They smell great... But beware!
Our crew was called out to a fire job this last week. The disaster happened because of a candle that caught a couch on fire!
According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 9,300 home structure fires started by candles between 2009 and 2013. Those fires led to 86 deaths, 827 injuries, and $374 million in direct property damage.
- On candles.org they give these safety warnings.
- Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep. Be sure the wick ember is no longer glowing.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
- Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning and dripping.
- Always use a candle-holder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
- Be sure the candle-holder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This can help prevent heat damage to underlying surfaces and prevent glass containers from breaking.
- Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions carefully. Don’t burn a candle longer than the manufacturer recommends.
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow nearby lightweight items into the flame where they could catch fire.
- Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
Bats are everywhere!
Zach, Jeremy and Justin started working on a house in Jackson, Wy last week. The house is in the process of being remodeled and the contractors found that bats had gotten into the ceiling and had made a mess. They set up containment and set an air scrubber with a charcoal filter to help with the smell. Then they removed all the affected materials and hepa vacuumed and treated with anti-microbial. They will then do a CL02 treatment to remove all smells.
On www.getbatsout.com they explain better why bats and their droppings can be so dangerous.
The Hidden Danger of Bat Guano
Ask nearly anyone, and you’ll hear that bats (although beneficial in insect control) can be dangerous because they carry rabies. But a lesser known danger, and one that is not as easy to avoid, is histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is a disease you can get from exposure to bat guano (bat droppings).
Below is a quick list of common questions we get about histoplasmosis.
What is Histoplasmosis?
It is an infectious disease caught by inhaling the spores of the histoplasma capsulatum fungus. While it is not contagious between two people, the disease can affect a wide variety of the population who may not even be aware they are at risk.
Breweries and crawlspaces
1. Keep Moisture Out
Moisture control is one of the first steps towards having a safe and clean crawl space. As pointed out in The Washington Post, the ground beneath and around your home contains moisture, which ideally, should evaporate back into the atmosphere.
When this fails to happen, the moisture can collect into visible water droplets. But the real problem happens when this water accumulates near wood, causing mold and mildew to grow. If left alone, the mold can be bad enough to compromise the structural integrity of your home.
Good moisture control begins outside the building envelope. For example, gutters are a relatively small investment that can work wonders by directing water away from your home’s foundation. If gutters are impossible or impractical, you can also try landscaping the soil outside the house such that it slopes to direct water away from the building.
2. Inspect and Clean the Interior of Your Crawl Space
Once you’ve eliminated all external sources of moisture, you can then proceed to inspecting the crawl space itself. If you have exposed dirt floors, you should consider sealing it with a moisture retardant like polyethylene. In a guide for the National Post, writer Mike Holmes notes that crawl spaces with dirt floors can lead to problems caused by humidity. Dirt floors can also be infested with bugs.
Regular cleaning will also help keep the crawl space dry and moisture free. If the crawl space has already been “infected” with moisture-caused mold, a professional cleaning service may be necessary to fix the problem. This is especially true if you have a pool of stagnant water in the crawl space, which calls for a perimeter drain.
3. Block Out Rodents and Ventilate
After cleaning your crawl space, the next step is keeping it clean. You can start by making sure any potential entry points for rodents are blocked off. Watch out for small cracks and seams, which—while looking deceptively tiny—are large enough for mice and roaches.
At the same time, you want to make sure your crawl space still has enough ventilation to let it “breathe.” Ventilation in the form of laminated water vapor barriers are excellent solutions for allowing crawl spaces to vent, while still keeping pests out.
4. Insulate the Crawl Space
After installing your vents and water vapor barriers, you can then proceed to installing insulation. Fiberglass batts are by far the most common and popular insulating solution for crawl spaces, and can be install between floor joists. While effective, you might want to consider pairing fiberglass batts with spray foam insulation, although more expensive, spray foam insulation can create a super tight seal against heat transfer and air movement.
A thin layer of spray foam can be enough to fill in the nooks and crannies of your crawl space, which, when paired with the cheaper fiberglass, can keep warm air in and cold air out, and vice versa during the summer. Spray foam also works wonders against moisture damage and mold growth because it’s impermeable to moisture.
Proper insulation not only regulates the temperature of the crawl space, it also helps insulate the rest of the home. During summer and winter, uninsulated crawl spaces are one of the biggest culprits for burgeoning utility bills caused by HVAC systems working harder to fight warm or cold air from escaping from beneath the floor.
With all these recent rain storms it is important to protect your home from water damage. On www.hometips.com they suggest these tricks and tips to help you keep your home safe and sound this rainy season.
The best way to deal with water damage is to stop it before it starts. Here are measures that you can take to prevent water from entering your home from outside.
Waterproof Your House Exterior
The exterior of your house is its first line of defense against water damage. Protect your home from the outside in by maintaining the exterior.
Maintain Your Roof
Properly handling the water that flows down your roof is essential.
Your roof’s primary purpose is to keep water out of your house. Neglecting it could lead to a whole host of problems, the worst of which includes extensive water damage that could compromise the structure of your home. Most roofs have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, so it’s easy to think that if yours is still within its period of usability, it’s fine. But that’s not necessarily true.
Seal Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are common vulnerable sites for water leakage. Water can seep in through the space around window and door frames if they’re not properly sealed. Don’t wait for a leak. Ensure that the weatherstripping and seals around your windows and doors are in good shape.
Maintain Your Home’s Exterior Finish
Signs of water damage on your house’s interior walls that don’t seem to have a source, such as mold, peeling paint, or discoloration, could be due to water entering through holes in your exterior walls. If your siding and exterior paint aren’t well-maintained, water could be leaking through to the inside of your home.
Ensure Proper Drainage
You can take measures to keep water out of your home, but waterproofing alone isn’t enough to protect your home from water damage. If water isn’t properly diverted away from the base of your house, your foundation could be at risk. And even the best waterproofing measures are no match for standing water that collects on or around your house in areas of poor drainage.
Clean Your Gutters
Depending on surrounding tree coverage, gutters need to be cleaned out two to six times a year to ensure proper flow of rainwater.
Making sure your gutters function properly is critical to protecting your home from water damage. If your gutters are full of leaves and pine needles, or not angled properly to funnel water to the downspout, then water will run down the side of your house and collect at the base, which could put your foundation at risk.
Check Your Downspouts
Downspouts should direct water at least three feet from the exterior walls of a home.
Functioning gutters send water out through the downspout, which should funnel the water away from your home. If necessary, repair gutters and downspouts.
If your home sits on the bottom of a slope, water runoff from your yard should be channeled away from your home. If it isn’t, then you probably have problems with standing water near your foundation. Over time, this can cause the ground near your foundation to erode, making it vulnerable.
Lithium Battery problems
Steven and Hanna received a call from a water loss at an Apartment complex in Rexburg. Upon arrival they decided they needed help so they contacted Zach and Justin so they could help them move contents and place drying equipment to help stabilize and start the drying process. The loss was caused from a lithium battery being left on the charger. It had exploded and caused the sprinkler system to activate flooding 1 apartment and 2 hallways. On www.call2recycle.org they suggest these safety tips.
Don’t overdo it.
One of the most important things you can do to extend battery life is to avoid overcharging. Disconnect chargers and devices with rechargeable batteries after the battery reaches full charge. Overcharging occurs when the device or battery is plugged into a charger after full charge has been reached and may reduce battery life.
Whenever possible, recharge your batteries while you are nearby. A battery fire could happen if a device with a defective battery is left unattended and it overheats. A working smoke detector and a fire extinguisher provide extra insurance if something happens.
Stay away from flammables.
Be sure to place the device or battery charger on a non-flammable surface during charging. That includes pillows, blankets, sheets, paper, clothing and fabric, such as curtains. When there is good air circulation around the device and minimal exposure to direct sunlight, the device won’t overheat and cause smoke or fire.
Don’t be extreme.
Rechargeable batteries are often exposed to unfavorable temperatures. Just think about when you’ve left your phone in your car on a really hot or cold day. Extreme temperatures can shorten expected battery life, so store your batteries and devices in a cool place whenever possible. The recommended storage temperature for most batteries is 15°C (59°F) according to Battery University. This temperature minimizes capacity loss while keeping the battery in operating condition and allowing self-discharge.
Pick the right method.
You should always charge rechargeable batteries in the device it’s used in, the charger it came with or a charger recommended by the manufacturer.
Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!
Don’t throw your used rechargeable batteries in the trash. They will go straight to the landfill. We recommend that you remove the rechargeable batteries before disposing of an electronic device; most electronics recyclers do not recycle batteries separately.
Next time you are tempted to take a shortcut when storing, charging or recycling your electronic device, think twice. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a long list of reported battery-related incidents that occurred while an electronic device was in use, being stored and during battery charging. By taking just a few precautions and using some common sense, you can protect yourself from potential hazards and extend the battery life of your portable devices.
If you have a Fire, Water, Mold or Asbestos disaster give SERVPRO a call today! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (208) 523-5365
Fixing a mistake
Our production manager Eric and tech Justin went to Alpine over the weekend to look at the crawl space in a home that’s still under construction. Because the floor joists were not sealed correctly when they were installed by a different company, mold had begun to grow and water was beginning to seep in through the foundation.
SERVPRO is dedicated to being available to our customers 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We make sure that when we start a project we complete it in a timely manner as correctly the first time. Customer service is our number one priority. And we know how bad people want to be back into their homes after a disaster may hit.
Mold can be very dangerous and usually requires a professional for removal so if you suspect you may have mold growth in your home or business please give SERVPRO a call today at (208) 523-5365
The phone had a mind of its own
Steven and Hanna received a call from a water loss at an Apartment complex in Rexburg, ID. Upon arrival they decided they needed help so they contacted Zach and Justin so they could help them move contents and place drying equipment to help stabilize and start the drying process. The loss was caused from a lithium battery being left on the charger. It had exploded and caused the sprinkler system to activate flooding 1 apartment and 2 hallways.
So what exactly causes a lithium battery to explode? According to www.consumerreport.com the chemicals inside the battery begin to heat up, which causes further degradation of the separator. The battery can eventually hit temperatures of more than 1,000° F. At that point the flammable electrolyte can ignite or even explode when exposed to the oxygen in the air
If you have a Fire, Water, Mold or Asbestos disaster give SERVPRO a call today! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Over this past weekend Zach, Justin, Brittany and Eric received a call that they were needed at a Water Disaster in Idaho Falls. A hose bib had broken causing water to flood in 5 different rooms.
Per www.happystartsathome.com the first thing to do is to dry the area. Cleaning up the water you see is important, but the most important thing is to dry up the water you can’t see – in the carpet pad, in the sheetrock, in the insulation in your walls… This means drying the room or rooms completely, possibly using a commercial air mover to force water off floors and out of carpets, walls and furniture. Along with that, you’ll want to set up a dehumidifier. This machine will suck all of the excess moisture from the air, not only helping to dry the room quickly, but preventing mold from growing.
Thankfully SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help assist you with all of your Fire, Water, Mold, and Asbestos Disasters.
Fires can happen at any time and almost any place. It is important to always be prepared for a disaster in case it happens to you. Here are some safety steps from www.prevention1st.com
- Don’t smoke in bed or when sleepy. Smoking materials are the cause of 24% of home fire fatalities.
- Turn off portable space heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep. Heating equipment is the source of an additional 24% of home fire fatalities.
- Turn off the stove if you have to answer the phone or leave the room. Cooking equipment is the source of 15% of home fire fatalities, and by far the leading cause of home fire injuries.
- Put away matches or lighters in a high cabinet or locked drawer, out of sight and reach of children. Children under age 5 are eight times more likely to die in a fire caused by playing with a heat source than are older children and adults.
Be Prepared If a Fire Occurs
- Install a smoke alarm. One working smoke alarm on each floor is better, and one working smoke alarm inside every sleeping area is best. The National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommend installing both ionization and photoelectric alarms, or dual alarms that incorporate both technologies. Ionization smoke alarms respond best to flaming fires, and photoelectric to smoldering fires.
- Press the test button on your smoke alarm to make sure it’s still working, even if it’s hard-wired or has long-life batteries;
- Plan and practice a home fire drill. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do when the alarm sounds:
- Get out right away.
- Go directlyto your meeting place. Choose a meeting place in front of your home or where firefighters can see you.
- Don’t go back inside for anything.
- Call 9-1-1. Provide your address with the complete and precise street name (e.g. is it Sunset Street, Sunset Circle, Sunset Boulevard?) and the nearest cross street.
If you have a fire disaster give SERVPRO a call today at (208) 523-5365.
We always care
When SERVPRO of Rexburg/Rigby receives a good review, we can’t help but think we must be doing something right! We value ourselves in having great customer service and always being able to make sure that this is just what the customer has received.
Before we go to a job we try and relay as much information as possible to our technicians. We do this so they can be prepared for anything that may come up on the job and be able to offer the best customer service. Not all of our jobs are fire, water, and mold. We also encounter biohazard and crime scene cleanup which takes extreme compassion and understanding on our part.
If you have a biohazard or crime scene cleanup and would like the most caring and understanding company to help, give SERVPRO a call at (208) 523-5365.