Preventing Kitchen Fires at Your Holiday Dinner
Cook safely this year and prevent common kitchen fires.
The vast majority of house fires are most likely to start right in one of the most common areas of your home; that’s right your very own kitchen. For this reason, it is important to exercise extreme caution while cooking, especially during the holiday season with all of your guests around. Luckily, there are several preventative measures you can take to ensure that you, your family, and your food stay safe this holiday season.
Negligence is the biggest contributor to these fires. Make sure when you have something on the stove or in the oven that you are paying close attention to the temperature and time. Stovetop burners pose an extreme danger in the kitchen when left unsupervised. Additionally, food left in the oven for too long is a recipe for explosion. If you have consumed any alcohol or are feeling tired, it’s probably best for you to stay out of the kitchen.
Keep Your Preparation Area Clear
Ensuring there are no towels, potholders, packaging, or utensils near the stove is a key component to maintaining kitchen safety; this is especially important if the whole family is cooking their multiple dishes at the same time. Decluttering the counter and stovetops will make food preparation easier and safer.
Beware of Crockpots and Other Appliances
Leaving those smaller appliances plugged in at high temperatures for too long poses a risk for electrical fires. Make sure you keep these kinds of appliances on low heat and keep your eye on them throughout the day.
What to do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Kitchen
Remain calm. Calmly instruct your guests to evacuate the house if you recognize the fire is uncontrollable. Should you decide to contain the fire yourself, ensure you still have a plan to get out. Keep a lid by the pans in case of a grease fire to smother the flames. In the case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until the fire is out. Unplug any electrical appliances that catch fire and use baking soda to extinguish small flames.
Remember SERVPRO is always here for your fire damage needs should an accident ever happen. Stay safe and have a happy holiday!
Keep Your Home Safe: Look for These Common Fire Hazards Around the House
Your home could be at risk for fire damage; be proactive and prevent common housefires.
Your home should be the safest place possible, especially if you have a big family. Fire hazards can pose a huge danger to the structure of your home and the safety of those living in your household. A house fire can spread rapidly, and burn an entire home down in a matter of minutes. Watch out for these common fire hazards you may not be aware of and keep your home free from the risk of fires year-round.
Candles are a major culprit of a number of house fires around the world. Leaving your candles lit when you leave the house or go to bed is leaving your drapery or other surrounding fabrics at risk for catching fire. Always remember to blow all of your candles out if you are not going to be around to attend to them.
Devices such as space heaters and radiators need to be closely monitored as they can easily get caught on blankets, drapes, and clothing. Remember to never depend on a space heater to heat your entire home and find other solutions that will be safer and long-lasting. Using your oven as a heater is also a big no-no in terms of fire safety, especially a gas stove; this poses a risk to a kitchen fire or even an explosion in your own home. Turn off your portable heaters before leaving the house or going to bed.
One of the most silent and undetectable sources of house fires is right inside your laundry room. That’s right; if you neglect to clean your dryer lint repository regularly, it can easily catch fire and create a huge blaze in your home. Remind yourself to clean the lint trap daily and ensure the exhaust vent is clear of any lint as well.
This is one of the leading causes of fire deaths in the nation. Smoking in the house is a danger in itself; falling asleep with a lit cigarette is all it would take to start a fire. It’s important to take the smoking outside and always ensure the butts are fully extinguished and placed in an ashtray before entering the home. Children should never be left unsupervised with lighters and matches within their reach.
Keep all of this in mind as you perform your daily household duties. Performing these small preventative measures will benefit the safety of your entire household in the long run. SERVPRO is always here for your fire damage needs should accidents arise.
Preparing Your Water Pipes for the Winter Weather in Canton
Prevent your pipes from freezing this winter.
It happens every year; temperatures drop below freezing and the pipes running through your home get iced over, leaving you stuck with little to no water pressure. Unprepared pipes are also at a higher risk of exploding and spewing your water where it’s unwanted; in your basement, bathroom, or kitchen. Here are some ways you can winterize your pipes for when those cold temperatures set in over Canton.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Pipes that are in tricky places such as garages, attics, or crawl spaces are more prone to those freezing temps. Getting some protective insulation to cover those pipes will prevent the cold from wreaking havoc in those areas of your home. Heat cables will work wonders for protection in combination with that insulation.
Kitchen Cabinets Should Stay Open
During those cold snaps, you’re going to want to open your kitchen cabinets open. Letting the warm air circulate behind those closed doors will prevent damage to at-risk kitchen piping. Putting a space heater next to the cabinets will also help significantly.
Store Those Garden Hoses
Leaving hoses attached outside during the winter can create ice blockage that will wreak havoc on your home’s entire piping system. It is paramount that you unscrew all of your garden hoses and put them in storage for the season, you’ll save on pipe repairs and you won’t have to replace your hoses next summer.
Keep the Faucets at a Trickle
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works! If your pipes still end up exposed as the winter moves in, remember to keep those faucets at a slow drip or trickle to maintain water pressure within the pipes. While it may run your water bill up a little, it will be worth it by saving on pipe repairs.
Be prepared for the winter weather hitting Canton this year, stay safe. As always, SERVPRO is always on standby for you in the event of a plumbing emergency.
Autumn Water Damage in Your Canton Home
Don't let water damage ruin your autumn fun this year.
Often times, when we think of fall, we think of those cool and breezy, temperate days where the sun is shining through the colorful leaves. However, the weather can be quite nasty during those autumn months we love so much and during October, November, and December, the most amount of water damage claims are made on homeowners’ policies for the whole year.
Many times these claims are a result of freezing pipes – the quickly shifting temperatures of the fall can lead to pipes freezing and bursting and a ton of damage in your home or business. Fall storms, however, can also be a culprit for water damage. As the trees go dormant for the winter, dropping leaves and dead branches, you can run into a couple of problems in your home. The leaves and debris could clog up your gutters, preventing water from moving away from your home. The build-up of water could lead to leaky roofs or foundations allowing water inside your home. Additionally, windblown debris could do storm damage that might then leave space for water to enter your building.
Basic maintenance can help prevent some of these problems from happening at your home. Keep your gutters clean as the leaves fall and collect there and ensure that water is moving down the downspouts. Additionally, check the gradient of the land around your foundation, make sure that it is sloped away from your home to prevent water from collecting around your foundation. If your roof is in need of some TLC, spend a little time and money getting it repaired and hopefully save yourself from needing a full replacement.
To help prevent your pipes from freezing, try to make sure that any pipes that are located in unheated spaces are insulated. Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees to prevent any freezing in the interior of your home. Additionally, it could help to open cupboards and doors to let heat into areas where vulnerable pipes might be located. Drain and winterize any outdoor faucets as well so that those particularly susceptible pipes don’t cause you any trouble.
Doing maintenance now can save you lots of trouble down the line. Of course, we trust that our homeowner’s insurance will have our back if anything goes wrong, but it would always be better to not have to deal with disaster at all. If disaster does strike at your home or business, make sure you call SERVPRO of Canton. We are faster to any disaster.
Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Canton Home
Take care to make sure that electrical fires don't happen in your home.
As a homeowner, there are many maintenance items on your checklist each year, electrical safety being among the most important. Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of household fires, but they can be easily prevented through proper maintenance and awareness.
There are different ways to avoid electrical fires that almost anyone can follow. The first way is by checking electrical outlets within the household. Improperly installed electrical outlets are one of the top causes of electrical fires. Check for any loose plates or broken wall plates because this ensures that the wiring and components are not left uncovered. As an added safety measure, if children are present within a household, be sure to cover up any unused outlets.
Another way to avoid electrical fires is by checking the plugs within a household. Be sure to never force a plug into an outlet. When plugging in a three pin plug into a two pronged outlet, never remove the third pin from the plug. Instead, use an adapter for a three pin to two prong outlet, it’ll save some time & money and more importantly keep you safe. Be sure to never overload an outlet with too many plugs and adapters because it can cause the outlet to short circuit and start a fire.
An additional safety measure is making sure to check the cords within the household. Check to make sure that each cord isn’t frayed, cracked, under a carpet, or areas where there’s high foot traffic. Never staple cords to walls, floors, and other objects because it can cause the above mentioned issues with the cords. If cords are damaged or frayed, be sure to replace them immediately.
Once you have assessed your household with these ways in mind, be sure to fix any issues upon encountering them. A safe household is a happy household. And of course, be sure to call SERVPRO in the event of a disaster. SERVPRO can handle fire damage restoration making it appear "Like it never even happened."
Your Business Needs a Contigency Plan
Make sure that you know what you'll do if disaster strikes your business.
Every business wants to avoid all possibilities of something going wrong, but sometimes disaster is unavoidable. The way a company chooses to cope with the disaster is up to them, but it will always be in their best interest to have a contingency plan in place in case disaster strikes. There are several steps any company should consider when creating their own business contingency plan.
- Assess What Threats There Are To Your Company
No matter what industry a business is in, there will always be threats to the business. The most common threats are natural disasters. This could include fires, storms, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. The threats your company is susceptible to are based on your location.
- Decide How Employees Will Communicate
Communication is key whether there is a disaster or not. Having your employees communicate properly during a crisis will allow your business to remain operational. Your employees will feel more comfortable knowing how they are going to communicate with their coworkers during an emergency.
- Choose Where Employees Will Go
Going to the office is almost a comfort to many people. They know that is where they are the most productive in getting work done. Disaster can take that away. You must choose a spot that your employees will feel safe to get their work done, even though it may not be their typical workplace.
- Determine How Employees Will Continue To Do Their Jobs
Even in a disaster, work will still need to get done. Deciding how your employees will get done will be easier for some companies than it is for others. The internet has opened an abundance of doors to get work done in different locations, but that may not always be an option for everyone. The key is to find a plan that will keep your employees as productive as possible.
Now that you have a plan in place, there is only one way to see if it will be effective: test it out. There are several ways to go about this. Primarily, you could walk through the plan with your employees and explain it to them as you go along. Another way you could have your employees test the plan is to have them perform a simulation. After testing your plan you can adjust things as needed.
Having a business contingency plan is crucial as an emergency could arise at any time. Not only is it crucial to consider how your business is going to operate after there is a disaster, but you also need to consider how your company is going to be able to return to normal. This may include fire/water/storm restoration to your workplace, having backup equipment, and making sure your employees are comfortable. Nobody wants their business to go through any type of disaster, but it is always best to be prepared for the worst.
Fire Damage Restoration of a Commercial Property
If a fire happens at your commercial property, you'll want the best in the business to make it right fast.
Whether you own a business or a commercial property, you might think that your building is invincible. However, whatever building it is from the traditional wood frame to brick and mortar, it is not invincible. Fire and other natural disasters happen, and when they do they are completely out of our control. As a business owner, a calamity such as this can be detrimental. You will likely have to shut your doors for repairs, and safety.
In the event of such a disaster, it will be important to act swiftly. This might be the time to consider a professional restoration service, not only for the safety of yourself but your employees and customers as well. Because a disaster can happen anytime day or night, a credible company will offer 24/7 services (yes, even on holidays). Whatever the time of day, it is important to take this five-step process to mitigate any further loss and guarantee a safe return.
Most of us have an “In Case of Emergency” contact saved in our phones, whether that be a spouse, friend, parent, or sibling. If you are a business owner, why not save your trusted restoration company’s number for events such as this. You should be proactive and call the company as soon as you can.
Once the crew has arrived, they will begin to assess the damage. At this time, it will be important to learn about what happened, and what locations of your business were affected. Once this has been done, you will receive a quote for the work that needs to be done.
At this time, the professionals will come in and get to work. They will close off areas that may have been affected, air out the space, and remove any damaged property and litter. This is a crucial step to avoid further damage.
The team will begin a full cleanup. This is when surfaces are cleared and sanitized of any soot, dust, smoke, water, and any other residue from the disaster.
The final step in the process is the full restoration and rehabilitation of your business. Anything that was damaged such as building materials, cabinets, carpets, electronics, furniture, and flooring will be taken care of.
As a business owner, after enduring a calamity such as this, it is understandable that you would want to save the most that you can. At times like this, we like to think that handling it ourselves is the best idea. This is not always the time and money saver that you hope it would be. It is not uncommon for these kinds of projects to be done improperly, create more damage, and end up costing more.
In situations like this, hiring a professional might be the financially savvy thing to do, plus you get peace of mind that the job is done right. When you call SERVPRO, you can feel at ease knowing that your business will be certified SERVPRO cleaned. Not only are we faster to any disaster, but we also adhere to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC. If you are faced with a disaster and need restoration services give SERVPRO of Canton a call at (330) 966-2377.
Preparing for Winter Weather in Canton
Make sure that you're ready for winter weather by taking a few easy steps this fall.
As the weather gets cooler, homes get warmer and most people prefer to stay inside in the comfort of their own home. The big question is, how do you protect your haven from winter storms? Living in northeast Ohio, most of us are aware of the climate and weather changes, as well as the potential threats that come along with it. Being familiar with the changes in weather does not always mean that we are completely prepared.
However, there is no need to fret. There are a few things that you can do as the leaves are changing to stay proactive for winter. One of the most important tasks might be making sure that your heating system is clean and functioning as it should. You should replace your system every 12 -15 years, but in the meantime, you can maintain that by changing the filters before the cold weather comes in.
Here are a few other ways to get prepare for winter storms:
- Make sure that your home is in good condition; check your roof and drains to make sure there is no damage that might cause issues in a storm.
- Clean out your gutters to prevent blockage. Proper drainage is important so that water is being directed to where it is meant to go.
- Make sure that you have snow removal equipment available such as a shovel, salt, sand, and other ice-melting materials. If you are unable to maintain the snow and ice on your sidewalks during the winter, make sure you have arranged a professional to take care of it for you.
These are just a few ways to stay prepared as the winter months approach. It is important to stay ahead of the cold not only for the safety of you and your family but also to avoid any major storm damage. Taking these measures could save you both time and money. When you are unsure of what steps to take, such as how to check and clean your ventilation system, give the professionals at SERVPRO a call. If you find yourself in trouble with storm damage to your home or business, give SERVPRO a call at (330) 966-2377. Our highly trained professionals are faster to any disaster!
SERVPRO of Canton Uses Advanced Equipment
Trust our advanced equipment to help restore your home or business to perfect condition.
A lot of different elements are involved in the restoration process. We tell you all the time how important it is to rely on a company that can come to your rescue anytime you need us, but it’s equally important to trust restoration specialists that have access to all of the best technology to return your space to normal. At SERVPRO of Canton, not only is our staff highly trained to specialize in restoration, we have advanced technology that helps us get the job done better and faster than other companies.
Water damage can be devastating for a home or business and detecting and removing all water is crucial to the restoration process. We use infrared camera equipment to identify water as well as moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other such sensors capable of locating and detecting moisture to be removed. Additionally, when it comes to the actual moisture removal process, we use high-powered pumps and portable extraction units to get the water out of your space in addition to high-speed air movers and industrial-grade dehumidifiers to help with the drying process.
Water and fire damage can also leave behind strong odors that make your space just as unusable as the damage itself. We utilize air scrubbers, thermal foggers, and deodorization agents to remove airborne contaminants during the restoration and cleaning process.
On top of all of this, we even have a selection of SERVPRO exclusive cleaning products that we use to help with deodorization, sanitization, and disinfection for everything from restoration to commercial cleaning. All of our products are OSHA-approved and of the highest quality to keep your home or business from any risks.
When disaster happens to you, turn to the company with the tools to make it right again. Call SERVPRO of Canton.
When Disaster Strikes in Canton
Lightning could be the cause of major disaster in your home or business.
Lightning strikes might not be the most common disaster to befall a person but they can cause substantial property damage. In the United States, there was a total of 109,049 lightning claims for property damage in 2016. Most commonly, the damage is due to electrical surges damaging components or wiring. Power surges from transformer or service line shorts are also often contributing factors. Consider that in less than a microsecond, a lightning discharge can generate up to 200,000 amps of electricity.
Lightning is caused by an electric potential difference (a voltage) being created between one cloud and another, or between a cloud and the ground. A charge of electrons builds upon the higher cloud while a lack of electrons occurs on the lower part. When lightning strikes a structure, wood and other flammable building materials can easily be ignited when lightning comes in contact or passes through them. Electrical surges are caused when lightning strikes near a power line causing an increase in the amount of electrical current flowing to a wall outlet. This extra burst of electricity is often too much for a surge protector to handle, which can lead to computer and appliance damage. Lightning is the most common natural cause of wildfires.
The latest data available states that fire departments respond to an average of 22,600 fires per year started by lightning. These fires cause an average of nine civilian deaths and $451 million in direct property damage per year. Home fires accounted for 19% of lightning fires while non-residential properties accounted for 7%.
So how can you prevent lightning damage to your home or business property? The key to avoiding lightning damage is to channel the lightning to the ground without allowing it to damage the structure or anything else of value along the way. A professional whole-building surge protection system can be installed that takes your entire structure, surrounding structures, and landscaping into consideration when grounding for lightning strikes. Systems should be certified and approved. Of course, this type of protection is expensive so here are some optional ways to protect property and the lives of the people inside:
- Lightning rods can help direct lightning strikes safely away from a property if properly installed. Unfortunately, lightning might not strike the lightning rod because it does not attract lightning. If hit, however, it will channel the lightning to the ground.
- Keep taller trees a safe distance from your property.
- Unplug or disconnect appliances, internet, antennas, satellite dishes, and electrical equipment when you first hear the clap of thunder.
- Install surge protectors. They can help but are not foolproof if the strike is powerful.
- Connect telephone, cable/satellite TV, and network lines to a surge suppressor.
- Stay away from all plumbing during a lightning storm as the pipes of the property make excellent conductors.
- Stay off the landline phone. 4-5% of people struck by lightning were talking on corded phones.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent a lightning strike, but you can reduce the likelihood of damage or injury by implementing the strategies outlined above. When you hear thunder or see lightning in the sky, take precaution, and protect yourself and your property.