Common Causes of Fire..
Do you and your family know the common causes of fires?
Here are a few common causes to look out for:
- 48% of all fires are caused by cooking.
- Remember to turn off source of heat.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Do not put anything close to the heater.
- Follow guidelines on how the heater can run.
- Electrical Fires
- Make sure fireplaces and lighting are up to code and are safe.
- Ensure alarms are replaced
- Never lay cigarettes, cigars, etc., down and forget about them.
- Smoke outside to avoid any potential fires related to dropping or forgetting about the item.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- All materials should remain 12 inches away from all candles.
These are just some tips in order to prevent fires. SERVPRO at Birmingham keeps your safety a priority and we hope you and family values that as well. Other things to have in place is a route for you and your family if there ever was a fire. Also, everyone in your family should know the route and plan in place. IF there is a fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Birmingham.
Unfortunately, symbols of Halloween and activities while fun can also present fire risks that have the potential to become really scary. Halloween decorations are the first thing to ignite in over 1,000 reported home fires each year. Whether you are trick or treating, throwing a party, or staying inside, decorations can be a lurking fire risk and it is important to be aware. Planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Here are five Halloween fire safety tips:
Everyone here at SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to ensure your Halloween is safe and fun! Follow these steps to enjoy your Halloween season. In the case of an emergency, know that the team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is going to work around the clock to help keep your Halloween season a good one!
- Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns.
- When choosing costumes, stay away from the long trailing fabric.
- Teach young children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
- Keep all decorations away from open flames, especially cornstalks, dried flowers, and crepe paper.
- Provide young children with glow sticks or flashlights to carry with their costumes.
- Remember to keep all exits clear of decorations so escape routes are not blocked. Also, make sure all smoke alarms are working properly.
What to do After a Fire?
Have you had a fire in your home? "Devastating" is an understatement when experiencing the chaos of a fire in your home. Not only is it difficult to deal with the loss, but the clean-up can be, too. If it is a small isolated fire, getting the area cleaned and repaired should be a priority! The first thing to consider is the ash and smoke damage. These can lead to corrosion, unpleasant odor, and discoloration. Getting ash and smoke cleaned up immediately will prevent any of these from leading to an even larger problem. Take immediate action by following these steps if you find yourself handling the aftermath of a house fire: 1. Contact your insurance company. 2. Contact your local fire restoration company. 3. Take photographs of the damage. 4. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurance company. 5. Make a list of everything you lost or that was destroyed. 6. Find a place to stay while your restoration company cleans up your property. While a house fire is a difficult experience, it helps to have a game plan in place. So remember these steps for the next time you or someone you know is handling the aftermath of a house fire, and call SERVPRO® of Birmingham.
Know The Risks & Prepare For Them.
The Birmingham area receives tornadoes, hurricanes and an immense amounts of rain each year. It is said that 30% of Americans make little to no preparations for a hurricane. And since, this month is National Preparedness Month and September is the most common month for hurricanes to make landfall, here at SERVPRO of Birmingham we thought we would go over what kind of damage hurricanes can bring. Hurricanes can produce:
- High Winds (155+ mph)
- Tornadoes & Microbursts
- Flying Debris
- Heavy Rainfall
- Strom Surges
- and more..
Here are some ways to prepare your home before a hurricane or any natural disaster comes:
- Keep your emergency kit ready and easily accessible.
Keep at least several days of food and supplies in your emergency kit and have many available throughout your home, car and workplace, because you never know when disaster will strike.
- Prepare for any power outages.
One of the most dangerous things about hurricanes is the aftermath of the hurricane. Sometimes, residents can be without power for weeks on end. Having a generator to keep food available to you and your family can make a huge difference.
Many people does not think about our much damage a tree could cause to a roof. However in order to prevent damage to your roof, water leaks, and flooding. Dead trees need to be cut down and long branches that are touching the roof need to be cut. Doing this will reduce the probability of pieces of your roof coming and water coming through.
- Verify insurance coverage.
The last thing anyone wants to do after a hurricane has caused damage to your home, is finding out insurance doesn't cover the damage. Make sure the you have adequate insurance protection. Check also about if your insurance covers if any flooding happens. Put a plan in place.The last and most important preparation you and your family should make is putting a plan in place for whenever a natural disaster does occur. Each family should know where to go and where the emergency kit is.
SERVPRO urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a natural disaster comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO will be here to help.
Does you and your family have an emergency storm kit?
Alabama is no stranger to severe storms that cause power outages, flooding, and severe damage. Therefore not having an emergency storm kit that has at least several days of supplies in it, can cause some serious issues whenever the Birmingham area does have a major storm come through. As the second week of National Preparedness Month wraps up, SERVPRO of Birmingham wanted to address putting together an emergency kit.
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. Here are a few items to keep in mind while putting together an emergency kit in the event of a severe storm approaching.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Any medicine currently being taken
- Emergency food and water
- Extra change of clothes and shoes
- Pet supplies if you are taking care of an animal
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
- Replace expired items as needed.
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.
- Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
- Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
These are just a few examples of what an emergency kit should contain. Residents can add whatever else they may need. There should be an emergency kit in every residential building as well as all commercial buildings if possible. Aside from having an emergency kit ready, a plan should also be in place. If there is a designated storm area inside the home or office, occupants should head there with the emergency kits. Severe storms cannot be avoided, but with the right tools and resources they can be easier to deal with.
SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to make sure the surrounding Birmingham Areas are prepared!
National Preparedness Month
September marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month as well as the month that historically sees the most named storms. The Gulf Coast is especially vulnerable to hurricanes and other disasters leading multiple goodwill and restoration personnel to prepare to make their way to provide help for those in need.
Among those making their way south west, SERVPRO crews are also assembling to assist in restoration efforts following these disastrous events.
Our Disaster Response Team has traveled all throughout parts of the United States to assist various businesses and commercial properties in getting back on their feet following storm events. These properties range from manufacturing plants to child daycare facilities; industries where quick production time is necessary to ensure business continuity.
In events such as storms, hurricanes, and large scale disasters, our designated Disaster Response Team has the capacity to scale up or down depending on the magnitude of the event. Large scale disasters such as the Texas/Oklahoma Freeze of 2021 required the presence of our team of over 100 technicians and experienced project managers to have boots on the ground for months at a time.
Our team has walked through multiple commercial buildings, met with various facility managers to assess the needs of their properties, and assembled and dispatched crews to begin the restoration and eventual reconstruction of these buildings. In large-scale events such as the freeze or Hurricane Ida, readiness is of the utmost importance and our team always proves that they are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Not only in our hometown of Birmingham, but wherever the winds may blow: we are always Ready to Restore.
Into The "Ida" of The Storm
Tropical Storm Ida has came and gone and left major damage. Therefore here at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we want you to be prepared in the event you may experience a storm similar to this one. Storms often cause flooding which may cause a lot of damage to your home or office.
First thing is first:
Know the Difference Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
What to do:
- Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).-
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.-
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.-
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S.
Lastly if you experience flooding or damage to your home, call us at SERVPRO.
Various Storm Damage
Storm season brings a wide range of storm types.
Anyone of these storm types could easily cause damage to your home or business. It is important to know the different damages that a storm can cause and also be prepared for wind, flooding and lighting that can cause to your home.
Storm damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof due to strong winds that may loosen flashing. This can cause your roof shingles to be removed from your home or business causing leaks. Even a subtle roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions. One of our restoration experts can help property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.
Heavy rains can cause river flooding all around the Dallas/Fort Worth areas. Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems which call for experts to assess groundwater and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Our team can assist in your cleanup process after flood damage has occurred.
When a storm occurs, many times it brings the loud sounds of thunder which mean lighting is striking. Your home or business may have objects attached to the building that can attract a lightning strike that can cause a fire. A bolt of lightning can reach temperatures of roughly 30,000 kelvins (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). Lightning strikes, or discharges of massive charges of static electricity, cause about 2% of all fires.
Beware of Batteries
Technology turning against humans almost sounds like a 2000s horror movie. Unfortunately, that was the reality of a local family when their tech-savvy toys decided to spontaneously combust while charging.
As this family’s toys started charging up for a fun time, what they got was something else entirely. As the batteries began to combust, the living room quickly caught on fire and the flames began to spread throughout the entire first level.
How could this have happened?
The lithium-ion batteries used on the hoverboards, although small, store a lot of power. These batteries are also prone to overheating, which can unfortunately cause explosions; and as this family quickly learned — explosions big enough to set an entire house on fire. What seemed to be a fun time, ended up turning into a homeowner’s nightmare.
Thankfully, the fire was put out in less than 5 minutes after it started, but before the fire department arrived. Those 5 minutes however, caused extensive damage.
Once the fire got going, it moved into their newly renovated, all-white kitchen with custom cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. Though the flames didn’t directly affect the hardware, the soot and smoke from the fire settled into the crevices of the heart of the home. If not addressed immediately, the soot could cause rust and the deterioration of the appliances and potentially cause them to lose their sparkle.
As you can tell by now, one small spark can set a house ablaze. The focus of attention now is what to do after the fire has been put out? Do what this family did: call SERVPRO of Birmingham. Not only are our technicians restoring the fire and water damage, but our reconstruction team is also gearing up to ensure their house is back to feeling like home.
SERVPRO® of Birmingham has you covered!
We have experience flash flooding from excessive rains this year all over Birmingham, actually we just experienced this last night. Due to the flooding, there have been many homes experiencing basement flooding damage. With further inspection, some homeowners have found slab leaks (roof leaks) that were not noticed before the heavy rains. If you find any roof leaks, call SERVPRO® of Birmingham to help extract the water and treat your home to prevent conditions favorable to microbial growth.
We always respond to your call within one hour, begin the water extraction process within four hours, and notify the adjuster within eight hours from the time of your loss.
Water damage must be handled quickly and properly to prevent severe damage to your home. Calling us as soon as you see the leaks will prevent the problems from worsening. SERVPRO® of Birmingham has you covered!