As a business owner, insurer, or property manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers and community to follow. This year for National Preparedness Month (NPM), join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and lead efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes.
The 2019 theme for National Preparedness Month is Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters. You can become prepared for a disaster by taking three simple steps:
- Have a plan to stay in business
- Encourage your employees to become ready
- Protect your investment
We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods are ready for any type of disaster that can potentially affect your local community. At Ready.gov/business, companies like yours can find vital information on how to begin preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency situation. You can also contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas to find out more on how to be ready when disaster strikes with the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program.
Portable Fire Extinguishers
can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:
Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at https://www.nfpa.org/
Emergency Fire Damage Tips
These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas arrives. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
- Keep your hands clean. Soot on your hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
- If heat is off during winter months, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave it off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contact SERVPRO of Northen Las Vegas.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas.
- Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They maybe contaminated.)
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.g
National Day of Service and Remembrance
In honor and memory of those who died on September 11, 2001, as well as the survivors and First Responders, National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in 2009 as a day of reflection. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this is a day to come together as Americans following the events of 9/11 to help neighbors in need and to honor veterans and First Responders in your community. On this day and everyday, SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas salutes those heroes who arrive in the greatest times of need and stand strong in the face of disaster. These heroes are the First Responders who keep our communities safe in trying times. Give back and make a difference in your community this year. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, or to register your National Day of Service and Remembrance event, visit https://nationalservice.gov/serve/september-11th-national-day-service-and-remembrance
Preparing makes Sense
The likelihood that you, your business, and your family will survive a house fire depends as much on having a working smoke detector and an exit strategy as it does calling on a well-trained fire department. The same is true for surviving a terrorist attack or any other emergency disaster situation. We must have the tools and plans in place to make it on our own, at least for a period of time, no matter where we are when a disaster strikes. Just like having a working smoke detector, preparing for the unexpected makes sense. Prepare now!
Organize a kit of emergency supplies. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, or maybe even longer. While there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about planning to have fresh water, food, and clean air. Plan for a gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Also include a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that are easy to store and prepare, such as protein bars, dried fruit, or canned foods. If you live in a cold weather climate, consider including warm clothes and a sleeping bag in your emergency kit as well. Some potential terrorist attacks could send tiny microscopic particles into the air. Many of these materials can only hurt you if they get into your body, so think about creating a barrier between yourself and any contamination. It’s smart to pack something to cover your mouth and nose, such as two to three layers of a cotton t-shirt, handkerchief or towel, or a filtered mask. It is also recommended you include duct tape and heavyweight garbage bags in your emergency kit that can be used to seal windows and doors to create a barrier between yourself and any contamination on the other side.
Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency situation. Plan in advance what you will do, and be prepared to assess the situation when the time comes. Whether a disaster strikes in your home or place of business, consider developing a communications plan so you have a way to contact family members or co-workers. Be sure each person knows the plan and review it ahead of time. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the disaster, the first important decision you will need to determine is whether you should stay put or evacuate. It is recommended you have a plan in place for both possibilities.
Be informed about what might happen. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. By beginning the process of learning about specific threats relative to where you work or live, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency. Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances, and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. With simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.
How to Destroy Odors with Deodorization
Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.
As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.
With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We here at SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable items in the affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Ask us to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.
If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Smoke Alarms are: Life Savers
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.
Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA). In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA). If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas.
It's The Water You Don't See Water
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.
The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools we use.
- Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
- Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas to monitor the drying process.
- Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
- Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor causing residues may accumulate.
- Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles.
The bottom line? SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Be Prepared: Tsunamis
Did you know tsunamis can hit any U.S. coast? While they are more likely to hit states on the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, it is good to know what to do if a tsunami does strike where you live or even where you may vacation. Ready.gov says, “tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite.” Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet above sea level have a greater risk of being affected. As with any emergency, be sure you have a plan in place prior. Know the evacuation plan, move inland or to higher ground, and avoid the beach. “The first wave may not be the last or the largest,” according to the National Weather Service. After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. While drowning is the most common hazard, there are many after-effects, like flooding and contaminated drinking water.
Hurricane season has already begun and several named storms have developed in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. On average, there are 12 tropical storms that develop, with an average of six becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service. Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property damage. The National Weather Service lists the following as potential “hurricane hazards.”
- Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries.
- Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from land falling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
- Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
- Tornadoes can accompany land falling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
- Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone’s strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore.
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information on recovering from water damage caused by weather-related disasters, contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas today.