How to Perform a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection
If you need professional fire, smoke and water damage cleanup and remediation after a fire, call the experts at SERVPRO of SW Orlando.
Home Safety: How to Inspect a Fire Extinguisher
When was the last time you took time to check the fire extinguisher that sits under your kitchen sink? Or the one hanging from a dusty hook in your garage? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s time to check it. Like any other piece of safety equipment, a home fire extinguisher should be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in proper working condition. A fire extinguisher in good working condition is your first line of defense when a home fire erupts.
Ideally, you should inspect your portable home fire extinguishers every month.
Tips for Performing a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Check
Check the label or tag.
Every fire extinguisher, whether disposable or rechargeable, has a manufacturer’s label or tag. Read the tag and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance suggestions.
Check the tamper seal.
If the tamper seal has been broken or is cracked, a disposable fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If it’s rechargeable, it needs to be serviced professionally. Check the locking or pull pin as well to make sure it’s in the correct position. If the pin missing, the fire extinguisher needs to be inspected or serviced by a professional.
Inspect for physical damage.
Physically inspect the fire extinguisher for obvious damage. This may include but is not limited to dents, corrosion, cracks and obvious leakage. If a fire extinguisher has leakage, it’s no longer under full pressure and may not work properly when you need it most. Check the fire extinguisher nozzle as well, to ensure it’s not clogged by grime, dust, bugs or leakage from the unit itself.
Check the pressure gauge.
Check that the pressure gauge needle indicates the fire extinguisher pressure is in the optimum operating range. Often the correct pressure range will be designated by green on the gauge.
Is the fire extinguisher full?
During your monthly check, lift the fire extinguisher and determine if it still feels full. If there has been a leak, it will feel light, and it won’t have the right amount of pressure to work correctly.
If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, it should be shaken once a month during your inspection. This helps prevent the chemical dousing agent from solidifying at the bottom of the unit.
Write inspection date on tag.
Keep track of every inspection date by writing it on the fire extinguisher tag.
Ensure easy access to your fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguishers should always be easy to access if there is an emergency. You don’t want to have to search for it once a fire breaks out. Don’t block fire extinguishers with furniture, boxes or any other items. Everyone who lives in the household should know where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to use it in case of an emergency.
In the event of a fire emergency, first make sure to get people safely away, then call 911. A home fire extinguisher can be used to put out or control small fires, but it’s still safest to call professional fire fighters before you attempt to control a fire on your own.
Shut Off Valves at Work
We also have shut off tags you can put on your water valves so they are easily noticeable.
Many workplaces always call's on the boss or the maintenance man when something goes wrong. What if they were home sick, or in a meeting and you need to locate the water shut off, where do you start?
SERVPRO of SW Orlando can help commercial property in planning for a water, fire, storm damage. How, with a free Emergency Response Profile created by the SERVPRO Marketing Department.
By having a plan of action and including it into your regular training at your office you can minimize the cost if an unplanned event happens like a frozen pipe, fire, or anything.
Some property manager use this as a tool to keep everything organized in one central location.
Is your business ready for a disaster. Even a simple pipe burst can cause a lot of damage and headache. With a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile it can have the critical information to minimize damages, provide the resources for the employee's of the company, and provide property details and information. This is a FREE services that we provide to commercial properties.
Make an appointment today to get started!
If the unthinkable happens, call your local SERVPRO of SW Orlando Professionals at 407-704-0327; 24/7 to help you avoid the cost and hassle of secondary damages. We will help make it "Like it never even happened."
Forgotten Causes of Commercial Water Damage
The best commercial water damage is the damage you avoid.
Business owners usually think commercial water damage is caused by floods, massive rains, and storms. That’s often true. Weather events, storms, and flooding do shut down businesses and create major water damage in commercial buildings. Unfortunately, many business owners, commercial space renters, and entrepreneurs don’t think about and try to prevent other typical causes of water damage.
1. Sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty, not well maintained, or in need of replacement. Many a time a poor sprinkler system has damaged commercial inventory and business assets and shut down business. Check your system to make sure that it’s not faulty or in need of repair or replacement.
2. Appliances and equipment
Restaurants and catering businesses sometimes suffer water damage from their appliances or equipment. But any business that has appliances or equipment that use water could suffer water damage. If an appliance fails and spews water across your commercial building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water damage emergency.
3. Pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residential home, the plumbing system in a commercial business can fail. A broken pipe or faulty plumbing can result in major water damage in just a few hours.
4. Sewer lines
Sewer backups are another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated black water which can cause health issues and ruin products and office furnishings.
5. Water Heaters
Water heaters in commercial buildings can crack or lose their seal because of high pressure. You want to make sure and follow the manufacturers guidelines and flush your water heater regularly to make sure it is working properly.
One of the more obvious ways commercial buildings suffer water damage is through an old or leaky roof. Inspect the roof frequently (at least every six months) to make sure it does not need to be reseal and to be sure it drains properly. Even small leaks should be fixed immediately.
Commercial water damage? Call SERVPRO of SW Orlando. Call anytime 24/7 at 407-704-0327.
Remediating Flood Damage
When your home is flooded, SERVPRO is the company to quickly call for drying out services. We will dry out your carpet and assess the pad underneath.
SERVPRO Technicians Systematically Dry Out Your Carpet to Try and Save the Pad Underneath
Storms around the Orlando area are usually calm enough for the drains and area creeks and rivers to handle. When they are severe enough to generate floods, every home in their path is affected to one point or another.
Unless the water generated is massive, most Lee's Summit flood damage restoration efforts center around drying the carpets. SERVPRO technicians attempt to use in-place drying for carpets if possible and remove most of this water by extraction.
Our teams start the process with specialized equipment that pushes into the carpet and squeezes the water out through an extraction wand. They first remove water from the center of the room and then move the furniture either to the center or remove it completely from the affected area before starting. Once they finish the center, the teams begin extracting water from around the perimeter of the room in sections of 10 square feet or smaller.
After our teams complete one pass over the affected room, an inspector or team leader carefully lifts up one corner of the carpet and examines the pad. If he can squeeze water out of it, the restoration team repeats the extraction process until no more water squeezes out of the pad. They do this as quickly as possible since carpet pads rapidly deteriorate if underwater too long.
If the inspector sees that deterioration has started, he recommends removing and replacing the pad immediately. In-place extraction takes longer to remove water, but it can cost less in labor since time is not wasted by detaching the carpet and removing it from the affected rooms.
Once the team completes extraction, SERVPRO uses a combination of dehumidifiers and air movers to remove moisture in the surrounding air and to dry both the underside and the surface of the carpet. These devices working together can return a room to its pre-flood condition in just a day or two.
Drying carpets are one of the processes SERVPRO of SW Orlando uses to return homes to a dry, safe condition. If you are dealing with any recent or older flooding, contact us today at (407) 704-0327 to schedule an inspection. We are here to help.
How to Keep Mold and Moisture Out of Your HVAC System
Contact us to remediate your Orlando home!
Tips and Tricks From SERVPRO of SW Orlando to Keeping Mold and Moisture Out Of Your HVAC System
In the warm summer heat, it's easy to build up moisture; especially when it gets sticky, muggy and humid. When this happens, you naturally crank the A.C., reach for something cold, and kick back in your lazy chair. The problem is, when you're relaxing and enjoying the nice cold breeze, mold is spreading through your ducts, vents, and HVAC system, leaving a nasty haze of mold that you can smell all over the house. If you're running a business, your customers could smell it too- which is why you should always call our service professionals to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
How Does Mold Get in The HVAC System?
Mold damage in Orlando is no laughing matter. Mold, fungus, and other bacteria are in their perfect environment when they're trapped in your HVAC system. It's dark, warm, moist, closed in, and humid, meaning that spores can grow practically unabated. You'll notice more and more scent as heat and humidity is generated from outside and pulled through your ducts.
When this moist air gets in your air system, it collects within and above your HVAC units. At this point, the spores of mold and other fungi easily rise through the air, setting up colonies as your condenser forces them up through the duct system. These aren't the only cases of mold that we've seen at SERVPRO; we've seen mold stick to people's clothes or shoes, and it's all brought inside by excess humidity caused by rainfall.
Here Are a Few Tips on How to Remove Mold From Your HVAC System
1. Continue to clean and maintain your HVAC system, even when you aren't using it. Check the ducts for wet spots, and regularly check and maintain your HVAC filter.
2. Double check the drainage systems on your HVAC for mold. Allow for "dry-out" areas where the drainage comes out to prevent excess moisture.
3. Get dehumidifiers for your home. They are ideal for collecting excess humidity, and they help with the temperature inside your house, too.
4. Always insulate your pipes, walls, and ceilings. Use caulking for cracks to control cracks and leaks.
5. Contrary to common beliefs, keep your windows closed when it's hot outside. Humidity, dust, and dampness easily travel inside.
Immediate Steps to Take if You Suffer From Water Damage
Follow these tips so you can be prepared.
Let’s face it, water damage is threatening to your property’s value and can cause some serious, well damage. Whether you’re facing a storm; a flood; leaks from a weakened roof, HVAC or busted pipes; or experience overflowing appliances, water damage can wreak havoc in an array of emergency situations. To prevent further damage and to increase chances of salvation, it is critical to act quickly within the first 24 hours. Considering you have safely evacuated the premises and safety officials have declared it safe, follow these steps to immediately rectify your business from water damage.
Avoid Additional Risks
Upon returning to your property, survey the premises and document any visible structural damage that may further endanger you and your property. Look for signs of warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, and holes. If safety officials haven’t done so already, contact utility companies to cease all water and electrical sources. Even if the power is still out upon your return, physically turn off the main power line and individual fuses to avoid risk of electrocution should the power be reactivated.
While surveying your property, take photos and document all damages. Digital photos will allow you to properly store, back-up and transfer files quickly and conveniently. Be sure to document all damages prior to removing any water or starting on any repairs; otherwise, you risk decreasing the extent of your insurance coverage.
Contact your Insurance Provider
Contacting your insurance provider is critical immediately following water damage and your return to the property. Your insurance provider will be able to assess the situation, file a claim, determine whether or not the damage is severe enough to send an adjuster, and provide invaluable next steps. They will also ask for the documentation you’ve collected so it’s important to have that readily available. Pro Tip: if government authorities have declared your region a ‘disaster area’, property owners may have access to increased resources, services and financial assistance.
Secure the Property
Place board over broken windows, fasten tarps, and carryout other measures to avoid further leaks and water damage. Be sure to document all of your efforts to secure your property from further damage. If these precautionary steps are not taken and something else happens, additional damages may not be covered by your insurance provider.
Mitigate Mold Damage
It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop following a flood or water damage. If items have been wet for less than 48 hours, they may be salvageable. Remove wet contents such as carpeting and furniture as soon as possible. If an item has been exposed longer than 48 hours, it may be harder and more expensive to salvage. If possible, you can start the drying out process within 24 hours and eliminate mold and mildew growth by:
- Removing wet furniture or lifting it off of carpet
- Place aluminum foil or other carpet separators on furniture to prevent carpet stains
- Remove and hang area rugs to dry
- Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out wet areas
- Turn air conditioning on to help remove humidity and speed the drying process
Contact A Professional Restoration Service
If any amounts of water need more than a mop and you’ve followed the immediate steps to secure your business, water removal may require professional attention. SERVPRO of SW Orlando has the expertise, training and equipment to quickly remedy water damages and help your business get back to working order faster. Give SERVPRO of SW Orlando a call at 407-704-0327.
Keeping Your Business Above Water After Water Damage
Flooding and water damage events at Orlando commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of SW Orlando
SERVPRO of SW Orlando specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Methods for Removing Smoke Odor After a Fire
When you have a house fire in Orlando, FL, it may seem like the smell of the smoke will never go away. Smoke particles can infiltrate every nook and cranny in your home. They can even imbed themselves into furniture, flooring and walls. Professional restoration experts, however, have methods for extracting smoke odor from your home as part of the restoration process. Here are some smoke cleaning processes that may prove effective in removing the stench from your home.
Air Filtration Devices
One of the first methods the experts are likely to try is an air filtration device. This air scrubber sucks in the air in your home and returns it clean and refreshed. The filters in this system are specially constructed to reduce smoke odor. Some common features of filtration devices that remove smoke odor include
• HEPA filters
• Activated carbon filters
• Treated filters that specifically target smoke
Another method of smoke cleaning involves the use of ozone machines. Rather than taking air in, these machines create and expel ozone, the same compound chemical created by a rainstorm that gives the outdoor air its fresh scent. The ozone flows throughout your home, oxidizing smoke residue and neutralizing its odor.
Thermal foggers create deodorizing droplets that permeate the air as well as porous materials in your home to get rid of smoke odor. Using heat and pressurization, the fogger creates tiny particles that can go wherever the smoke damage has gone. Your home is deodorized and cleansed of the stench of the fire.
One of the many advantages of hiring smoke cleaning professionals to remove odors from your home after a fire is that they are equipped with industrial machines that can be used to eliminate the smells. A process that would take weeks or even months with any device you could buy retail can be completed in a matter of hours or days with the advanced methods used by professionals.
What Can You Do to Fix Moldy Clothes?
Your dryer is your friend.
The reason clothing is so susceptible to mold growth is not just because of the mold-inviting circumstances within the laundry room. Generally, when it is worn, clothing collects sweat and skin cells, as well as dirt and other forms of moisture and organic material that mold loves to feast on. Then, it is placed in the laundry hamper and usually sits for days before it it is finally washed. This scenario is typical and may not result in a noticeable mold infestation, but should the soiled laundry be allowed to fester long enough, a mildew smell may be present, as well as visible signs of green, blue, gray, black, or sometimes even white mold on clothes.
Another scenario is becoming more common due to busy lifestyles and poor habits. The quick development of mold on clothes after washing may be surprising to some, but it is quite an ordinary occurrence for those with overwhelmed schedules or those who are vulnerable to procrastination because they often forget to remove clothing from the washing machine once the cycle is finished. As time passes, this leads to the rapid proliferation of mildew and mold on clothes after washing, due to the remaining moisture. Neglecting to put the wet clothes in the dryer for a few hours is not what makes mold grow. Neglecting the clothes in the washer for 6 hours or longer–sometimes a day or even a few days–is the problem. Before too long, a mildew smell will be detected in the washer and clothing. Some assume this is the residue of soap, and while that may be true to some extent, the fact of the matter is that most soaps contains lard and other organic (even synthetic) materials that mold can thrive off of. The smell is not necessarily the residue of soap, but an indication that mold is producing a secondary metabolite–the mildew smell–from consuming that soap.
What is a natural detergent to kill mold? Here is what you will need.
- Two 5 oz. organic castile soap bars (naturally-scented with lavender or peppermint is great but non-scented works just the same)
- 3 cups of washing soda (no, it’s not the same as baking soda)
- 2 cups of borax
- 30 drops of certified-pure lavender essential oil (optional but highly advisable for a mold killing laundry detergent)
Once you have all the materials, this is what to do.
- Cut the castile soap bars into small pieces or chunks. (This is crucial to avoid damaging the food processor.)
- Place the cut castile soap pieces or chunks in the food processor bowl. Pulse the soap on high until what remains are large crumbs.
- Add the washing soda to the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. (After pulsing, all the ingredients should be in powder form and well-combined. If not, try running the food processor again and then mixing with a spoon.)
- Empty the washing soda and castile soap into the storage container. Add the borax and blend well with a spoon.
- Add the essential oils of choice (optional but beneficial) and be sure to mix well.
Do not place this mixture into the drawer or dispenser, place it directly in with the laundry.
Pet Storm Preparedness
Don't let your pet be unprepared.
Pet Storm tips from SERVPRO of SW Orlando -
Did you know that almost all dog and cat owners don't have disaster plans for their pets? SERVPRO of SW Orlando urges you to make sure this isn’t you.
You made a disaster kit for yourself and family, so make one for your pet. This includes medical records and medication, food and water with can openers, leashes, and carriers.
- Keep pets inside during a storm. Animals can become confused and run away from home during a disaster.
- Arrange a safe haven for you and your pets during evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
- Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags.
- Have your pet microchipped in case of a lost collar.
- Place a rescue alert sticker to your front home to let rescuers know that there are pets inside.
- Choose a caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to.
SERVPRO of SW Orlando 407-704-0327