HOLIDAY HOME FIRES FACTS
Fire damage during the holiday season can be a disaster. Protect your family this season by knowing the facts.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge is here to educate the Baton Rouge community on holiday fire damage facts.
- Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
- On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.
- Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.
- During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing.
- The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.
- Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
Winter Is Coming: Seasonal Tips to Maintain Your School Facilities
Good air quality in your local schools is important and should be maintained.
Six Tips to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter:
- Clear exterior HVAC systems of ice or snow; clean interior HVAC elements on a regular schedule. Poorly maintained HVAC units can lead to IAQ problems, including mold issues. Microbial growth in drip pans, ductwork, coils and humidifiers can both disrupt the HVAC system and affect building occupants’ health.
- As temperatures fall, maintain indoor humidity levels. As the temperature outdoors drops, schools should be aware of indoor humidity levels. To protect occupant health and comfort as well as the school building and its facilities, indoor relative humidity should be maintained above 30 percent—ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent.
- Ensure air filters are changed on a regular schedule. Air filters should have a dust-spot rating between 35 percent and 80 percent or a minimum efficiency rating value (MERV) between 8 and 13, depending on the compatibility of the air handling unit. The higher the MERV rating, the more particulates will be filtered, resulting in cleaner air.
- Adjust HVAC operation for fall or winter conditions as needed to ensure proper ventilation. Provide outdoor air ventilation according to ASHRAE standards or local code. There are significant spatial and seasonal variations in the volume of air delivered by most HVAC systems, so systems may need to be adjusted. Learn more by checking out the ASHRAE Standard 62-2016.
- Adjust your maintenance schedule to take holidays into account. To ensure that HVAC systems are functioning properly over winter and holiday breaks, consider creating a holiday maintenance schedule. With intermittent building occupancy over breaks, outdoor air ventilation rates may need to be adjusted. Check that air registers are not inadvertently obstructed by furniture or large objects that may have been moved.
- Activate the frost control option on Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERVs) systems as appropriate. Be wary of frost. In colder climates, some operating conditions can cause freezing within the energy recovery heat exchanger, and it is often necessary to equip energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) systems with a frost control option.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge wants to help you keep your school clean! Call us today for an appointment this holiday season.
Space Heater Safety Tips
Fire damage from space heaters can be avoided by following basic rules.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish specializes in fire damage restoration. We also like to educate the public when it comes to best practices in your home or business. The following information comes from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) organization:
Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year. These fire result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.
Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly. Fire and electrical hazards can be caused by space heaters without adequate safety features, space heaters placed near combustibles, or space heaters that are improperly plugged in.
Safety should always be a top consideration when using space heaters. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it’s cold outside:
- Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
- Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
- Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
- Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
- Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Knowing which pipes are most susceptible to freezing
Water damage can occur if you have a pipe bust as a result of freezing.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish is here to help this season if and when your pipes get frozen. The goal is to prevent them from busting and creating water damage throughout your home or business.
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
Holiday Cooking Safety
Don't let fire damage ruin your holiday.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish wants you and your family to get the best holiday experience possible. Please be safe!
During the Thanksgiving holiday, many families gather in the kitchen to spend time together, but it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in your home. Before you begin your holiday meal preparations, I would like to remind everyone that cooking equipment, most often a range or stovetop, is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Cooking equipment is also the leading cause of unreported fires and associated injuries.
The number of cooking fires increases significantly during the holidays so it is important for you to stay alert and be watchful while you are cooking. Whether you are cooking the holiday family dinner or a leftover snack for the children, practicing these safe cooking behaviors will help protect you and your family:
- Protect Children from Scalds and Burns. Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
- Watch What You’re Cooking. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or cooking food on the stop top or broiling food.
- Choose the Right Equipment and Use It Properly. Follow manufacturers' instructions when using cooking equipment. Remember to plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Cook only with equipment designed and intended for cooking, and heat your home only with equipment designed and intended for heating.
- Avoid Using Deep Fat Turkey Fryers. The use of a deep fat turkey fryer can be very dangerous. If you do decide to use one, use it at a safe distance from buildings and other items that can catch fire. Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a wooden deck. Watch the fryer carefully, as the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. To avoid oil spillover, don’t overfill the fryer. Oil-less turkey fryers are available. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.
- Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart. Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stovetop. Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Prevent Scalds and Burns. To prevent spills due to overturned appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible, and/or turn pot handles away from the stove's edge. Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops.
On behalf of the staff at the U.S. Fire Administration, I want to wish you and yours a very Happy (fire and burn-free) Thanksgiving.
Commercial Duct Cleaning
Duct cleaning and clean air quality is crucial to maintaining a cleaning business.
Air quality has recently become a very important issue for many companies. Maintaining a breathable atmosphere within the confines of your business is important to both your employees and your customers.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish can provide a deep clean of your HVAC systems. This includes cleaning the insides of your duct systems as well as a thorough clean of your HVAC coils and drip pan.
Our technicians use professional duct cleaning equipment to dislodge any and all particulates from your ducting networks. The process allows use to vacuum the dislodged particulates and clean the registers and returns.
Most notably is the visible difference that your employees and customers will notice when they observe the vents.
Call us today to set up an appointment.
Storm damage, water damage, flood damage? Call us 24/7!
A few days ago Central East Baton Rouge Parish was on notice regarding Hurricane Barry. During these type of events SERVPRO understands that the community must come together in order to weather the storm. It becomes a collective struggle in which all homes and businesses share a common goal. This goal is to protect your community. The best way to do this is to check on your neighbors. Maybe they are elderly and have no family. Maybe they are new to the area and need some preparation advice. Maybe you guys share resources like sandbags and muscle.
Whatever the needs may be we at SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish understand that it takes a community effort to defy mother nature and we would love to be on your team.
Fire restoration means being prepared
Smoke damage, fire damage? Call us today!
The Boy Scout motto is "Always be prepared." This could very easily be the SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish motto as well.
We take pride in keep supplies staged for fire restoration Many times, when a fire occurs in your home or business, the responding restoration company can show up without the necessary supplies to begin immediately. Not us! We keep a trailer fully stocked with everything needed to restore charring, smoke damage, discoloration, odor problems and even clean your duct system. We also are prepared to inventory the contents that got damaged in order to have them cleaned on site or off site in accordance with insurance standards.
Our trained crews make the difference between us and the competition as they are fully trained to operate the SERVPRO fire restoration systems.
Call us today and let us begin!
Why SERVPRO? Because we are the most trusted in the business.
TRUST: it is a reality in our lives that cannot be overlooked. It is a special bond that instills a working relationship.
It is not bragging when you simply state the facts. SERVPRO is the best and most trusted fire and water restoration service in the industry. This notion is reflected in the fact that we are State Farm's premiere service provider nationally and locally.
SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish is very protective of this standard. We work hard to maintain a level of professionalism that raises the bar for all mitigation contractors.
We appreciate the trust and look to prove our friends in the industry right all while proving our detractors wrong.
Don't take my word for it though. Call us today to schedule an appointment and find out for yourself.
Let us do an Emergency Ready Profile for your business
50% of businesses may never open after suffering a disaster.
Did you know that SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish offers a free service for you business? It is called an Emergency Ready Profile it its benefits are wide ranging.
Simply put, it outlines critical systems and information in the case of an emergency like fire damage, water damage, storm or flood damage, etc...
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.
What it contains:
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."