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Prepare Your Yard and Pool for a Storm

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

A blown-over tree in the front yard of a brick house You can minimize wind storm damage to your yard and pool with some before-storm preparation.

A strong wind storm can cause a great deal of damage to anything outside your home that isn’t bolted down. That may include furniture, plants, grill and more, all of which should be secured or brought inside. Your swimming pool, too, will require some pre-storm prep to successfully weather the winds.

Prepare Your Yard

The best way to prevent trees and shrubs from being damaged in a hurricane, tornado or other powerful wind storm is to keep them pruned back. Trim any dying and weak branches at regular intervals throughout the year. Before a forecasted storm, do an inventory and lop off any at-risk branches you spot.

Take a look around your yard. Bring inside anything that’s small enough to fit inside your home, garage or shed: patio furniture, outdoor toys, container plants, pool cleaning and gardening equipment.  Heavier outdoor objects should be anchored to a heavy object or structure using rope, bungee cord or chains.

Bring your grill—gas or charcoal—inside your garage, shed or basement. If you have a gas grill, remove the propane tank before bringing the grill inside. To prevent the tank from being blown around, lash it tightly in an upright position to a secure object or structure away from your home.

Prepare Your Pool

If you own an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool, your greatest concern should be protecting the pool’s pump and motor.

  • Shut off the circuit breaker to the pool equipment (pump, motor, lighting, chlorinators, etc.).
  • If you can, remove the motor and store it inside. If you can’t remove the motor, wrap it up tightly in plastic and seal it with duct tape or ropes.
  • Remove and store the filter housetops and lid.
  • Don’t bother draining the pool. Your pool’s water will actually protect the lining from being struck by debris and its overflows will drain excess water delivered by the storm.

After the storm, you’ll need to give your pool some attention before using it.

  • Remove any debris from the pool—but don’t drain it.
  • Let the motor dry for at least 24 hours, then inspect the pump and motor for damage. If your motor or pump got soaked, call a pool repair company to inspect your pool and equipment.
  • Restore the chemical balance to your pool and run the filter until the water becomes clear.

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Does Your Commercial Property Have a Mold Problem?

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Mold grows on a floor by a radiator pipe Mold loves water, so remove moisture problems to prevent mold from growing in your commercial facility.

A mold problem at your commercial building can happen quickly and with little warning. All it takes is a water leak plus 48 hours—and you may be looking at a stubborn mold infestation. And don't forget, mold remediation can be costly and time consuming.

Microscopic mold spores are found almost everywhere, both inside buildings and outdoors. They float in the air, and can find their way into your building through several avenues: open windows and doors, your HVAC system, on your clothing or even on a pet!

The good news is that mold won’t grow exponentially where there is no moisture issue. Focus on eliminating moisture to prevent a mold problem in your commercial facility.

Mold + Moisture = BFFs

When exposed to water, mold spores can quickly grow into colonies. It’s these large groups of mold spores that may produce allergens and irritants. Even humidity that’s higher than normal (more than 45%) can encourage mold growth.

While a sudden flood of water at your building (caused by a burst pipe, storm-driven water penetration or a community-wide flood) is a problem you can’t ignore, many commercial mold issues begin with minor water damage, such as a dripping pipe or water fixture, a small leak in the roof or even just an overly-humid environment. If you don’t know you have a water problem, the resulting mold infestation will have lots of time to establish itself. 

Before you begin mold remediation, you need to address all sources of water or moisture in your commercial building—or the mold may just start growing again.

How Do You Know if You Have a Mold Problem?

One big clue that you have mold in your commercial facility is detecting a strong, musty odor. If your employees or customers notice musty or moldy smells, or report problems with health effects, you should investigate a potential mold problem.

If you notice condensation in any area of your facility, it could mean that your humidity is too high, which could cause moisture buildup and mold growth.

If your building has a history of moisture problems, you’ll need to check regularly for leaks and water buildup—and address the problem promptly. You should also regularly inspect your commercial building’s ductwork and HVAC systems.

Finally, if you discover that building materials or furnishings are visibly wet or moldy, act quickly to stop the leak and remediate the mold. Remember, if more than 48 hours have elapsed since the leak started, your facility may already have become a mold factory. 

Call on SERVPRO for Complete Mold Remediation

You may be able to remedy small moisture problems on your own, but if you discover a large amount of mold growth, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced mold remediation company like SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield. Our expert staff includes:

  • microbial remediation specialists
  • water damage restoration technicians
  • structural, upholstery and fabric drying techs
  • odor control technicians

SERVPRO will arrive at your location promptly and put our training, experience and equipment to work to contain the mold infestation, halt damage, remediate all traces of mold and restore your property and facility to its pre-damage condition.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

If your business suffers a storm, fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

If your business suffers a storm, fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Getting Back to Business After a Big Storm

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

A car lies overturned among storm debris. Get back to business faster by knowing what to do after a hurricane, tornado or other powerful storm damages your small business.

You own or manage a small business and have worked hard to make it successful. But when the unexpected happens, you may be left scrambling to recover. A hurricane, tornado or other storm can be such an event: coming in with little notice and leaving your business damaged, your power out and your business at risk.

Your goal after a storm is to make—and be able to pay for—the repairs you need to get your business up and running quickly. Knowing ahead of time what you need to do can make a big difference. SERVPRO recommends taking these six steps after a hurricane or other storm to make a fast recovery.

1. Contact Your Insurance Agent

When the storm is on its way, make sure you have contact information for your insurer, as well as your policy number and coverage details. Once the storm has passed by, call your agent and file a claim, if necessary. You’ll review the timeframe for processing your claim and the information you’ll need to provide, such as commercial water repair estimates.

2. Hire Trustworthy Contractors

After a hurricane, tornado or other storm disaster, contractors are busy! Not only can it be challenging to find a reputable and qualified vendor, you also have to guard against scammers, who may try to take your money up-front and perform shoddy work—or disappear. Your insurance company may provide the names of approved contractors. Before signing a contract, interview several contractors, compare bids and check credentials with your state and the Better Business Bureau.

It’s a good idea to line up preferred contractors before a storm hits. Know that you can rely on the experienced disaster recovery experts at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield to handle your storm, water, fire or biohazard cleanup quickly and completely.

3. Apply for Federal Aid

Your small business may qualify for federal aid to fund your recovery from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or visit DisasterAssistance.gov to apply online. You and your employees may also qualify for disaster aid for unemployment if you have to shut down operations temporarily.

4. Apply for a Disaster Loan

If you need funds to pay for property repairs that are not covered by your insurance, you can apply for an affordable disaster loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). 

5. Get Advice

Reach out to your local government, your local Chamber of Commerce and/or the SBA for post-disaster business counseling.

6. Keep in Touch with Employees and Customers

Keeping your employees and customers aware of your situation is crucial. Start by checking in on your employees (who may have suffered damage to their homes). Once you develop your timeframe and plan for reopening, make sure your employees are fully informed.

Posting updates on your social media pages, updating your website and sending out emails—all dependent on power and internet availability, of course—are all good ways to keep your customers regularly informed of your progress, which will pay off when you open your doors again.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

If your business suffers a storm, fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

If your business suffers a storm, fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Your Gas Grill: Keeping It Safe

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

A gas grill is on fire Don't let a gas grill fire ruin your cookout … or destroy your home! Our three easy tips will help prevent a fire disaster.

There’s nothing like a meal cooked outside on a convenient gas grill! Many people use their gas grill year-round, but summer, of course, is prime grilling time. That also means that summer is the season to be especially careful about gas grill safety and maintenance.

Each year, about 9,000 fires are caused by grilling, and more than 80% of these originate with gas grills. Take these three basic steps when grilling to help prevent a fire tragedy from happening to you.

Keep It Clean

Much of the food cooked on a grill is greasy, such as burgers or steaks. As the food cooks, the grease drips into the grease trap beneath the grill top and builds up. Soon enough, this trap gets filled up and becomes a source of fuel. Because the temperature inside a closed gas grill can reach more than 500°F, that accumulated grease can easily and unexpectedly ignite. The resulting flames can spread to your deck, nearby furniture and even your home.

Insects, such as spiders, often build nests inside the burner tubes of grills, which can block the flow of gas and cause the fuel to back up. When you try to ignite the grill, it may light but that backed-up gas may also ignite, resulting in flames shooting out around the control panel. That’s called a flashback fire.

To prevent either of these situations, you need to regularly clean your grill. Focus on the areas where grease typically builds up, such as the grease trap beneath the grill, and under and around the burners. Also clean the flame tamers, which are flat pieces of steel that distribute heat as you’re cooking (usually found above the burners). As a part of your regular cleaning, check the burner tubes and clean them out with a narrow bottle brush or pipe cleaner.

Some other tips for safe cooking:

  • Trim fat off your meat
  • Use a lower heat setting
  • Pay attention to the flames on your burners—uneven or yellow flames may indicate a blockage

Keep Your Distance

The heat thrown off by a gas grill is hot enough to set nearby objects on fire, melt your siding or even catch your house on fire. And remember that a flare-up or grease fire can send flames shooting out three or more feet from the grill.

So no matter the weather—and it’s tempting to move the grill to a porch or closer to your home if it’s raining—keep your grill away from structures (such as deck railings) and objects (such as branches). Check your grill manufacturer for the guidelines for your model. Place your gas grill on a level, sturdy and non-combustible surface that has been cleared of leaves and other debris.

Keep Watch

In spite of the social role that cooking out plays in gatherings of family and friends, you need to maintain vigilance when you are operating a gas grill. The heat of the grill can easily burn a child, adult or animal that contacts the side of it. And a flare-up or grease fire, if not stopped quickly, can turn into a major fire disaster.

Stay at or near your gas grill whenever it is turned on so that you can quickly react to a fire emergency—or stop one from happening.

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

We’re Here to Help

After a fire, the team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield uses specialized fire restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Call SERVPRO for Professional Deep Cleaning of Your Business

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

A cleaning crew in hazmat suits and protective gear Not every cleaning service can do the deep cleaning that removes viral pathogens. Call the pros at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield.

The meaning of “clean” has changed drastically in recent months. Many business owners need to have their facilities deep-cleaned and sanitized to remove viral pathogens, meet state regulations and alleviate customer concerns, but they don’t know where to turn.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield is prepared—with people, procedures, equipment and products—to bring the highest level of cleaning and reassurance to its clients. Read on to learn how SERVPRO has helped many local businesses with its professional deep cleaning service.

Highest Cleaning and Sanitation Standards

With new workplace procedures recently put in place, we want to start fresh with a professional deep cleaning of our entire office. We needed a company adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards during this crisis. When it came down to it, SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield was our top choice; they had all the necessary certifications we were looking for. We couldn’t be any more gracious for all the cleaning they did to help keep our business going after a swift but firm inspection we had to go through. Thanks again!

— Joey in Wethersfield, CT

Having a nearby case … was scary. The state came in and a lot of businesses, including where my sister works, were shut down after inspection. We spoke to one of the businesses that got back up and running the next week, wondering how they did it. SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield was their answer, and soon it was what saved my sister’s job and company. … We’ll be spreading the word to everyone we can to help keep other businesses open as well. Thank you, SERVPRO!

— Peter in Glastonbury, CT

Our small business was disinfected, cleaned and sanitized for the virus inspections, right down to the last button on each computers’ keyboard. Thank you, SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield!

— Howard in Wethersfield, CT

After the announcement that schools were opening back up, we were delighted but also nervous about how to handle cleaning our entire daycare, or how to ensure parents that our facilities were going to stay clean. We did not want to go through our own stock of cleaning supplies, and we didn’t know where to turn. So we called SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield. We now have a freshly sanitized and deeply cleaned facility and can confidently move forward ensuring parents that their children will be safe.

— Amanda in Wethersfield, CT

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

When you need deep or routine cleaning of commercial facilities, or if your business suffers a fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you need deep or routine cleaning of commercial facilities, or if your business suffers a fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Stay Safe When Lightning’s in the Air

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning flashes above a beach Protect yourself from a direct lightning strike, whether you're inside or outside.

Getting hit by lightning is something you want to avoid! Each year, about 400 people are struck by lightning in the United States. One out of ten are killed, and many of the survivors have lingering injuries and burns.

Whether you’re inside or outside, this article will tell you how to greatly reduce your chance of being struck by lightning.

What To Do If You’re Outside

Get Sheltered or Get Small

When the thunder roars, go indoors! An enclosed building is the safest place to be. But if you are caught outdoors and can find no shelter, crouch down low, with as little of your body as possible touching the ground.

Don’t Stand Under a Tree

Like many tall structures and objects, trees attract lightning. Because your body conducts electricity even better than a tree does, the lightning can jump from the tree to you if you're close enough. Keep your distance!

Stay on Your Feet

While you don’t want to be the tallest target if you’re caught out in a thunderstorm, don’t lie down on the ground as a way to make yourself shorter. By stretching out, you actually make yourself a bigger target.

Stay Away from Concrete

Don’t stand on steps, patios or other concrete surfaces, because buried within most concrete is strengthening metal rebar or wire mesh, both of which conduct electricity very effectively.

What To Do If You’re at Home

Stay Away from Windows

Don’t get too close to your windows during a thunderstorm because many of them contain metal parts that can attract lightning.

Hang Up the Landline

Lightning can travel through the phone wires and electrocute you. It’s safe to use a cellphone (if it’s not plugged into a charger).

Unplug Your Computer and Other Devices

Anything that’s plugged into an outlet is at risk of being damaged by an electrical surge. Even a top-rated surge protector is no defense against a close lightning strike, so unplug your computer and other devices. Consider unplugging your household appliances, too.

Don’t Use Small Appliances

Plugged into an outlet, any appliance, such as a hairdryer or iron, can transmit a powerful jolt from a lightning strike, so don’t use or even be near one of your small electrical appliances.

Stay Away from the Tub, Shower and Sink

If lightning strikes near your house, powerful currents can travel through the pipes in your home and electrocute you in your bath or shower. Get cleaned up after the storm! For the same reason, don’t wash dishes during a thunderstorm.

Let the Laundry Wait

Stay away from your washer and dryer during a thunderstorm! These appliances are connected to your home’s electrical system and they are metal, so lightning will travel right through them and into you.

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Many Ways to Avoid an Appliance Fire in Your Home

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

Firemen and a women stand near a burned clothes dryer Read these tips for the many things you can do to prevent an electrical appliance fire from starting in your home.

Every year in America, firefighters respond to around 370,000 home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and those household fires are responsible for billions of dollars in property damages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 85% of fire deaths happen in the home.

Of these house fires, approximately 34,000 or about 9% involve electrical equipment—and electrical fires in the home account for approximately 10% of annual fire deaths.

Taking a closer look, it’s our electrical appliances, such as clothes dryers and water heaters, that cause 7% of home fires and 4% of deaths. The biggest culprits in appliance fires are lint in dryers and combustible materials near gas water heaters.

Home appliances make all of our lives easier, but the fact is they are also potential fire hazards. By following safety tips and staying on top of regular maintenance and cleaning, homeowners can operate their appliances safely.

Your Home’s Electrical Infrastructure

Since electrical appliances are connected to the home’s electrical system, preventing an appliance-related fire disaster begins with making sure the home’s wiring and electrical infrastructure is operating safely. Overloaded extension cords, hidden electrical shorts, bad connections and oversized bulbs and fixtures can melt wire insulation and ignite nearby flammable items and materials, potentially burning down your house.

Let’s look first at signs of impending danger, then at the parts of the home’s electrical system that can malfunction and cause a fire—and what to do to keep your home safe.

Beware These Signs

Shorts, overloaded circuits and bad connections generate heat that can ignite combustibles such as wood framing, rugs or the insulation around a cord or wire. These are some of the signs of dangerous concealed wiring hazards:

  • Electrical cords that are warm to the touch can signal overloading.
  • Charred or plastic burning odors may indicate oversized bulbs and light fixtures.
  • Warm switches or receptacle plate covers may mean a poor electrical connection.
  • Frequently tripping circuit breakers may be caused by a defective breaker or a short in the cables buried in walls or ceilings.

When to Call a Qualified Electrician

When you see these signs of electrical trouble, hire an expert to make the necessary changes that will prevent a fire.

  • Warm-to-the-touch wall outlets or switches.
  • Fuses that regularly blow or circuits that often trip.
  • Appliances that smell rubbery or as if they are burning.
  • Lights that dim, flicker, are unusually bright or have bulbs that regularly burn out prematurely.
  • Appliances that spark.

Other Safety Tips

  • Never place anything that can burn—such as towels or scarves—over a lamp or heat-producing appliance.
  • Make sure bulb wattages don’t exceed the fixture’s recommended maximum. Prevent overheating by checking all the light bulbs in your home and changing them if necessary.

Outlets

If you plug in an appliance and the cord slips out of the electrical outlet, it may mean that the blades inside the outlet have loosened. Unfortunately, loose blades can generate intense heat that can lead to fires. You’ll need to replace electrical outlets as soon as you notice that plugs don't fit snugly in them.

Homes built before 1965 typically have ungrounded two-pronged outlets, while newer houses usually have three-pronged outlets. If your home is older, consider upgrading wiring to accept three-pronged outlets, particularly if you are replacing older outlets that may be cracked, damaged or covered in paint.

Follow these good practices when plugging in appliances to minimize fire risk:

  • Turn off appliances before unplugging them to avoid creating an arc inside that could create a fire hazard.
  • Plug only one high-wattage appliance into a receptacle outlet at a time.
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance, such as a toaster or coffee maker, into a receptacle outlet at a single time.

Call an electrician to make your outlets as safe as they can be:

  • Install tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles in outlets near where children will be present. These outlets contain an internal spring-loaded shield that requires even pressure on both sides of the outlet to access the electrical contacts.
  • Help prevent shocks by installing ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, basement, garages, outdoor areas and other places where electrical equipment is near water or can get wet. (A GFCI can either be installed in your electrical system or built into a power cord.)
  • To help prevent fires, have a qualified electrician install arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which can help protect against arcing and sparking.

Power Cords and Extension Cords

Damaged power cords pose a great fire risk, so check the cords in your home:

  • Make sure electrical cords are not trapped against walls or under carpets where heat can build.
  • Never use electronics with frayed or exposed wires. A short circuit can result in a spark, which can cause a house fire.

Extension cords are intended for temporary use but are often used more permanently. Consider having a qualified electrician add more circuits or outlets so you do not have to use extension cords.

  • Stay within the electrical limits of extension cords and power strips. Each are rated for heavy, medium or light duty use, and exceeding the recommended power rating can be dangerous. Replace undersized cords with larger-gauged ones.
  • Don’t use an extension cord with major appliances. Plug them directly into outlets.
  • Don’t run extension cords under carpets.
  • Replace extension cords that are undersized or frayed.

Use Electrical Appliances Safely

In general, when using any electric, gas or heat appliances:

  • Regularly clean, inspect and maintain appliances, especially those 15 years or older.
  • Only run appliances when you're at home.
  • Look for appliances with a UL mark, proving that Underwriters Laboratories has vouched for the item's safety.

A Note on Vintage Appliances

Old-fashioned plug-in appliances—a decades-old fan or vintage coffeemaker—may still run, but they were made according to outdated safety codes and may have frayed or damaged wires. If you are determined to use an antiquated electronic appliance, have it rewired by an electrician.

Bathroom Appliances

  • Don’t overload outlets. Use GFCI outlets in the bathroom.
  • Don’t use hairdryers or other electrical appliances near the sink, bathtub or shower.
  • Keep curling irons, hairdryers, straighteners and other hot equipment away from combustible materials.
  • Unplug electrical appliances, such as curling irons and hairdryers, when not in use.

Kitchen Appliances

Cooking fires cause 23% of home fires and 9% of home-fire deaths. Every year, an average of one out of every eight homes will have a kitchen cooking fire. Cooking fires mostly occur on the cooktop, usually in the first 15 minutes of cooking.

But not all kitchen fires start because of cooking hazards. Non-cooking related fires commonly involve refrigerators, freezers or dishwashers. Follow these guidelines to help prevent non-cooking related fires from starting in your kitchen.

  • Plug all kitchen appliances, including microwaves, toasters and coffee makers, directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
  • Use the appropriate outlet for each appliance. For larger appliances, such as ovens and refrigerators, be sure to only use properly grounded outlets with circuits that match the rating plate on the appliance.
  • If you have older two-prong outlets in your kitchen, have a qualified electrician replace them with properly grounded three-prong outlets. Do not use an adapter.
  • When moving kitchen appliances, be careful not to roll over or pinch power cords.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • Check and clean stove hoods, filters and vents.
  • Never use a gas or propane oven to heat your home. 

Oven/Stovetop

One common way a kitchen cooking fire starts is when a pot or pan is left unattended on a hot burner. Oil, grease and butter are highly flammable, so if a fire does start on your stovetop, turn off the burner and place a lid over the flame (throwing water on a grease fire may cause it to spread and intensify). If the lid does not stop the fire, use a fire extinguisher.

Follow these guidelines for safe cooking:

  • Keep a three-foot zone between flammable material, such as oven mitts, paper towels and napkins, and the stove. Keep fabric (such as dishcloths) away from heat and flame.
  • Clean your oven and range thoroughly at least once a month. Built-up food splatter or grease can ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
  • Never leave food cooking on a stovetop unattended.
  • Don’t hang dishtowels on the oven door.
  • Keep aerosols far away from flames.
  • Cook on back burners and turn pot handles inward to prevent spills and burns.
  • Turn gas stovetop flames off before reaching above the stove.
  • Dress appropriately when cooking; avoid blousy clothing and keep sleeves rolled up.
  • Keep an operating fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • If you own a gas stove, periodically check its pilot lights. A pilot light that is unlit for an extended amount of time can leak gas into your home, eventually causing a fire disaster.

Microwave

  • Use only microwave-safe containers.
  • Don’t heat food or materials that are flammable, such as aluminum foil, Styrofoam or some plastic containers.

Toaster/Toaster Oven

  • Clean the appliance regularly. Accumulated crumbs can build up on the bottom of the toaster and catch fire.
  • Never use these appliances unsupervised, because the heating elements can become faulty over time and may not turn off.

Water Heater

Since water heaters are often in the same room as the laundry, clothes can get piled up against the water heater near the flame.

  • Keep paint and other flammable liquids in their original, labeled containers with lids and store them away from heat sources.
  • Don’t keep anything flammable near a furnace or water heater, such as debris, combustible materials and rags. Mark a “combustible-free” zone three feet away from your water heater with masking tape.
  • Keep burner/element access doors on the water heater closed.
  • Keep protective water heater combustion chamber covers are in place.

Clothes Dryer

Even if you empty your lint tray every time you dry clothes, the lint still builds up inside the dryer cabinet, which holds its heating element. A blaze can start if the burner or heating element comes into contact with this accumulated lint. Especially dangerous are dryers that are vented with flexible vinyl hoses, which can easily catch on fire.

  • Keep vents and filters clean by removing lint after each use.
  • At least once a year, clean the lint from the exhaust hose at the back of the dryer, from the dryer cabinet, from around the drum and from the vent line.
  • Don’t place items stained with combustible fluids like gasoline or furniture polish in the dryer.
  • If your furnace is close to the laundry room, don’t hang clothing or drop dryer lint near it.
  • Replace vinyl vent lines with smooth-walled metal ducts.

To minimize the risk, hire a professional to clean the cabinet every two years. Or follow these steps to avoid lint build-up in your clothes dryer.

  • Lint trap: Pull out the lint screen and push a snorkel brush straight down into the trap. Twirl the brush to clean out any lint at the bottom of the trap. (A long crevice tool on a shop vac also works.) Shine a flashlight down the trap to make sure it's clean.
  • Ductwork: Disconnect the duct from the dryer exhaust and the exterior vent. If the duct is plastic or ribbed metal, replace it with a smooth metal one. Take the duct outside and clean all the parts with a round dryer-vent brush.
  • Outside vent: Working from inside, spin the vent brush a few inches into the duct, then pull it back and clean off the bristles. Repeat until the bristles reach as far as the exhaust hood on the outside wall. Then go outside, check the vent hood and clean it if necessary.
  • Reassemble the metal ductwork and seal the joints with aluminum tape. (Don't connect the sections with screws, which snag lint.)

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

We’re Here to Help

After a fire, the team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield uses specialized fire restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Have a Medical Go-Bag Ready Before a Storm Hits

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

A red case with a white cross on it Keep your family safe! Create a medical go-bag that you can grab quickly if you need to evacuate from a storm disaster.

The time to prepare for wind, rain or thunderstorm damage is before the storm hits. In addition to taking steps to prevent property damage, you’ll want to take action early to protect the health and safety of your family. And one step you can take right now is to build a well-stocked customized medical go-bag that contains first-aid items, needed medications and more to keep everyone healthy in case your family needs to evacuate in a matter of minutes. In fact, it could save your life!

You can assemble the go-bag yourself or you can purchase a kit online or from a drugstore. Once completed, the items should be stored in a portable, water-resistant kit, such as a backpack or duffle bag. Keep the go-bag in an accessible place in your home and be sure all family members know where it is. Check the go-bag periodically and replace any damaged or out-of-date supplies. 

Necessary Items

The basic items in your medical go-bag should include: 

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Bandages, gauze, tape and antibiotic ointment for treating burns, cuts and wounds
  • An antihistamine for allergic reactions
  • Pain relievers
  • Stomach, antacid and anti-diarrheal remedies
  • Mosquito repellent and aloe gel, hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion
  • Eyewash solution
  • Water-purification tablets
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • A copy of your health insurance card

Optional Items

If you or family members take over-the-counter or prescription medications on a regular basis, you should include enough meds to last at least a week. Ask your doctor for 60- or 90-day refills of your prescriptions so that you’ll have extras on hand for your medication go-bag. As refills arrive, rotate your go-bag supply so that it remains up to date. And remember to check your medications periodically to ensure that they have not expired.

If you and your family have special medical needs, additional items you might add to your kit include: 

  • Hearing aids with extra batteries
  • Epinephrine auto-injector
  • Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Syringes

Items for a Public Health Crisis

In 2020, the CDC recommends that people include additional items in their go-bags to help prevent the spread of viruses and the flu:

  • Cloth face coverings (for ages 2 and above)
  • Soap and hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Protect Your Small Business from Fires

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

A burnt-out office with desk Even a small fire at your commercial property can cause lots of damage and put your continued operation at risk. Here are ways to prevent that.

The last decade has seen a 5% growth in fires in nonresidential buildings, according to a 2018 report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This increase in commercial fires has been costly, as they have been accompanied by a 36% growth in insurance claims.

So, while large, sudden disasters like wildfires are a real reason for concern, a fire of any size or origin—if not caught and extinguished quickly—can at a minimum interrupt your business, and at worst, destroy your commercial property and potentially put you out of business entirely.

Know How Small Business Fires Start

If you know how, where and why a commercial fire is most likely to start, you’re better prepared to prevent one. These are the most common sources of commercial property fires, followed by steps you can take to help prevent them.

Cooking Equipment (29%)

  • Clean office kitchen areas daily.
  • Ban hot plates.
  • Have stoves, ovens and other cooking equipment serviced at least annually by a qualified technician.      

Electrical Equipment (12%)

  • Make it a regular practice to inspect appliance cords and check light fixtures, bulbs and displays for visible signs for damage.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, don’t use extension cords.
  • Keep trash cans, paper, cardboard boxes and other combustible materials away from outlets, panel boxes or other heat-producing electrical equipment.

Heating Equipment (11%)

  • Don’t use portable space heaters.
  • Keep combustible materials at least three feet from boilers, furnaces and other heating units.
  • Have your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment serviced by a qualified technician at least annually and before each seasonal startup.

Arson (10%)

  • Light all areas of the property, including parking lots and garages.
  • Establish a security program that controls access to your building. If appropriate, arrange for a security guard to make rounds of your facility.

Smoking (5%)

  • Prohibit smoking in the building.
  • Place non-combustible containers outside exterior doors for disposal of smoking materials.
  • Install smoke detection equipment in bathrooms, closets and other areas that may be used for unauthorized smoking.

The Fundamentals of Fire Prevention

Follow these essential fire prevention steps, just as you would at your home, to be prepared in case a fire does break out at your commercial building.

  • Equip your building with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers that meet local and state regulations.
  • Test detectors and extinguishers regularly, change batteries annually and replace equipment if it is defective or approaching its end of life.
  • Document evacuation procedures, communicate them and hold regular emergency drills.

If a fire strikes your small business, call a professional disaster recovery company like SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield to help you recover quickly and completely. SERVPRO is also an expert in remediating the water and smoke damage that often accompanies a fire.

If your business suffers a fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

If your business suffers a fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Why and How We Focus on Safety

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Man wearing respirator mask and goggles SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield protects the well-being of our employees through comprehensive safety training and procedures.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield believes in protecting the health and safety of its workers—our field crews, warehouse workers and home office staff—so that they can help our customers recover from a fire, water, storm or biohazard disaster. SERVPRO trains our employees to handle any situation that may arise on the job. With an increased awareness of how even small actions or lapses can become a real hazard to health, our employees are trained and equipped to adhere to a higher standard of safety.

In 2019, our franchise owner hired a new safety coordinator who comes to us with more than twenty years of experience in construction and warehouse management. Rhonda explains that she “likes to learn new things and do different things.” SERVPRO is benefitting from that attitude—these are just some of the new safety initiatives that she has put into place within the last year:

Overall Safety

  • We provide our training programs and videos in both English and Spanish.
  • Each month, the safety coordinator meets with crew chiefs for a general review of safety measures and results, and plans for new policies and training.

Vehicle Safety

  • We instruct workers in the correct operation of forklifts.
  • We inspect our trucks and forklifts every day.
  • We consistently assign each truck to a specific crew to increase familiarity and safety.

Equipment and Product Safety

  • We provide new training in fitting and wearing N-95 respirator masks, so that each worker has a mask that is the right size, is fitted correctly and sealed tightly to the face, while allowing adequate breathing.
  • We equip each crew and crew chief with duffel bags that contain hard hats, goggles, safety vests, shoulder dolly straps for heavy loads and our chemical information binder.
  • We check every truck daily to be sure it has a first aid kit, eyewash station and fire extinguisher.
  • We document our cleaning service products in a binder that explains appropriate uses, required protective equipment and procedures for use. Not only are our workers up to date on our products, they can easily answer customer questions.
  • We train our workers to properly lift heavy loads and use shoulder dolly straps.

Fire Safety

  • We train our crews to correctly use fire extinguishers, generators and third plug adapters.
  • We equip each piece of equipment and every truck with a third plug adapter, which allows our grounded equipment to be used safely in older homes that lack grounding outlets.
  • Every month, we inspect and date all fire extinguishers so that we know they are always ready to use.

Blood-Borne Pathogen Safety

  • We created enhanced training in the safe processing and disposal of blood-borne pathogens.
  • We equip each crew with a blood-borne pathogen duffel bag that includes hazmat suits, thick gloves, tweezers, needle containers and sealable bags for waste disposal.
  • We have located secure metal storage containers in our parking lot, where bagged blood-borne waste is stored before being picked up by a vendor for final disposal.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has the training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home or business. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield  (860.633.8791) any time.

When you have suffered a water, mold, storm, fire or biohazard disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033

IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water, mold, storm, fire or biohazard disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791