Winter is the most Common Season for House Fires
House fires occur during the coldest months out of the year, Winter, than in any other season. While you are enjoying being warm and cozy this winter season, please also be vigilant and smart about Fire Safety. The reason being is that heating equipment is responsible for 1 in every 7 reported home fires and 1 in every 5 home fire deaths. And although wood burning stoves give off that nice amber glow and the space heater emits warmth, be sure to keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.
Many homeowners have invested in generators for those winter blizzards that threaten us to lose power. Generators are great at giving us light, keeping us warm and refrigerating our perishable food. However it is so important to keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away as possible from your home. Carbon Monoxide detectors are just as important as your smoke detectors. Test your carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month. To avoid electrical fires, plug only 1 heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time. Always have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year! And any remaining ashes that have been cooled should always be stored in tightly covered metal container, and kept outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.
By following these simple rules will help keep your loved ones and home safe and warm during the coldest days of the year.
Home Fire Sprinklers can Dramatically Reduce Heat, Flames and Smoke
When properly installed and maintained, fire sprinklers help save lives.
Fire sprinklers have been around for more than a century, protecting commercial and industrial properties and public buildings. What many people don't realize is that the same life-saving technology is also available for homes, where roughly 80 percent of all civilian fire deaths occur.
The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Sprinkler Initiative outlines proven, effective ways that home fire sprinkler advocates can communicate the impact of sprinklers to their decision makers. NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative highlights key research underscoring how fire sprinklers can reduce the risk of death or injury from fire. According to NFPA's "U.S. Experience with Sprinklers" report:
- the civilian death rate was 81 percent lower in homes with fire sprinklers than in homes without them
- the average firefighter injury rate was nearly 80 percent lower when fire sprinklers were present during fires
- when sprinklers were present, fires were kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time
- the home fire death rate was 90 percent lower when fire sprinklers and hardwired smoke alarms were present. By comparison, this death rate is only 18 percent lower when battery-powered smoke alarms are present but automatic extinguishing systems weren't
Smoke Alarms Save Lives.
Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
How to Prevent Commercial Fire Sprinklers from Freezing
Mineral fiber insulation is one of the primary ways to reduce the risk of sprinkler system from freezing. Although insulation alone may not prevent freezing when temperatures are cold enough for an extended period, properly installed insulation can significantly reduce the chance of sprinkler systems freezing.
A basic knowledge of heat flow will make clear how insulation is used to reduce the chance of sprinkler pipes freezing, according to the Insulation Institute.
How Heat Flow Works
Heat moves from warm areas to cold areas, and insulation slows the flow of heat. Insulation does not stop heat flow, so it is important that the pipes are installed in areas within or close to the heated part of the building and insulation is placed between the sprinkler system pipes and the colder outside.
Insulation’s property to slow heat flow is expressed as R-value. The greater the R-value the greater the ability to slow heat flow. It is important that the heating system remains on to supply heat to the building. If the heating system fails and the temperature goes below freezing for a long enough time the heat in the water will move to the colder areas and the pipes may freeze.
Another strategy to reduce the chance of pipes freezing is to use “heat tracing,” which is a flexible electric resistance heating element typically controlled by a thermostat, which is wrapped around the pipe to supply heat when needed, but this will not help when the electric power is out.
Options for Using Insulation to Reduce Freezing
Properly installed mineral fiber insulation is a practical method to reduce the chance of wet pipe systems (or those that always contain water) from freezing. Below are illustrations to show some possible designs for insulation systems for fire sprinkler systems which contain water. Note there are many other acceptable systems which will reduce the chance of sprinkler systems freezing and the systems shown are not guaranteed to prevent pipes from freezing.
Ice Dams and Roof Damage Caused by Winter Storms
Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage like ice dams and roof damages to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property.
An ice dam is formed when snow melts unevenly on a roof and refreezes into a dam at the edge of the roof, near the eaves. This dam prevents any further snowmelt from draining off of the roof. This standing water can back up under shingles, leak into a home, and cause significant water damage to ceilings, walls, and other areas. Ice dams can also tear off gutters and loosen shingles.
Snow and ice can cause significant damage to your gutters and roof. The additional weight of snow and ice can even cause a roof to collapse. When there’s a cold snap, water can get into cracks and small spaces and expand when it freezes, causing larger cracks and more damage. The repetition of freezing and thawing cycles can cause small cracks to get larger.
Be Informed. Be Prepared.
Flooding happens during heavy rains, when rivers overflow, when ocean waves come onshore, when snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break. This is the most common natural-weather event. Flooding may be only a few inches of water or it may cover a house to therooftop. Floods that happen very quickly are called flash floods.
What to do Before
- Build an emergency kit.
- Make a family communications plan.
- Tell an adult if you hear a flood warning on the TV or radio.
- Listen to authorities and safety officials.
- If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
- Help your family move important items to an upper floor.
- Do not walk through moving water. Even 6” of water can make you fall.
- Stay away from flood water. It could be contaminated, meaning contain dangerous substances.
- Stay away from moving water. It can knock you off your feet.
- Stay out of the way of emergency workers so they can do their job easily.
SERVPRO - The Most Trusted Restoration Company with over 50 years of Expertise
Ted and Doris Isaacson launched SERVPRO in 1967 as a painting business in Sacramento, Calif. With a background in cleaning and restoration, however, Ted and Doris soon transformed the company into a franchisor of cleanup and restoration specialists.
After selling its first Franchise in 1969, SERVPRO continued to grow, acquiring the Bristol-Myers Domesticare Division and its 175 Franchises in 1979.
SERVPRO relocated the corporate headquarters from Sacramento to Gallatin, TN, in 1988 in a strategic move to place itself within 600 miles of 50% of the U.S. population.
At the time of the relocation, the SERVPRO System consisted of 647 Franchises.
SERVPRO Corporate quickly became a key contributor in its community, and in 1991 the Nashville Business Journal named SERVPRO the Small Business of the Year. In the meantime the company continued its impressive growth, selling the 1,000th Franchise in 2000. Learn more about our Awards and Recognition.
In 2005, SERVPRO moved to a 140,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Gallatin to provide more room for expansion.
With a proud history, a successful present and a bright future, SERVPRO will press on toward becoming the premier cleaning and restoration company in the world.
The Power of Essential Oils
Have you ever worried about the antimicrobial products that you use? Sure they do the job but are they toxic? Are they suitable for use around children, pets, the chemically-sensitive or the elderly? Are they environmentally responsible & sustainable? Botanical products are the answer to all of these questions.
How can a disinfectant be less toxic than vinegar?
In nature, plants produce germ-killing 'essential oils' to protect themselves from invading microbes, similar to how our bodies produce antibodies for our protection. Benefect is a revolutionary blend of these antimicrobial extracts, particularly from the herb Thyme, and achieves remarkable efficacy ...without using any traditional synthetic chemicals
Here at SERVPRO we use Benefact. And people have asked what do we mean when we say Benefect is authentically botanical? “Authentic” is defined as not false or copied, genuine, real. “Botanical” means a substance obtained from a plant. Benefect was the world’s first and is still the ONLY authentically botanical disinfectant technology. It doesn’t use synthetic active ingredients but contains thyme and other essential oils, that are nonhazardous and sustainable, to kill the germs.
SERVPRO of Framingham Offers Air Duct Cleaning Too
According to the National Air Ducts Cleaners Association (NADCA) Air Duct cleaning is an important component to improving indoor air quality and having a healthy home. In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes with air ducts, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning:
- occupants with allergies or asthma
- cigarette or cigar smoke
- water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
- home renovation or remodeling projects
Some occupants are more sensitive to these contaminants than others. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help address.
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates.
SERVPRO of Framingham routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
In Rain, Freeze, Sleet, and Snow
It’s mid-January and just this past weekend, we finally said goodbye to our snowless winter. In true New England fashion we started our weekend off with 6 inches of snow and temperatures in the single digits. These unbearable arctic temps were responsible for dozens of pipe bursts throughout the region, wreaking havoc in several homes. The precipitation then quickly transitioned into rain, freezing rain, and sleet in parts of the state the following day. Shortly thereafter our snow washed away and The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for southeastern Massachusetts expecting 2 to 3 inches of rain with temperatures climbing to the mid 50’s. Frantic calls to SERVPRO of Framingham for pipe bursts quickly switched over to frantic calls for flooded basements caused by groundwater and leaking roofs. Rain, freeze, sleet or snow – SERVPRO Framingham is here for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.