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Basic Tips For Storm Preparedness

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane season has proven to be an active 2008 season. Even if you do not live in an area that can be directly impacted by a hurricane, you may be affected by the severe weather conditions that result from the storm. Because we are all affected by severe weather activity, we should be prepared when events take place.

One important area of concern during a severe storm is our ability to keep our food safe. When severe weather strikes we are often left with no electricity. It is very possible that you will have a power outage to occur. Because we need to be prepared during bad weather, we need to follow a few safety tips such as:

  • You should ensure that you have enough water for you and your family to drink. Store plenty of water in clean plastic or glass containers. It is recommended that at a minimum you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. If the weather conditions are hot, then you may need to double this amount per person. Additional water will be needed for cooking, bathing and other household needs.
  • Prepare water for storage and later use by adding four drops of chlorine bleach per quart of water (about 16 drops of chlorine per gallon), then stir the water to thoroughly mix.
  • Seal water containers and label them as purified drinking water. Place the date on the water container and store them in a cool, dark place. Purified water stored in this way should be safe for long periods of time such as five years or longer.
  • Prepare to have a three-day supply of food for your family to carry you through a short-term disaster situation. Choose foods that do not require refrigeration and if possible, require little water for preparation.
  • Some ready-to-eat foods that should be considered are: canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruit, juices, and soup. Some high-energy foods that should be considered are: peanut butter, jelly, crackers dried fruits, and jerky. Children will also enjoy having some hard candy and cereal bars available.

There are additional items that your family may need to have on hand during a short-term weather related disaster situation. Some of these items are:

  • Radio - battery powered with extra batteries
  • Flashlight - with extra batteries
  • Candles
  • Manual can opener
  • Utility knife
  • Plastic plates, cups, utensils
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic trash bags with ties
  • Moist towelettes
  • Chlorine bleach, cleaning supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blanket for each family member
  • First aide kit
  • Camp stove, fuel, lighter

There may be other special needs that your family may need to have available, such as diapers, baby formula, and medications.

For more information on individual, family and community preparedness, see the FEMA website at giving you a step-by-step guide to citizen preparedness.

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Commercial Losses - Fire Control and Suppression Systems Can Prevent Financial Loss

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

ire alarm systems are required by law in almost every commercial and industrial place of business. There are few exceptions to this rule. Deciding which type of fire alarm system and suppression system is rarely left up to the business owner or property owner. Specific alarm systems and monitoring panels will be determined by the local authorities.

Even though building codes and fire codes will dictate the type of system needing to be installed, these requirements are strictly the bare minimum that the local jurisdictions and state government mandate. Frequently the bare minimum will still result in vast amounts of property damage. For this reason it is always important to inquire of the fire alarm installation company how best to improve on the fire codes with regards to the installed fire suppression system.

If the building or facility is being erected, going the extra mile by installing additional fire prevention measures will lower the chances of extensive property loss when a fire does occur. For proper installation of a new fire alarm and suppression system or improving a current fire control system, contracting with a professional and competent installation company will need to be arranged. With new construction, this is taken care of by the general contractor overseeing the entire construction project. If the building is already established and occupied, then any improvements to the fire alarm system will most likely be set into motion by the property owner or property manager.

Fortunately fire codes do not change drastically or frequently, but if the codes do change, occasionally those structures currently established may not need to upgrade the current fire suppression system due to being grandfathered. One exception to this rule may be when the property is sold.

Local or state law may dictate that in order to complete the real estate transaction the existing fire suppression system, including the control panel, may need to be updated. Should this be the case, the cost can be surprising. The expense of upgrading or modernizing the fire control components will need to be taken into account along with the details of the real estate transaction. Many real estate agencies and service will not always be aware of specifics of this type.

It is recommended that the sale of the commercial property be contingent upon a fire inspection. Many professional and experienced fire alarm installation firms can be utilized in this manner. Without a satisfactory inspection, the new property owner may be fined and ordered to improve or bring the current suppression system up to date which can easily reach into the thousands.

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Tips for Preparing for Severe Weather

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

At the Store

Every time someone goes to the store, they should buy a few canned goods and some batteries. Candles are not safe in any storm as wind can knock a lit candle down and possibly start a fire. The sturdier the flashlight is the longer it will last. Canned and bottled drinks are also good to store just in case. Packaged snacks will tide most anyone over until the power comes back on or in case someone is stuck inside a room. A weather radio or a regular radio with batteries keeps people informed. All of these can be stored in an inexpensive plastic storage box.

At Home or Work

A small room without windows in an interior part of the house or office is the best place to seek safety from a tornado. The room should have someplace to store supplies. At home, this could be a bathroom or a closet. A small container holding supplies fits nicely in to a cabinet. At the last minute, throw some pillows in so there is someplace soft to sit or lay a weary head. Office buildings have stairwells and these are the closest and safest places to be during a bad wind storm. It is important that no one pushes anyone else as people descend the stairs. And always be mindful of those who want to go back and get their cell phones accidentally left on a desk.

In a Vehicle on the Road

Cars are most likely to be tossed in to the air and thrown to the ground. The best bet is to pull the car over the side of the road, get out and lay down in a ditch or under an overpass. These are the safest places to be when a twister is either ahead of you or behind you. An overpass will protect you from falling debris. At the very least, a ditch is low enough to the ground where a tornado can't quite pick you up and toss you into the next county.

About Animals

Animals instinctively know when trouble lurks. They are closer to the ground than people and can feel the vibrations. If your pet is acting a little odd, check the weather. Bring all animals - outdoor and indoor ones - to the safe room in the house. Try to keep them as calm as possible. Family pets become family members and leaving them outside in severe weather is cruel. Everyone can be safe if they know what to do before a storm arrives. Make plans and make sure everyone knows what they are.

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Prepare for Spring Storms - Tips for Business Owners and Home Owners

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is a great time of the year. Brown grass turns green. Trees and bushes burst with buds. Flowers poke up through the soil. But not all is this serene. Spring also brings lightning storms, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes.

Are you prepared for the losses that could occur in your home? If you are a business owner, have you taken precautions to help keep your employees from being at risk? Taking that one step further, are you prepared so you don't have to shut down your business for a few days, weeks or even possibly permanently?

For your business: 

  • Review your Evacuation and Take Cover procedures with your employees.
  • Review your Business Continuity Plan so this information is fresh in your mind.
  • Determine if your asset inventory is up to date.
  • Check the exterior of your building. Secure loose siding, shutters and shingles.
  • Inspect trees and trim branches that are brushing against the building or could fall and take down a power line.
  • Inspect the interior of your facility for structural integrity. If you discover any problems areas, contact a general contractor.
  • When a severe storm is imminent, ensure that you have plenty of plywood, nails, tarps and any other supplies appropriate for your area of the country and the type of storm developing.
  • Purchase a generator if you don't already have one.

These easy steps will help you ensure everyone's safety and reduce the amount of damage you'll experience. Additionally, you'll most likely be able to be back in business much faster since you were properly prepared for the worst when it finally does happen.

For your home:

Purchase a generator. This may seem like a frivolous expense, but it can be used for so many different disasters. When there is a severe hurricane or tornado, you could be without power for weeks. Think of all the items in your house that require electricity: appliances, electronics, power tools, lights and heaters. Imagine not having a refrigerator or television for more than a couple hours. Now think of how your life will be if you are without them for days or even longer.

Other items to consider when preparing your residence for the spring storm season: 

  • Talk to your family about your Take Cover and Fire Escape plans. Be sure to include even the youngest child. Talking about it when calm and not "in the moment" will give them a sense of security. Assign someone the responsibility of the family pet.
  • Review your personal property, or home, inventory to ensure that all recently purchased items have been added. If they haven't, contact your inventory service provider to update your file.
  • Call our insurance agent if you have made any major updates to your home in the past year. The worst time to find you are underinsured is when you're filing a claim.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home and tack down any loose shingles, shutters or siding.
  • Look at all of your trees and shrubs. Cut back any branches that are up against the house. Cut off or trim branches of trees that could fall on power lines.
  • When you are facing a storm that requires extra reinforcement, purchase the supplies appropriate for your geographic area and the type of storm you are facing.

Home owner or business owner - or both - being prepared before the storm is bearing down will help you in many ways. You'll be at ease financially, emotionally and have a comfort level from knowing that you're ready.

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Fire Safety and You - Top 10 Fire Safety Habits to Live By

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Live a fire safe life-this is the constant tip of many firefighters and fire experts in this country. The only problem is that some people are just not aware on how to practice fire safety habits and how to avoid fire accidents that cause damages to properties and loss of lives.

The good news is that fire safety habits are simple and easy that anyone can make them a part of his daily life. To know the top habits to live by, here are the things that you should bear in mind:

1. Be careful in handling flammable and combustible materials.

You should always take the necessary precautions when handling anything that is flammable. Make sure you store them in a secure storage far from any combustible material.

2. Practice cautious cooking in the kitchen.

When cooking in the kitchen, it is advisable that you avoid wearing loose fitting clothing and that you always have a fire blanket or fire extinguisher ready in case of a grease fire. Never let children be involved with cooking tasks that involve the use of fire.

3. Keep fire starters and anything flammable out of children's and pets' reach.

Matches, lighters, and candles should be kept in places that children and pets cannot reach. Children are typically curious and if you are not careful, they can end up creating a big fire that can result in a tragedy.

4. Maintain electrical equipment properly.

As for electrical equipment, fire hazards include damaged electrical conductors, overloaded sockets and extension cords, faulty wirings, blown fuses, low quality electrical equipment, malfunction of electrical devices, and loose electrical connections.

Use only high quality electrical equipment and inspect them regularly to see any signs of defect or damage. If there is something wrong, have this repaired by a professional immediately. Avoid overloading sockets as well.

5. Use heating devices with care.

Heating devices especially space heaters that use gas and kerosene can start a fire if not used with proper precaution. Make sure you place them in a location that cannot be reached by children and that is far away from heat sources like furnace, stove or fireplace.

6. Know how to use fire safety devices.

It is essential to know how to use fire safety devices such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and fire hose so that when the time comes that there is a fire outbreak, you would know how to tackle a small incipient fire before it gets worse.

7. Learn what to do in case of fire.

Know the basic fire emergency procedures and share this knowledge with the rest of the family.

8. Do not leave burning candles unattended.

Candles should be put out before you leave or sleep. Place them in a location that is not near the window, sheets or curtains.

9. Douse cigarettes in water before disposal.

Smoking is another major cause of fires so it is necessary that you properly extinguish your cigarette before you dispose of it. Moreover, avoid smoking in bed and before you sleep.

10. Formulate a fire escape route for your home.

An escape route plan should easy and simple to understand and should be placed in every level of your home.

It is not that complicated to practice fire safety habits as long as you have the presence of mind and the determination to keep your family and home safe from a fire accident.

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8 Tips For Residential Fire Safety

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

We all want to keep our family and property safe from dangerous, deadly fires. But do many of us take time to ensure that we, in fact, are safe? Take time to employ these 8 tips for residential fire safety to keep your loved ones and pets out of harm's way.

Avoid Hazards - One of the best ways to prevent residential fires is to avoid certain habits and practices that can lead to blazes. A tried and true rule to always follow is to place all lighters and matches in high areas away from a child's reach. Also use caution when burning candles in the home and teach your children that both matches and lighters are not toys to be played with.

Have a Plan - Have a plan for you and your family on what to do if a fire does occur. Make sure to vary the plan based on where the fire occurs and what type of fire it is. When you have your strategy in place purchase the needed safety tools (IE. fire ladder, fire extinguisher) and place them in the designated areas. You will also want a plan on how to practice your skills to maintain your fire tools such as when to perform a fire extinguisher inspection.

Practice Your Plan - Having a plan in place in the event of a fire is only half of the job. In order for your family to be safe, they must feel comfortable on executing the plan. Take time to practice a fake fire in the home so every family member can rehearse the plan. It may be beneficial to do varying scenarios so that different approaches can be made.

Inspect Your Equipment - Make sure to perform a fire extinguisher inspection on a regular basis to ensure it is in proper working order.

Hire a Chimney Sweep - Have your chimney swept by a professional on a yearly basis preferable before the heating season. Creosote can build up in the flue leaving your chimney vulnerable to a fire.

Educate Yourself - Educate you and your family on basic fire safety skills. There are many educational books geared to children that cover the topic empowering them to make wise choices in the event of a fire in the home.

Alarm Your Home - Always have both a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the home. Test both regularly and replace batteries as needed. Carbon monoxide detectors often have an expiration date. To help me remember when the date is approaching, I used a black permanent marker to write the date on the bottom of the unit facing the floor so anytime I look up I can clearly see if the unit is near expiration.

Be Smart - Common sense can go a long way in overall fire safety in the home. Make sure you know the basics of how to protect you and your family from home fires. Also teach your children how to approach fire hazards using good judgment and practical knowledge.

Follow these residential fire prevention tips to keep your family and home safe from a dangerous blaze. Performing a fire extinguisher inspection, sweeping your flue, and the other six tips are all important to maintaining a nontoxic environment for those you love to work and play in.

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Here To Help

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Choosing the right company if you have experienced a water, fire, or mold damage can be one of the most important choices you make. After helping many disaster victims, SERVPRO South San Rafael/Sausalito has the expertise, facilities, and equipment to help you resolve your emergency fast. Our team of professionals technicians are certified, bonded and insured -- not to mentioned trained to help you get your property back to its original state as soon as possible.

As the trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO provides 24-hour emergency help and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

Call us SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito today for more information (415) 479-2900.

Quick Emergency Response Matters

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When an emergency arises in your business, give us a call and we'll be there fast with the help you need. The first step to reopening your doors is just a telephone call away.

SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito professionals are available 24-hours a day and have the expertise, training, and equipment required to put you back in business. Our technicians are highly trained and are ready for dispatch to restore your business. Whether you need your business cleaned up or dried out, SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito Professional will be there to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today (415) 479-2900.

We Have The Expertise

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

After a loss or damage, we understand you don't have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your home. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your expertise, call us. Whether it's removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito to make your home look it's very best.

We have highly trained technicians ready to restore the damages to your home, so you can rest at ease. SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito will get the job done right and get it done quickly because the SERVPRO Advantage includes:

  • Award-winning training
  • 40 years' experience in the industry
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

For a prompt response, quality cleaning and restoration, give us a call at (415) 479-2900 and leave the dirty work to us.

We Are Ready For Any Size Job

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any sized disaster.

Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

At SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and manage to cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito.

Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include:

  • The Hospitality Industry
  • Property Managers
  • Universities
  • Resorts
  • Recreations
  • Church
  • Arena
  • Shopping Centers

Our elite large-loss specialists are standing by, prepared for immediate response should a disaster strike. If your business suffers a major loss, call (415) 479-2900, and we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”