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Happy 4th of July!

7/4/2020 (Permalink)

Image of Stature of liberty with fireworks. Happy 4th of July! Happy 4th of July from all of us here at SERVPRO of North Highlands/Rio Linda!

Here at SERVPRO of North Highlands/Rio Linda we would like to wish everyone a happy and safe independence day.

Firework Safety Recap:

  • Only use fireworks in open, flat, inflammable, and sturdy spaces.
  • Keep your distance, 60-120 feet for ground based fireworks such as fountain fireworks.
  • Once you light it, get as far away as you can.
  • Light one firework at a time.
  • Keep children safe at all times. A 2014 study showed that 34% of firework related injuries were suffered by children younger then 15.
  • Have a safety kit available and know how to treat minor burn. Mayor Clinic: First Aid of minor burns link Here.
  • Know what the weather will be like that day, very windy days and push sparks into neighboring houses.
  • Keep water nearby. Firefighters use a formula to determine how much water is needed to put out fires. [(length x width of what’s on fire) /3] x percent of involvement = water needed to put our fire. EX: a 10’ x 15 size structure is half way on fire you’ll need 25 gallons of water per min to extinguish.
  • Don’t throw used fireworks directly in the trash. Soak the charred remains in a bucket of water to prevent them from igniting other garbage.
  • Throw out the dud fireworks. If they do not ignite do not try to light them again and remember to put them in a bucket of water before tossing into the garbage can.
  • Check your local laws.

If an unfortunate fire accident happens to your home or business SERVPRO of North Highlands/Rio Linda is always here to help 24 hours a day. Call 916-991-1522

SERVPRO of North Highlands and Rio Linda Hope You Have Fun and Avoid Fires this Fourth of July!

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Most injured body parts by fireworks diagram by US Consumer Product Safety Commission Diagram of most injured body parts by fireworks. Remember be safe this 4th of July!

15,600 fires are started every year by fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. By taking the proper safety precautions, many of these fires could have been easily avoided. If you want to enjoy the celebrations without the risks of fire, go to a professional show. Professional shows are big, fun, and most importantly- safe.

If you still can’t resist having your own firework celebration, here is a list of the recommended safety precautions from the National Council on Firework Safety.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities, and never give fireworks to children
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix, save your drinks for after the show
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles
  • Never relight a “dud” firework, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day
  • FAA regulations prohibit the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department

With Fourth of July coming up, SERVPRO of North Highlands and Rio Linda wish you a fun and safe Fourth of July!

For information on fire damage services to your home or business, call us at (916) 991-1522

Any Type of Disaster, Any Time SERVPRO is There For You!

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Camp Fire disaster in Paradise CA, 2018 Camp Fire disaster in Paradise CA, 2018

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW!

According to the latest research, as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, a overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning and knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” will give you peace of mind.

SERVPRO of North Highlands / Rio Linda can create an Emergency READY Profile for your business.

The Emergency Ready Plan will -

  • Help to minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Help you know what to do, who to call and what to expect.
  • Help minimize the affects of water and fire.

Are You Ready? Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you Ready for whatever happens?”

Call SERVPRO of North Highlands / Rio Linda Today 916-991-1522

Happy 4th of July Grilling

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Backyard Grilling Happy 4th of July Grilling

The Do’s and Don’ts of Outdoor Grilling 

Grilling Safety Tips

  • DO keep the grill at least 10 feet away from structures, such as the garage or porch, and out from under tree branches and eaves. The farther away from structures, the lower the risk of fire.
  • DO maintain the grill by cleaning the grease or fat buildup after every usage. Doing so not only decreases the risk of fire but also helps the food cook better.
  • DO check for gas (propane) leaks regularly. Make a solution with one part water and one part dish soap and apply it to the line that connects the grill to the gas tank. If bubbles appear on the line when you turn on the gas, have the grill serviced immediately.
  • DO keep water and a fire extinguisher handy. Since grilling involves fire, there is always a risk for minor flare-ups, so you should have something to extinguish the fire with.
  • DO place the coals from the grill in a metal can after you’ve finished grilling; allow the coals to cool off first.
  • DO be sure to check the regulations on fires If you are camping. Many areas may be closed to all fires (including charcoal grills) due to extremely dry conditions.
  • DON’T allow small children and pets to come close to the grilling area.
  • DON’T turn on the gas with the lid closed. If there’s any gas trapped under the lid, it will instantly turn into a fireball that can cause serious burn injuries.
  • DON’T leave the grill unattended. In case the grill catches fire, an adult should be around to extinguish it quickly. Fires can double in size every minute.
  • DON’T grill indoors. Propane and charcoal grills must never be used indoors. Besides the fire hazard, there is a serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • DON’T barbeque too much food at once. Although it seems time-efficient, cooking too much food at once can cause excess fat to drip down onto the grill flames, potentially causing a small fire.

For Fire Cleanup, contact SERVPRO!

Fire Safety and Fireworks 2020

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

4th of July Fireworks 4th of July Fireworks

With the warmer months of the summer comes times to celebrate events with barbeques, family events and everyone’s favorite firework displays. These times where we use fireworks for celebrations do we take the necessary safety precautions to prevent injury or property damage needed? In all years studied, Independence Day has more incidents reported in NFIRS than any other day of the year. The number of incidents in the NFIRS database associated with July 4 and July 5 were 2.4 times the average daily number of incidents on other days of the year. Brush and outside fire incidents were nearly four times higher during this holiday than on the average day. Structure fires increase on July 4 and July 5th as well. As would be expected, fireworks were responsible for a considerable portion of the increase in fire incidence on Independence Day. In fact, 31 percent of the total annual number of fireworks−related fires occur on July 4 and 5. These fires individually were less severe than fires generally, with lower average dollar loss per fire, less than half of the injuries and one third the deaths per fire.

About SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of NE Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you need help with cleaning up after a fire call the Professionals at SERVPRO of North Highlands/ Rio Linda

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

2020 Hurricane Season 2020 Hurricane Season

Hurricanes are powerful and unpredictable storms that can cause immense damages in their path. To stay safe and protect your property during a hurricane, preparedness is key. Check out how to prepare for hurricanes and what to do during and after one.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Before the Hurricane

  • Create an emergency kit. FEMA recommends packing the following items in your emergency kit:
    • Water for drinking and sanitation to last at least 3 days;
    • Non-perishable food for at least 3 days;
    • Hand crank or battery-powered radio (tuned in to NOAA Weather Radio), as well as spare batteries;
    • Flashlight with extra batteries;
    • First aid kit;
    • Whistle to call for help;
    • Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct-tape for shelter making;
    • Moist towelettes and garbage bags for sanitation;
    • Pliers or wrench to turn off utilities;
    • Can opener;
    • Local maps;
    • Cell phone with an extra charger.
  • Learn your area’s flooding risk and community hurricane evacuation routes. Know the geographical area you live in.
  • Create a family evacuation plan. Determine a meeting place for your family and routes to get there. Plan how to get in touch with your family if separated. Plan where you’ll go if you must evacuate, such as a shelter.
  • If you don’t have flood insurance, get one now. Regular homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.
  • Find out whether your property is flood-prone due to its elevation level.
  • If there are levees and dams in your area, find out if they pose a hazard to you when the storm hits.
  • Store copies of important documents, such as proof of ownership of any property in your emergency kit.
  • Back up the data on your electronic devices to ensure it’s secure if your computer or other devices are damaged during the hurricane.

Secure Your Property:

  • Secure your roof. Make your roofing and frames stronger by installing reinforcements, such as straps or clips. Also, secure loose shingles with heavy-duty adhesive and seal around your home’s chimney or vent pipes to keep water out.
  • Maintain gutters and downspouts. Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent clogs. These could cause water damage to your home when the rain starts to pour. Also ensure your gutters are strong and not sagging.
  • Secure your windows. Strong winds can shatter your windows, leaving your home vulnerable. The best way to secure your windows is to install permanent storm shutters, which can be made of steel, aluminum, and other materials. Installing plywood is also a good defense for your windows. However, avoid taping as it doesn’t prevent glass from breaking.
  • Caulk your home. Caulking is a fast way to waterproof your house and reinforce vulnerable areas. Caulk around your windows and doors, the edges of your house, and around chimneys and other roof penetrations.
  • Insulate the outside first floor walls with rigid foam or install plastic sheeting. It won’t stop all the water from getting in, but most of the silt will be kept out.
  • Reinforce your garage. To make it withstand powerful winds, secure your garage door with a brace kit rated for storm and hurricane winds. Other ways to strengthen your garage door are installing a metal post system or covering the door with metal panels, fabric screen or 5/8-inch plywood.
  • Trim trees and shrubs. Loose branches in your yard (and neighborhood) could be struck by powerful winds during a storm, damaging your house. So cut those dead or loose branches to safeguard your property.
  • Secure loose objects. Your yard may also host objects that could become projectiles in high winds. Tie down and secure anything that could be swept up by winds, such as potted plants, lawn furniture, and dog houses. When a storm is imminent, bring light objects inside.
  • Protect appliances from power outages. While you should unplug electrical devices during a powerful storm, it’s ideal to also purchase a surge protector. It prevents damage to your devices in case the power goes out.
  • Move valuables to a higher floor. As electronics and appliances are susceptible to water damage, move them to a higher floor. If you can’t, at least raise them off the floor on concrete blocks.
  • Use sandbags when a storm is hours from arriving. Pile up sandbags at least two feet high as an efficient barricade against floodwaters. If you don’t have sandbags, place heavy-duty garbage bags – filled one-third of the way with water – around your house doors.
  • When a storm is hours from arriving:
    • Ensure your car in good working condition and fill up the gas tank. If you’re going to evacuate, stock your vehicle with emergency supplies.
    • Charge your cell phone to have a full battery if the power goes out.
    • Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting so that food lasts longer during a power outage.
    • Be alert for the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

During the Hurricane

  • If authorities advise or order you to evacuate your area, take your emergency kit and leave immediately. Strictly follow posted evacuation routes and do not try to take shortcuts.
  • If you are outside and the storm approaches, get indoors as soon as possible to avoid being hit by flying debris.
  • If your home is on low-lying ground or if you’re in a mobile home, go to the nearest safe place, such as a shelter.
  • While indoors, stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Find a safer spot to stay in, such as an interior room or a bathroom on the lower level.
  • During the storm, electrical wiring may be damaged; don’t use electrical appliances to avoid fire hazards and electrical shocks.
  • If your home is under the risk of flooding, turn off electricity at the main circuit breaker. Don’t turn on electricity until local authorities have advised you to do so.
  • Never use gasoline-powered or charcoal-burning devices inside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep those devices outside.
  • If trapped in a building that’s flooding, go to the highest level. However, don’t climb into a closed attic as rising floodwater may trap you.
  • Lightning is also a safety risk. Stay safe from lightning in your home during a storm by NOT using the shower, phone, or electrical equipment.
  • Be aware that the eye of the storm may pass over your area, during which the storm will calm. However, the storm can start again without warning.
  • Stay indoors until the local authorities have announced that the storm is over. Listen to the radio or turn on the TV (if safe do so) to get the latest updates.

After the Hurricane

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Never walk or drive on flooded roads or through water. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Floodwater may also can contain contaminants, dangerous debris or downed power lines.
  • Enter a damaged building only after the electrical system, gas lines, and plumbing have been inspected for damage.
  • Take photos of any property damage and contact your insurance company for assistance. Wear protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, rubber boots, and masks when inspecting your home.
  • Don’t touch wet electrical equipment, more so if you’re standing in water.
  • Throw out food that has been exposed to floodwaters or have not been maintained at a proper temperature. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Don’t drink tap water if you’re not sure it’s safe.

For flood cleanup services, contact the SERVPRO North Highlands/ Rio Linda drying professionals

How to Clean Up Your Basement after a Flood

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Street Flooding Street Flooding

Things to do immediately after a basement flood

  • First, make sure that it’s safe to enter your home. Check for structural damage, such as cracks, holes or warping.
  • Immediately shut off the electrical supply to your home at the main circuit breaker. Be aware of electrical wires that are under the water level.
  • If the flooding is due to a burst water pipe in your home, shut off the main water supply.
  • Avoid direct contact with floodwater, which may contain dangerous contaminants. If you must walk through floodwater, wear protective clothing, such as disposable overalls, eyewear, gloves, and a face mask.
  • Call your insurance company, take photos, and document all damaged items. Make a list of the belongings to restore and to discard. This will help you with your insurance claim.
  • If you have a sump pump installed, wait for it to drain the floodwater. If the pump has a backup battery, it should drain the water even if the power is off.

Basement flood cleanup tips

  • Quickly remove affected items from floodwater to avoid mold growth, warping, and rot. Items that suck up a lot of water (like carpet and furniture) can usually be salvaged if they have been in floodwater for less than 24 hours. Otherwise, throw them away.
  • Completely dry the basement to avoid further damage and mold growth.
    • Suck up the water with a sump pump and a Wet-Dry vacuum.
    • Use dehumidifiers and ventilate the basement as much as possible. Use fans and open windows if the weather allows, but not when the outside humidity is high.
    • Remove the baseboards (if present) and drill 1-inch holes halfway between the wall studs at the base of the walls. This allows moist air from behind the walls to evaporate.
    • Properly drying a flooded basement may take up to two weeks.
  • After everything has been dried, clean and disinfect the basement contents and structure (walls, foundation floor, drywall, etc.). You may need to discard the drywall and wood if a lot of mold has developed.
  • Don’t use bleach to clean mold because bleach kills live mold but not mold spores. Household detergent is preferable.
  • Regardless of the size of the mold-affected area, strongly consider contacting a mold remediation company. They can identify the moisture source and restore the moldy surfaces efficiently and without risk of mold recurrence.
  • Make any necessary repairs, such as filling foundation cracks, replacing damaged drywall with a mold-resistant type, and sealing windows and vents.
  • How to prevent basement flooding
    • Clean your gutters and downspouts and divert rainwater six feet away from the house. Also, make sure the ground is slightly sloping away from your home.
    • Install an emergency generator to provide your house with electricity during blackouts.
    • Install a sump pump that automatically drains water from your basement and prevents water from rising. Choose one with a backup battery.
    • Seal openings or cracks in the walls, floors, foundations, and windows of your house.
    • Install porous pavement around your home to help absorb rainwater and thawed snow.
    • Ensure that your drainage systems and plumbing are working properly. Have them checked periodically by a professional.
  • For basement flood cleanup, call the SERVPRO North Highlands/ Rio Linda restoration professionals

How to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Closets

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Prevent Mold From Your Closet Prevent Mold From Your Closet

Tips to prevent mold from growing in your closets:

  • Make sure that clothes are completely dry before storing them in closets. The moisture in clothing can accelerate mold growth.
  • Store only clean clothing and items in closets as dirt and other organic substances are potential food sources for mold.
  • Don’t pack clothes or other items too tightly in closets. Allow air to circulate between them to reduce moisture.
  • Avoid storing clothes in sealed containers like plastic tubs. Keep them in breathable packaging like a cotton sheet.
  • Don’t store items on the closet floor to prevent trapping moisture underneath them.
  • Choose plastic-coated wire shelves instead of solid shelves to improve air circulation.
  • Leave closets open when possible. Replace solid closet doors with louvered doors for better air circulation.
  • Avoid opening closets if they are in rooms with high humidity, particularly when producing moisture (e.g., showering or cooking).
  • Place a low-wattage light bulb in closets, at a safe distance from clothes or other flammable items. Leave the light on for several hours. The heat from the bulb helps keep the closet and the clothing dry.
  • Empty, clean, and dry closets thoroughly on occasion. Doing so ensures you keep them fresh and aired out, reducing the possibility of mold growth.
  • If you have a humidity problem in your home, use the air conditioning unit or a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.
  • If clothes in a closet smell musty, take them out and fix the moisture problem. Learn how to remove musty smell from clothes.

Don’t let mold take over! Call the pros at SERVPRO North Highlands/ Rio Linda. 

Fireplace Safety Guidelines

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Camping Fire Camping Fire

Fireplace safety tips

  • Before the heating season, hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect and remove creosote or other obstructions, such as animal nests, from the chimney.
  • Allow only a qualified professional to install chimney connectors and chimneys in your house.
  • Inspect your chimney cap regularly. If it’s damaged, repair or replace it. If your chimney doesn’t have a cap at the top, have one installed fitted with wire-mesh sides to prevent debris or animals from entering the chimney.
  • Keep any flammable objects, such as newspapers, books, and furniture, at least two feet away from the fireplace.
  • Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the room.
  • Use only dry, seasoned wood cut to the correct length.
  • Have a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors installed to prevent embers from shooting out of the fireplace.
  • Use fireplace tools to maintain the fire.
  • Supervise children whenever the fireplace is being used. Remind them to stay away from the fire.
  • Keep pets at a safe distance from the fire, as well.
  • Always supervise the fire and never leave it burning when going to sleep or leaving the home.
  • Close the damper only when the embers have cooled off.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms (CO) outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect the CO alarms, so that when one sounds, they all do.

When starting a fire:

  • Remove the ashes from the previous fire but let them cool for several hours before disposing of them. Leaving the ashes will result in more smoke, as it reduces the air supply to wood.
  • Put the ashes in a metal container with a tight lid. Store it outside, at least 10 feet away from the home and other buildings.
  • Open the damper; you may have to look up into the chimney with a mirror or flashlight to check that it’s open.
  • Place crumpled paper on the grate and cover it with kindling or another firestarter (but do not use flammable liquids to start your fire!). Add the firewood once the kindling is burning brightly. Then, close the fire screen.
  • Don’t overload the fireplace; a large fire generates more smoke and can damage your chimney.
  • Never burn plastic, garbage or other toxic materials.

For professional fire damage cleaning services, contact the SERVPRO North Highlands/ Rio Linda experts!

How to Prevent Winter Water Damage in Your Home

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Winter Water Damage Winter

Prevent Frozen Pipes and Pipe Bursts

Pipes in the crawl space, outside walls, and in the attic are vulnerable to freezing and bursting in cold temperatures.

  • Close all cracks, holes, and openings in outside walls and foundation, near water pipes, with caulk.
  • Insulate water pipes in unheated areas, such as the crawl space, basement, garage, attic, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Wrap them in insulating materials such as foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves.
  • Faucets that connect to pipes in unheated spaces are prone to freezing. Let cold water drip from the faucets served by exposed pipes. Running even a trickle of water through pipes helps prevent them from freezing.
  • Allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing when outside temperatures drop below 32 °F by opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. Move the products stored in these cabinets up, out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Set the thermostat to the same temperature during the day and at night. Your heating costs may rise, but you’ll prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  • If you’re leaving home for more than two days, leave the heat on in your home. Set the temperature to no lower than 55 °F. Shut off the water supply and drain pipes and appliances that use water. In addition, have someone you trust check your home once per week.
  • If a pipe bursts, shut off the water supply to your home immediately.

Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams take form when warm air in the attic heats the roof and melts the snow on the roof. The melted snow collects on unheated eaves and starts freezing, creating ice dams. If you don’t prevent or remove ice dams, the result will be winter water damage to your roof and home.

  • Have your gutters and downspouts cleaned, inspected, and repaired before the snow starts to settle. Doing this ensures that water will flow unobstructed in your drain system.
  • Insulate your attic properly — heat in the home should not reach the attic. Warm air can melt the snow on the roof, which refreezes, forming ice dams. Make sure the attic floor is airtight by sealing any openings.
  • Provide enough ventilation to the attic to keep the roof cool. Warm air should escape through vents near the top of the attic. Cold air should flow in through vents near the eaves. The temperature in the attic should be 5 to 10 °F warmer than the outside temperature.
  • Remove the snow on your roof when it’s about six inches deep. Use a roof rake or a long-handled brush to remove the snow without a ladder.
  • Install a water membrane underneath the roof shingles. It helps prevent water from seeping in.
  • Install a snow shield to prevent leaks. The shield goes under the shingles, starting from the low edge of the roof and extending up at least three feet inside the exterior wall of the house.
  • Install gutter screens to help keep out the debris that causes build-up and damage.

Prevent Spring Thaw Water Damage

Melting snow and ice can enter your home through the roof or foundation when spring arrives. Follow the winter water damage tips below to prevent that from happening.

  • Remove the snow from your roof:
    • Heavy snow on roofs can cause ice dams, which creates structural damage to the roof.
    • Remove the snow from the roof when it’s at least 6 inches deep.
    • If possible, stay on the ground to shovel the snow off the roof. Otherwise, hire a professional.
    • More tips for removing snow from roofs can be found here.
  • Shovel snow away from your home to prevent water from seeping into the foundation.
  • Keep the sewers clear of snow and debris to allow melted snow to flow unobstructed.
  • Check your basement often for water leaks from sewer drains. Make sure the basement floor, walls, windows, and doors are properly sealed.

Other Winter Water Damage Safety Tips

  • Condensation — If you notice condensation on windows, pipes, or walls in your home, dry out the area immediately. Prevent condensation by lowering the humidity in your home or by fixing leaks if there are any.
  • Install water leak detectors anywhere a water problem may occur, such as on sump pumps, near water-bearing fixtures, and behind or beneath pipes.
  • Check water supply lines yearly for leaks. Inspect your hot water heater, washing machine, ice machine in your refrigerator, and other appliances that can leak.
  • Get sewer backup coverage, which is usually not included in your homeowner’s insurance. Heavy rains and melting snow can overload your stormwater system, causing water or sewage to back up into your home.
  • Disconnect outdoor hoses if you aren’t using them. Having your hoses disconnected will prevent water from freezing in the line and creating a blockage that can cause backflow.

For water damage restoration in winter, call the SERVPRO North Highlands/ Rio Linda disaster restoration experts