable materials, such as paint and solvents, are common in many workplaces. Some examples of flammable liquids include: Gasoline, Kerosene, Paint thinner, Turpentine, Wood stain (water-based only) Electrical wiring can also be a fire hazard if it's not properly maintained or installed by an electrician.

Creating a Fire Safety Plan

Outline the steps to take in the event of a fire, such as evacuating the building, notifying the fire department and shutting off power. Make sure that all employees know where to go if there is an emergency and make sure they have been trained on how to use their exit routes effectively.

Installing Fire Protection Equipment

Fire protection equipment is essential to the safety of your business. The most common types of fire protection equipment include:

Fire extinguishers, which are designed to put out small fires before they spread or become dangerous.

Fire alarms, which alert you when there's smoke or heat in an area of your building that shouldn't have either one (like a kitchen).

Sprinkler systems, which automatically spray water on a fire as soon as it starts up again after being extinguished by a sprinkler head or hose line attachment point.

Training Employees

In addition to the obvious, like installing fire extinguishers and making sure they're in working order, you should also consider training your employees on how to use them. This will help ensure that everyone knows what their role is in the event of a fire.

It's also important for employees to know how best to evacuate the building in case of emergency--and this can vary depending on where your business is located. For example, if there are multiple exits from which people can leave safely and easily (like an office building), then it may be best for everyone involved if all employees exit through one particular exit point so that they don't get stuck behind each other trying to get out through different doors or stairwells. 

Test Equipment Regularly

In addition to having a fire extinguisher on hand, it's important to regularly test the equipment in your business. For example, if you have a fire alarm system or sprinkler system in place, make sure that it works properly by periodically testing it. In addition to checking for any malfunctions in these systems and making repairs as needed, this will help ensure that they're working at full capacity when they're needed most--and can alert everyone in case of an emergency.

Developing an Emergency Response Plan

Developing an emergency response plan is the first step in preparing your business for a fire. This plan should include:

Outlining the steps to take in the event of a fire, such as evacuating the building and notifying the fire department.

A list of important items that must be saved from each room, including computers, files and other documents that may be stored electronically on hard drives or flash drives (make sure you have backup copies).

Shutting off power at breakers if possible; otherwise use shutoff valves at individual fixtures like sinks or water heaters.

Give SERVPRO a call if your business suffers from a fire loss anytime, 24/7/365. Protecting your business is an essential part of being a business owner.

Behind the Scenes: The Sewage Damage Process and What You Need to Know

3/12/2023 (Permalink)

Sewage damage can be one of the most unpleasant and hazardous types of property damage. Whether it's caused by a backed-up sewer line or a sewage spill, it’s important to understand the sewage damage process and what you need to know to protect yourself, your family, and your property. In this blog, we'll take you behind the scenes of the sewage damage process and provide you with the information you need to know.

Assessing the Damage

The first step in the sewage damage process is to assess the damage. A professional restoration company will inspect the affected areas to determine the extent of the damage and identify any potential health hazards.

Containment

The next step is to contain the sewage to prevent it from spreading further. This may involve closing off the affected areas, using plastic sheeting and barriers, and setting up negative air pressure to prevent the spread of contaminated air.

Extraction and Removal

The sewage and any contaminated materials, such as carpeting or drywall, must be removed from the affected areas. This requires specialized equipment, including pumps, wet/dry vacuums, and other tools to extract the sewage and contaminated materials.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Once the sewage and contaminated materials have been removed, the affected areas must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to remove any remaining bacteria and pathogens. This involves using specialized cleaning products and equipment to disinfect the area and prevent the spread of disease.

Drying and Restoration

The final step in the sewage damage process is to dry and restore the affected areas. This may involve using dehumidifiers, fans, and other drying equipment to remove any remaining moisture and prevent mold growth. Then, the area can be repaired and restored to its preloss condition.

What You Need to Know

If you experience sewage damage, it’s important to act quickly and contact a professional restoration company. Sewage damage can pose serious health risks and should be handled by trained professionals who have the proper equipment and expertise to ensure the safety of your property and your family.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid contact with the sewage and contaminated materials, as well as the affected areas, until they have been properly cleaned and sanitized. Exposure to sewage can cause serious problems.

In conclusion, sewage damage is a serious issue that requires immediate attention from a professional restoration company. By understanding the sewage damage process and what you need to know, you can protect yourself, your family, and your property and ensure a safe and thorough restoration.

Why Is My Washing Machine Leaking?

2/13/2023 (Permalink)

Wet subflooring. If a washing machine leak goes untreated, it can lead to significant damage to your home.

If your washing machine is leaking, it's not just a matter of a few drips in your laundry room. It's leaking water, which means something is wrong with the hose or pipes. You could have a problem with the water supply hoses, drain tube, pump, or overflow tube. If the leak goes untreated, it can lead to significant damage to your home. Here are some common causes of washing machine leaks.

The Water Supply Hoses Are Faulty.

The water supply hoses are the most common cause of leaking washing machines. These hoses are connected to the washing machine and run from there to the hot and cold water supply pipes.

The hose can be connected to the wrong valve, kinked, pinched, or cracked. You should check that there are no leaks in your hoses before assuming that you need to replace them entirely. If you find that your washing machine is still leaking after inspecting these areas then it's time to replace your hoses!

The Drain Hose Is Loose or Disconnected.

The next thing to check is the drain hose. This is the pipe that connects your washing machine to the drain outlet. If it's disconnected or loose, reconnect it and tighten any clamps you can find. If this doesn't solve your problem, try replacing the drain hose as well as checking for leaks in other areas of your washer.

If the washing machine is leaking water, it's likely a hose is loose or disconnected. The water supply hoses are connected to the washing machine and they run from there to the hot and cold water supply pipes. The drain hose also runs from your washer through a clamp on your sink or drain outlet to allow drainage of excess water after each cycle has finished.

The Load Is Unbalanced.

If the washing machine is not level and there's a large amount of laundry in it, it can cause the drum to spin out of balance. This will cause leaking around the bottom of your washer as well as loud vibrations during spin cycles.

The Pump Is Faulty.

The pump is the motor that pumps water out of the machine. It's usually located on the inside wall of your washing machine and can usually be easily identified by its spinning impeller. If your pump has failed, it's not a simple DIY job to replace it; you'll likely need to call in a professional repair person.

If your washing machine is leaking water, these are some of the most common reasons why. If you notice any leaks, make sure to fix them immediately so they don't cause damage to your home! The longer moisture sits untreated, the more damage it causes to your home. If you are in need of water damage cleanup and restoration services after a washing machine leak, don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO of San Ramon team a call today!

How To Develop a Home Fire Evacuation Plan

1/23/2023 (Permalink)

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.

Special Considerations

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

12/19/2022 (Permalink)

Post fire damage in home 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

12/19/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts in kitchen 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

12/19/2022 (Permalink)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

12/19/2022 (Permalink)

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)
  • Flooding

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!