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The Sounds of Fire Safety

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

white fire alarm on ceiling going off due to rising smoke If you should experience a fire in your home, SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton is here to help recover and restore.

We’re bombarded by sounds at almost every moment of the day. Some we learn to ignore, some we discount as noise and some—babies crying and police sirens, for example—we prioritize as important and urgent.

A few of these sounds of urgency come from fire detection devices. When smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors make noises of any kind, it’s crucial to pay attention and take action. Knowing the sounds of safety could play a crucial role in keeping your home and family safe.

Today, let’s cover all the chirps and beeps of your household detection devices, so you know what to be listening for and what to do when you hear it.

Smoke Alarm Sounds

Three beeps. If your smoke alarm is emitting a continuous pattern of three loud beeps, that means smoke and/or fire have been detected. Don’t wait, and don’t hesitate—get out of the house and call 9-1-1, and let your local responders figure out the source of the issue and deal with any fire inside.

Smoke alarms can be triggered by steam, dirt or even bugs, but it’s safer for you to get out than to put yourself in danger trying to be sure.

Chirping. If your alarm is making a short “chirp” sound every 30 to 60 seconds, your battery is low and needs replacement. To avoid this noise, change your batteries at least once a year, but the NFPA recommends doing it whenever you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.

If your alarm continues to chirp after you’ve changed its batteries, check to ensure that the batteries are installed in the right direction. If they are, your smoke detector may have reached the end of its life. Detectors should be replaced every 10 years.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Sounds

Four beeps. In the same way your smoke alarm beeps three times to indicate danger, your CO alarm will beep four times if a leak is detected. Get out, stay out and call 9-1-1. You won’t see anything indicating the presence of carbon monoxide, but your alarm knows when it senses it.

Chirping. Change your batteries if your CO alarm is chirping every 30 to 60 seconds. If beeping continues, check to ensure that your batteries are installed correctly. If chirping still persists, replace your unit.

End-of-life sounds. Different manufacturers use different sounds to indicate that a CO alarm has reached the end of its life. If your alarm is making a sound you don’t recognize, consult your user guide or the manufacturer’s website.

If you should experience a fire in your home, we’re here to help recover and restore your house and belongings. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Does Your Family Have a Fire Safety Plan in Place?

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

family sitting on the floor If you need assistance with damage due to a house fire, you can count on SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties.

While no one wants to experience a fire in their household, how many of us can say with certainty that we are doing all that we can to prevent one? Home fires occur with more frequency than many people realize, and they are often due to simple errors or oversights that could be prevented.

Additionally, many house fires are more catastrophic than they need to be due to not everyone having a plan in place for how to handle such an emergency.

Because prevention and safety are so important when it comes to house fires, having a fire safety plan in place is one of the best things you and your family can do to stay safe. Making sure you are practicing prevention and know how to  respond to a house fire can go a long way in protecting everyone that is living in your household.

What to Include in a Fire Safety Plan

Best practices for preventing fires. When it comes to house fires, prevention is the best and
first line of defense you should dedicate time to—the best case scenario is not having to deal with a house fire at all. Making sure everyone in the household is aware of how to prevent a house fire and why it is important to do so is a must. Habits such as leaving candles unattended or not staying near the stovetop when it is on can be costly and dangerous.

A roadmap for prevention tactics. In addition to getting into good daily habits to prevent fires,
it is also a good idea to make a plan for how you will do necessary maintenance items to reduce
your fire risk as well. Things such as testing your smoke alarms every month, checking the flammable items you may have stored in the garage or basement and ensuring that your fire
extinguishers are all in good working order are great maintenance tasks for a fire safety boost.

A detailed escape plan. When a house fire starts, you will generally only have about two
minutes to escape to safety, so having a plan together is a must. Make sure everyone in your
household is aware of how to evacuate from different areas of the home, that there are two exits from each room and that you have an external meeting place established where you will all convene while you wait on the fire department to arrive.

If you need assistance with damage due to a house fire, you can count on us. Get in touch at
any hour to learn more about our damage restoration process or to get a quick response to
damage of your own.

September is National Preparedness Month

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

cell phone with ERP app Contact SERVPRO® of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties to find out more on how to be ready when a disaster strikes with the Emergency READY Program.

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, policyholders, and customers to follow.

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). This year for NPM, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading the efforts to encourage your community as a whole to become more prepared. Disasters happen?and not only do they devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including local businesses of all sizes.

The 2021 theme is "Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love."

As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster happens. You can do this by taking three simple steps:

  • Plan to stay in business
  • Encourage your employees to become ready
  • Protect your investment

We must work together to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods are ready for the unthinkable.

There are many supporting resources available at ready.gov/september where you can find vital information on how to begin preparing your business for a disaster, as well as addressing unique needs during an emergency situation. You can also contact SERVPRO® of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties professionals to find out more on how to be ready when a disaster strikes with the Emergency READY Program®.

*Restoration Newsline Vol 32, Iss 9

Finding and Operating Your Main Water Shutoff Valve

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

a person turning a red water value off Water leaks can dump hundreds of gallons of water into your house. If you need help contact the SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton right away.

Think fast—do you know where your water main is? If you can’t answer this question immediately, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with its location.

When pipes burst or something from your own water supply is sending water flooding into your home or basement, the first thing you need to do is stop the flow, and the main shutoff valve is the best place to do it.

Finding Your Shutoff Valve

If you get your water supply from a municipal water supply, your main shutoff valve is probably right inside your home, on the side of the house that faces the street. This is the first place water comes in from the supply source, and your home will have a straight-line pipe bringing the water in from the street.

There may also be an additional valve called a curb valve, located at the spot where your property meets the sidewalk or street. If you can’t locate your main shutoff valve inside, there’s bound to be one here.

Look for a trap-door-style box or manhole. (You may need a special tool or even special permission to shut your water off from here. Call your water company if you’re not sure.)

Can’t Find It?

If you’re looking inside, look to the area right inside the perimeter of the home, where water service would first enter. Look high if you’re in a basement, and low if you’re above ground level.

If you can find your exterior valve at the street, walk straight toward your house from there—it’s likely that’s exactly where the water line is headed.

If you still can’t find it, check the inspection report you received when you purchased your home. There should be a section regarding plumbing, which should tell you where your main shutoff valve is and may even include a photo.

Turning Your Water Main Off

Your shutoff valve could be one of several types, but most can be figured out quickly.

ball valve will probably look like a handle to you. When the handle is turned 90 degrees, it either opens or closes the flow of water using a rotary ball inside the pipe.

gate valve uses a round handle that resembles a fire sprinkler head—turning this handle opens and closes a gate within the pipe that will stop the flow.

The street side valve, as stated, may require a special tool such as a water meter key, and may be difficult to open. Again, it may not be OK for you to close the valve without permission, so contact your water company before attempting it.

Water leaks can dump hundreds of gallons of water into your house, creating a major catastrophe. But you’ve got a friend in the industry ready 24 hours a day—contact SERVPRO to get recovery started right away.

Dispelling Myths About Lightning Strikes

9/4/2021 (Permalink)

multiple lighting strikes coming out of dark stormy clouds If you have damage due to a storm or lightning strike, SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties are here to help.

Lightning is an extremely common weather occurrence, but it is also an event that is typically
misunderstood. Every single thunderstorm contains lightning (in fact, lightning is actually what causes thunder), which means every single thunderstorm presents the risk for injuries and fires due to lightning strikes.

Though lightning strikes frequently, there are many persistent myths about its dangers, its
behaviors and its deterrents, which we will be dispelling below.

Lightning Myth 1: If It Is Not Raining, You’re Safe

Lightning is an extremely powerful force and has been known to strike up to three miles from a
storm’s center—meaning you can be far away from the rain and even the cloud cover and still
be threatened by lightning.

Lightning Myth 2: It Will Only Strike the Tallest Object

Lightning is not logical in its approach, and it will often strike objects that are much lower than
those around them. Lightning has been known to strike the ground next to a tree or a car next to
a house, so it is impossible to predict exactly where it will land.

Lightning Myth 3: Lie Flat on the Ground if You Can’t Find Shelter

While lying flat on the ground may seem like it would make you less of a target in a
thunderstorm, it is actually an extremely dangerous position to put yourself in. When lightning strikes, it can produce major electrical currents that can run through whatever it has hit—so if it strikes the ground, you can put yourself at risk for electrocution if you are lying down.

Lightning Myth 4: A Car’s Tires Will Protect You From Lightning

While sheltering in a car is not the worst thing you could do in a storm, the safety it provides has nothing to do with the rubber car tires. If lightning strikes a car, the car’s metal body will divert the lightning away from the passengers and pass it through to the ground. This also means that if you are in a vehicle with a fiberglass construction (such as an RV), it does not offer adequate protection.

*If you have damage due to a storm or lightning strike, we are here to help. We can help with
water damage, fire damage and more—contact us today to learn all about our services.*

The Four Common Types of Thunderstorm

9/2/2021 (Permalink)

a heavy downpour coming out of dark stormy clouds No matter the storm and no matter the damage, SERVPRO Fayette/S. Fulton is here to make it right.

Summer is a surprisingly common time for thunderstorms in the South. The breezy, warm summer air needs a gentle nudge from a mountain or hilly area to push it into the upper atmosphere and start all those electrons bouncing around.

Once a convection cycle begins, it’s only a matter of time before the lightning starts and you have to move indoors.

There are four typical kinds of storms we encounter in the U.S., and it’s good to know what could be out there. Let’s look deeper into the most common storms.

Single-Cell Storms

These are your basic summer afternoon storms. Sometimes referred to as “popcorn convection” storms, these storms pop up almost at random in the afternoon and evening heat, and dissipate within an hour.

They are not part of any organized weather front, and while they produce heavy rain and lightning, they are rarely severe.

Multi-Cell Storms

Thunderstorms often form in clusters, with multiple cells merging together in various states of formation. While single cells still operate within the cluster, they are replaced with new cells as they move, and they create a larger, more dangerous system than a single-cell storm.

These storms can produce new cells so quickly and further upstream that they appear to be growing backward, against the upper wind. They can also produce cells in an echo-type formation, which are capable of dropping hail, dangerous amounts of rain and flash floods.

Squall Line

Sometimes thunderstorms continually reform at the edge of a weather system, leaving hail and rain behind them as they travel. These groupings of storms arrange themselves in a linear pattern, forming long, thin bands of heavy storms.

They can be hundreds of miles long, but often pass quickly as they may have a width of only 10 to 20 miles. These kinds of storm systems don’t typically produce tornadoes, though they can—they’re more likely to produce straight-line wind damage.

Supercells

These are the ones weather experts have nightmares about. A particular kind of single-cell storm that can live for hours, supercell storms are most likely to produce hailstones larger than golf balls, and are almost always the source of tornadoes.

Supercells are formed when wind is coming from different directions at different atmospheric levels, causing rising, warm air to rotate. These storms boast can produce both updraft and downdraft winds over 100 mph. It is from these cells that wall clouds, which give birth to funnel clouds and tornadoes, form.

No matter the storm and no matter the damage, SERVPRO is here to make it right. When you have water, wind or hail damage, contact us for rapid, thorough assistance.

Conditions Might Be Right For Growth

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

mold on white wall If you suspect growth in your home, call SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties to assess the situation.

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of growth exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mildew is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mildew will grow. Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mildew growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote growth activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mildew growth.

If you suspect growth in your home, call SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

Call us today at 770-716-3595

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties for mold remediation services.

The Company You Can Trust When Storms Rage in Fayette County

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

a large uprooted tree laying near house and sidewalk from storm damage When storms affect your home or business, SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton is here to assist, from start to finish.

Some disasters are preventable—many fires, for instance, are accidental in nature and caused by carelessness. Some water damage, such as pipes bursting in a freeze, can be headed off by letting water drip to relieve pressure.

But storms, while predictable, can’t be prevented or stopped. We can prepare, but to be totally honest, sometimes there’s nothing we can do to protect our homes from being overwhelmed by the damage storms can cause.

From damaging lightning strikes and hail to flash flooding and wind damage, storms are a force of nature we can’t control, and Georgia is as prone as anywhere to events like the 2009 rain barrage that caused half a billion dollars in damage in the metro Atlanta area.

Trust SERVPRO to See You Through the Storm

Storms cause a lot of damage in our area, and considering that Georgia averages 50+ storm days per year, that’s no surprise. Hail, wind and flooding can all mean you may need someone to trust with repairs and recovery. That’s where we come in.

With fast, local service combined with the power of a nationwide network of resources, research and technology, SERVPRO will be on the job right away to make sure your storm damage is minimized, and that further damage is prevented.

Each local SERVPRO professional is highly trained to deal with water damage—it’s the cornerstone of the SERVPRO business. We’ll use advanced techniques to dry out any moisture and restore your home and possessions to their pre-storm condition, as well as handle any necessary repairs or reconstruction.

Our elite disaster recovery team is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that we can react immediately to whatever the storm may bring.

For over 50 years, SERVPRO has been the leader in the restoration and recovery industry, and our 1,700 national franchises and continued growth are proof that our methods are effective and our teams are trustworthy.

When Georgia is affected by storms of any nature—hail, hurricane, tornado or old-fashioned thunderstorms, SERVPRO is the name you can count on to see you through the restoration process.

When storms affect your home or business, we’re ready to help. Get in touch today to get the pros in green on your side.

General Household Maintenance to Prevent Water Damage

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

white pipe with hose fitting If you need assistance with water damage, you can count on SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties!

If you are a homeowner, you probably have a long list of home maintenance projects you tackle
every season to keep things neat, nice and operating well. While these maintenance tasks are often primarily focused around aesthetics, you can also do some functional maintenance tasks to prevent leaks around your home.

Water damage is a major surprise for many homeowners, and it can be a costly one, too. Water damage accounts for about $13 billion worth of damage costs every year, and many types of water damage are not covered in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

Fortunately, with our tips below, you can ensure you are doing your due diligence to prevent
water damage in your own home each year.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Household Water Damage

Fix any seals that are looking weak. The seals around your door and window frames are an
extremely important component to keeping out heavy rainfall, but over time, they can start to
deteriorate. Fortunately, with a bit of caulk, you can repair these seals and ensure water is not
able to work its way in via any miniscule cracks. This is also a good thing to do around any
showers, tubs and toilets in your home, too.

Regularly check any hoses to appliances. Most refrigerators, hot water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers will have water hoses directed to them to supply their water needs, but these hoses can start to leak over time—and because these appliances are rarely moved, the potential for leaks is often only found out when it is too late. Be sure you are checking your appliances regularly for any hidden leaks from their water supplies.

Take a look at your roof. Your roof is your home’s No. 1 defense against weather-related
water damage, so be sure it is in good shape to do its job. Look for anything amiss such as
missing or crooked shingles, areas that look worn, or gutters that need to be cleaned or
otherwise attended to so you can stop roof leaks before they have a chance to start.

If you need assistance with water damage, you can count on us! We can address the issue
quickly and start a restoration response at any hour. Contact us today to learn more.

Handling Grease Fires That Flare Up on Your Grill

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

fire on a grill If you have had fire damage to your home due to a grilling incident, you can count on SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties to be there for you.

Grease fires can happen to anyone when they are cooking, but that does not make them any less frightening or damaging to you and your home. Because grills are often used primarily to cook meat, grease fires are extremely common during cookouts—there is data that indicates that over 5,000 grill fires happen each year, leading to millions in damages and thousands of personal burns.

Although anyone can experience a grease fire no matter how many precautions they take, by following these safety guidelines, you can significantly reduce the chances of one happening to you, keeping your cookouts safer for everyone around.

How to Prevent and Handle Grease Fires When Grilling

1. Perform the proper grill maintenance. Cleaning your grill’s grease traps and drip pans is always the No. 1 recommendation when it comes to preventing grease fires, because it is something that even the most experienced grillmasters can forget. These trays will typically be located underneath your burners and should be removed and emptied when the grill is off. Making it a habit to do this before you start grilling for the day is best.

2. Keep your grates cleaned. In addition to your drip pans, your grill’s grates can also use some TLC to prevent fires. Grease can become stuck on the grates after you grill, and because these can ignite if they get too hot, they can pose a hazard if not handled. Scrape your grill grates thoroughly after every use while the grill is still warm to prevent these food bits from posing a hazard next time.

3. Have a fire extinguisher handy. While many fires can be extinguished with water, putting out a grease fire requires special considerations due to their unique nature. Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher that is rated for grease fires nearby every time you use your grill so you can stop any fires before they grow out of hand.

If you have had fire damage to your home due to a grilling incident, you can count on us to be there for you. Give us a call at any hour to learn more about our restoration processes and receive a quick response from our team of technicians.