Summer is almost here. That means so is Hurricane season!
Summer is the season that most people look forward to. School lets out, the sun is shining, and for most people, it is a time for vacations and relaxation. But did you know it is also hurricane season. Yes! Hurricane season in North Carolina is typically from June through September. This is the time when these tropical cyclones form over the ocean and make their way inland. Heavy winds and thunderstorms are just the beginning of the extreme weather these storms bring.
So what have you done this spring to prepare for summer storms? Now is the time to get supplies in order before the storm season begins. Reduce property damage and get through any hurricane emergency with less stress by preparing before the season begins.
Here are a few of the best practices to put into place this spring. Be sure to plan your evacuation route well ahead of time. Look for alternate routes out of your neighborhood should one of the roadways be blocked by downed power lines, trees or other debris. It is best to keep non-perishable emergency food supplies on hand for each family member. You should also have one gallon of water, per person, per day. Don’t forget about your pets. They will need supplies too. Because storm damage may occur, it may be a good idea to read over your policy and be familiar with it. It is also a good idea to take an inventory of your personal property. Keep this list with the list of emergency contacts in a safe and in an accessible place. Be sure to have your insurance agent’s information and add SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury to your list as well. If any storm damage occurs to your home, you will want to be sure to give us a call. Taking these steps to protect your home before storm season starts up will allow you and your family to be better prepared.
‘Tis the season for spring cleaning!
The worst of winter is over, we have changed the clocks, flowers are blooming and pollen is in the air. It is time to start tackling those household items on your to-do lists. We know that it may not be the most exciting task undertaking spring cleaning in your home, so make your life a little easier this year and consider calling SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury to help you cross carpet cleaning off your list.
Most people know SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury as a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can make a dirty home as good as new. We have the industry experience and expertise to provide a deeper clean than your basic home cleaning service. Our hot water extraction process allows our professional carpet cleaning to address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets. Our state-of-the-art equipment removes trapped soils and dirt from deep within your carpet’s pile and backing. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to have your carpets professionally clean every 12 months. The best advice is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. If you wait until your carpets look dirty, the carpets may never be restored to their original appearance. Dirt builds up in layers, so when a carpet looks dirty, you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. But there is more dirt hiding below the surface, down near the base of the pile, actually causing damage to your carpet. When the carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and becomes firmly lodged. Even the highest-quality carpet can show soiling over time. Decide to protect your investment by calling our team to clean and maintain your carpet. We also specialize in stain removal and offer stain resistance applications for an added level of protection to your carpets daily traffic and wear and tear. Give our team a call and cross carpet cleaning off your list of things to-do! - 704-925-1019
Get your HVAC unit ready for summer
Is your HVAC unit ready for summer?
Give your HVAC unit a tune-up
It is that time of year when the temperatures are rising outside and you are thinking about turning on the air-conditioning for the first time this season. There are a few things you should know to help maintain your HVAC unit as we get closer to the hotter days of summer.
Start off by making sure you set the unit to cold. Sounds obvious. But the last time you may have looked at it, you were running the heat. Next, take a look at the outdoor unit. Is it clear of debris.? As we transition into the summer months, be sure to remove any obstructions. Have your heating and cooling system inspected by a qualified service professional at least once a year to be sure that it is running at optimal efficiency and to diagnose any potential problems. This is a great time to add any additional Freon your unit may be lacking or make any repairs to the system before you put it into overdrive this summer. Remember to replace the air filters on your HVAC unit at least every 90 days to prolong its life and increase its efficiency. This also helps limit the allergen in the air. As you are conducting this annual upkeep, consider having your air ducts cleaned each season as well. This is a service that our team at SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury can help you out with. Cleaner air means easier breathing. Also dirty systems work harder and use more energy. Our trained professionals can provide cleaning services that restore peak energy efficacy, eliminate offensive odors and improve the indoor air quality of your home. So before you crank up the air this summer, make sure you call the team at SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury help you get your HVAC unit in check. 704-925-1019
Summer Grilling Safety Tips
It is that time of year when the seasons are changing, the weather is getting warmer and summer break is upon us. As summer approaches and the weather gets warmer, more and more people use outdoor grills to prepare their meals and entertain guests. And because of this, the incidents of grill-caused fires go up. According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires each year. The team at SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury want you and your family to be safe and avoid any fire damage to you home or property. Be sure to take a look at these helpful grilling safety tips before you decide to host your first cook-out and throw your steaks on the grill.
Make sure to always use your grill outside and away from any structures or obstructions. This includes any low hanging tree branches as well. Be sure to always keep your grill clean. Grease and fat can build up on the grilling racks as well as the tray below the grill. Before this season’s first barbecue, check for propane leaks on your gas grill. Check the gas hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Always be sure to check for leaks before every use. Also wait to re-light if the flame is to go out. A good rule of thumb is waiting 5 minutes. Most importantly, be aware and take care around the grill; Never leave the grill unattended, never wear lose clothing, do not let kids or pets play near the grill, and never move the grill while it is in use or at least an hour after use while it is still hot.
Grilling season is all about having fun and sharing good times with food. Be sure you and your family are safe during your next cook-out.
June is National Safety Month
National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. Each week throughout June is an opportunity to make a difference in your home, work, and community. Identifying risks around the home and improving safety standards in your community protects everyone. Whether we increase first aid or emergency awareness through drills, we are taking steps to provide a safer neighborhood. Topics the National Safety Council chose to educate the public on for 2019 are hazard recognition, slips, trips and falls, fatigue and impairment.
Hazards are all around us. It’s learning to look and identify these hazards that allow us to make changes and take precautions so that dangerous situations don’t take place. Recognizing the hidden dangers in your home or work place is only half the battle. It is taking action to ensure that any risk is managed. SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury’s team specializes in things like cleaning major water spills and biohazard cleanup. So when these instances happen in your home or workplace, be sure to call the professionals to clean or dispose of them properly. Trips and falls is another safety concern in the home or workplace. Falls are the most common source of injury in an office. This includes falls due to spills. Some simple changes to the work space can be effective in eliminating hazards and reducing the number of injuries. The next topic that the Nation Safety Council focuses on exploring this year is fatigue. This might not initially sound like a safety issue, but when you miss out on sleep, it can affect more than just your productivity. Fatigue can lead to decreases in cognitive performance, vigilance, accuracy and judgment, among many other effects. Being fatigued can have serious impacts on our health and safety. Impairments are another area of concern and a major roadblock to workplace safety. Lack of sleep, reckless driving, drinking or use of drugs, prescription included, at work and even emotional impairments, all have an effect on your safety. Most of these cases can be avoided with simple mindfulness and awareness. Join SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury this June during National Safety Month so we all can keep each other safe and help save lives and reduce injuries.
Fire safety for campfires / pit fires
Fire safety is no joke, and that goes for campfires as well. Whether you’re camping in the middle of the woods or lounging around a backyard fire pit, you need to exercise as much caution lighting a fire outside as you would with an indoor fireplace or wood burning stove. Failure to follow fire regulations can result in fines.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 915 brush, grass and forest fires are reported in the US every day, 10 percent of which occur right outside single-family homes. Don’t let careless use of your fire pit add to this statistic!
Whether your goal is to avoid a fine or prevent a house fire, abide by the following campfire safety tips.
Safe Fire Pit Placement
Build your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any surrounding structures, building overhangs or combustible materials. Also watch out for low-hanging branches and power lines.
Place the fire pit itself on a noncombustible surface, such as concrete, brick or stone pavers. If you want to place a portable fire pit on your wood deck, only use a pedestal-style pit, which is raised up on legs to ensure ample heat ventilation, and place a noncombustible surface below the fire pit for added safety.
Lighting the Fire
Before you strike a match, check the weather forecast. Skip the fire if it’s windy or high winds are in the forecast, as this could blow embers around and potentially start a fire outside the pit. Clear away any leaves, pine needles and twigs around the fire pit to help prevent any stray embers from starting a fire.
To get the fire going, place a crumpled piece of paper in the pit and light it with a match. Place small sticks on top, and when they catch fire, add larger sticks. Never pour lighter fluid or gasoline directly onto the fire to make it grow faster.
Maintaining the Fire
To improve fire safety, keep the blaze small. There’s no reason to light a roaring bonfire, and the bigger the flames, the greater potential for disaster. Cover the pit with a screen to help maintain a smaller fire and prevent sparks from escaping. If you have a gas fire pit, control the height of the flames manually with a keyed gas valve.
Only burn appropriate products such as dry firewood, paper, twigs and kindling. Don’t burn plastics or products with adhesives since these can send plumes of dark, chemically laden smoke into the air.
Putting Out the Fire
Keep a container of water or a garden hose nearby at all times in case the fire gets out of control. Use these products at the end of the night to douse wood burning fire pits. Make sure the ashes are cool before you leave, and cover them with dirt for good measure. Dispose of cooled ashes in a metal container with a sealed lid and store this container on a noncombustible surface in the shed, garage or elsewhere. For gas fire pits, simply turn the knob to shut off the gas at the end of the night.
Additional Safety Tips
- Check with your local fire department for any restrictions on outdoor fire pits. In some cities, wood burning fireplaces and fit pits are illegal.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Carefully supervise children and pets around the fire pit and never leave them alone with the fire.
- Only cook in your fire pit if you’ve installed one specifically designed for this purpose.
- When not in use, cover the pit to protect it from rainwater, which can destroy porous ceramic components in gas fire pits, including simulated logs.
- Check gas burners periodically and clean them with a soft brush to remove buildup and help ensure the gas burns cleanly and properly.
Fire Restoration Services
Despite your best efforts, fire pits still have the potential to get out of control. If your home has been damaged by a fire, Call SERVPRO of North Rowan County & Salisbury We’re here to help restore your home and get your life back on track.
Common Causes of Household Fires
A fire in the home can spread much more quickly than you might expect.
A fire in the home can spread much more quickly than you might expect. Even a small fire can completely engulf a room in just two minutes.
The loss caused by fire damage is vast and irreversible, so it’s worth making yourself aware of the most common causes of fires in the home to reduce the risk of a devastating fire.
Candles can add a beautiful atmosphere or scent to any room, but improper use can easily cause a fire.
Never leave a candle burning unattended. Keep wicks trimmed to avoid large flames. Ensure that candles are placed on a heat-proof surface well away from walls, curtains or lampshades. Don’t place a candle in a draught as this may blow the flame towards something flammable. Lighters and matches should be kept somewhere safe and out of the reach of children.
There are many hazards in the kitchen when it comes to fire. Cooking oil in particular is very dangerous, as it can get incredibly hot and splatter on flammable surfaces.
Never leave the hob or oven unattended while in use, even if it’s just for a minute. If you have a gas hob or oven, always make sure to keep items such as oven gloves or paper towels away from the open flame, and make sure to switch them off after use. Only use as much oil as necessary while cooking and cover frying pans with lids or splatter guards.
Hot ash, embers, and cigarettes that have not been properly stubbed out are all capable of starting a fire, particularly in rooms that are full of soft furnishings such as beds, sofas and carpets.
It is safer to smoke outside where a fire is less likely to take hold, but be aware of your surroundings and don’t smoke around flammable substances such as petrol. Always make sure that cigarettes are properly extinguished. Keep lighters and matches away from children.
While electrical items that generate heat such as curling tongs are more obvious fire hazards, anything that uses electricity could cause a fire if it is faulty.
Regularly inspect the cables on your electrical items for signs of damage. Never overload plug sockets with multiple adapters. If an item that you are using starts to smoke or feel very hot, stop using it immediately and unplug it. If an item frequently blows fuses or trips the circuit breaker, it is likely faulty and therefore unsafe.
Electrical currents carry heat, so wiring can lead to a fire if it is faulty or overloaded. Electrical systems typically have a lifespan of around 40 years, so older houses may need to be rewired.
Common signs that your wiring may be faulty include frequent blown fuses or tripped circuits, lights that dim if you use another appliance, or having to unplug one appliance for another to work. If you’re concerned about the safety of your wiring, get it inspected by a licensed electrician.
Well maintained heating appliances that are used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines shouldn’t cause a problem, but you must always make sure to look after your appliances.
Get your boiler inspected regularly by a licensed professional to check for and repair any problems. Any electric heaters must be placed at least a metre away from other objects, especially flammable items such as curtains and sofas. Never cover an electric heater or use them to dry wet clothes.
Children can be curious and clumsy, making them a potential liability when it comes to fire.
Always keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children, and be sure to warn them of the dangers of playing with fire. Never leave children unattended around naked flames such as candles or gas hobs. Be mindful of any children present while cooking or using open flames.
If you’ve been the victim of a fire in your home, get in touch with SERVPRO of North Rowan County & Salisbury
Summer Safety Tips
Summer is here
The summer season is a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. Below you will find tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Apply soapy water to the hoses to easily identify possible leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp away from the campfire. Use flashlights or battery- powered lanterns inside the tent, NOT liquid- filled heaters or lanterns.
- Always build a campfire down wind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building a fire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish a campfire, cove with dirt or pour water over the fire.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
SERVPRO wishes you a happy and safe summer.
Are you Prepared for a power outage?
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.
Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:
1. Flashlights for each family member
2. Battery-operated radio and clock
3. Extra batteries
4. Containers of bottled water
5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
6. Non-electric can opener
7. List of important phone numbers
8. First-aid kit
Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.
•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
•Choose foods your family will eat.
•Remember any special dietary needs.
•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
•Protein or fruit bars
•Dry cereal or granola
•Non-perishable pasteurized milk
•High energy foods
•Food for infants
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a winter storm http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather When winter weather strikes our area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury arrives will make a difference. Call us directly at 704-939-1944
9 Sizzling home safety tips
SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury cares.
The official start to summer is just weeks away. That means it’s time for pool parties and backyard barbeques, but it’s also the season that’s hot for burglaries. In fact, more burglaries occur during the months of July and August than any other month.
Fortunately there are several easy things you can do to make your home less of a target. Below, we’ve listed 9 of them. Follow our summer safety tips, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a crime free season.
1. Keep the garage secure.
In addition to storing a variety of goods burglars want, such as lawn equipment, bikes and other easily pawned items, your garages offer easy access to the rest of your home. Keep the garage door locked, and be sure to secure the door that leads from your garage into your home.
During summer you might be tempted to leave the windows of your car rolled down; but that’s a mistake. Burglars won’t hesitate to use the automatic opener sitting on the dashboard to access your garage. If you use an automatic garage door opener, make sure it’s not visible to a criminal peeking in car and be sure to keep the windows rolled up and doors locked.
2. Protect your valuables with a home security system.
Secure your home with an alarm system and there’s a good chance the burglar will choose an easier target. A home security system not only strengths your home’s defense against the bad guys, it can also alert your family to dangers like fire and carbon monoxide. At a minimum your home security system should include monition sensors, and detectors on all doors and window. Exterior cameras will add an extra layer of protection against burglars.
3. Remove window air units.
An air conditioning unit will save you from summer’s stifling temperatures, but it will also make your home vulnerable. Use a dowel to secure the window while the unit is in place, and be sure to remove the unit when you go on vacation.
4. Ask a neighbor to watch your home.
If you’re going to travel this summer, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Burglars look for telltale signs that your home is vacant, including flyers and mail left near the front door, overflowing mailboxes and garbage cans left at the curb.
5. Don’t invite crime.
Summertime means kids are riding bikes and scooters, and they have a habit of leaving them lying on the lawn. But when they do, they’re extending an invitation to criminals. A thief will not only take the goodies they find outside, they’ll wonder what treats you have hiding in your home. Even if your child is just running in the house for a snack, caution him to put valuables in a secure place.
6. Don’t hide keys outside.
Homeowners often hide the key to their home under the front door mat, or in another obvious location that burglars are sure to look. Don’t hide your house key outside. Instead, give it to a neighbor or friend in case of an emergency.
7. Keep quiet about your plans.
If you’re looking forward to the vacation of a lifetime, you’ll want to share your excitement with everyone, but that’s a bad move. The guy installing your new dishwasher or the gal cleaning your home could moonlight as a burglar. And you never know who reads those brag posts you put on social media, so just don’t do it. Show off the photos when you’re back home instead.
8. Watch out for scams.
If a stranger approaches your front door, beware. Summer is the time that professional thieves travel the county offering to repave your driveway or re-shingle the roof of your home. While one person is distracting you with a sales pitch, another person is entering your home through the back door.
9. Snip the shrubbery.
The bushes around your home will flourish during summer, giving burglars the go-ahead to break into your home. Trim the overgrown bushes near your home so windows and doors are visible from the street.
We encourage you to follow our summer safety tips and always trust your gut. If you see someone acting suspiciously or their behavior concerns you, there’s probably a good reason why. Don’t hesitate to call the police.
SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury hopes your summer is a safe and happy one.