September is National Preparedness Month
Take advantage of National Preparedness Month to review your readiness for emergencies and remember to keep SERVPRO’s number in your kit! 732-805-9944
“Don’t Wait, Communicate!”
Prepare BEFORE an emergency!
The following steps can help you be ready in case of an emergency:
- Make a disaster supplies kit.
- One gallon of water per person (and pet!) per day for at least three days.
- Non-perishable food, at least a three-day supply; manual can opener for food.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Dust mask to filter contaminated air, and plastic sheeting and duct tape.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Local maps (not on your phone!).
- Cell phone with charger, inverter, or solar charger.
- For more supply kit recommendations click here.
- Make an Emergency Communication Plan that answers the following questions for your family or household:
- How will we get emergency alerts and warnings?
- How will we get to safe locations for relevant emergencies
- How will we get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landlines don’t work?
- How will I let loved ones know I’m safe?
- How will we get to a meeting place after the emergency?
- For more details, click here.
- Download the FEMA app for alerts and more information here.
- For more information about the different kinds of emergencies you can prepare for, click here.
And of course, make sure you have SERVPRO of West Somerset County’s number (732-805-9944) in your kit in case of any damage to your home or property. That way, we can get right to work helping you make it “like it never even happened!”
The Hillsborough Fire Department calls on SERVPRO® for a water damage
Production Technician Emmanuel extracts water from the carpet in the members’ room of the Hillsborough Fire Department.
When the Hillsborough (Flagtown) Fire Department had a wet firehouse due to a faulty water heater they called on SERVPRO® to come dry them out.
The Fire Department discovered that their water heater had failed on a Friday morning, damaging their kitchen and other areas. SERVPRO of West Somerset County was on site within an hour of the call and began right away to remove as much water as possible. Unfortunately, not all the wet structure could be saved, so our crew worked over the weekend to remove the damaged materials. We put our drying equipment in place to remove moisture from what could be saved. On Tuesday the firehouse was clean and dry and ready to be rebuilt.
Somerset County - Be Prepared for Hurricane Season
Prevention is your property’s best protection against storm damage, but if that doesn’t work call SERVPRO at 732-805-9944.
Hurricane season starts June 1st
Prepare your property
It’s hard to believe but it’s less than three weeks until hurricane season starts. In the past few years, Somerset County has been hit pretty regularly so it helps to be prepared. SERVPRO of West Somerset County has plenty of experience with storm damage starting with Hurricane Floyd back in 1999, so we know well what likely causes of damage can be. The following tips can prevent the stress of having water where it shouldn’t be.
Inspect your sump pump
- Protect your contents, structure, and peace of mind by making sure that your sump pump is functioning as it should, before the rain starts.
Check your insurance policy coverage in case of wind or flood damage
- After the storm isn’t the time to find out the damage to your property isn’t covered.
Trim all trees and shrubs
- Any dead limbs can be a danger, but pay particular attention to trees close enough to your house or power lines to cause damage if limbs fall.
Use surge protection on all major appliances
- If the power goes out they could be damaged by a surge when the power resumes. Consider a whole house surge protection system to safeguard your expensive equipment.
Check your carbon monoxide detectors
- They should be checked twice a year, with one on each floor of your house. Power outages can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
Prepare your roof
- Even small issues can cause large damage in heavy rain or hail. If your roof needs to be replaced, consider getting one designed to be hail resistant.
Add storm shutters
- Shutters that can easily be pulled closed to protect your windows can prevent broken glass or leakage.
Clean your gutters
- Blocked gutters can send water where it shouldn’t be, potentially damaging your siding, foundation, and landscaping.
For more information about personal preparations for your family and pets, check the following:
National Severe Storms Laboratory
NOAA Hurricane FAQs
Sometimes storm damage happens despite your best efforts and preparations. When it does, call SERVPRO of West Somerset County 24 hours a day at 732-805-9944 and we will come dry you out!
DIY hacks to prepare your home for storm season
Tips to help prepare for hurricane season
Assessing summer storm damage
Professional Recommendations to Help Spring Cleaning
Call SERVPRO today at 732-805-9944 for your deep spring cleaning!
Beginning with the right tools will help this year’s spring cleaning go quickly
It looks like it’s finally really spring in New Jersey, and that means spring cleaning! To help you out we have some recommendations from the professionals at the Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Our SERVPRO crew members are certified by the IICRC so you know we have the training and experience to help you if you want to take your spring cleaning to the next level.
The IICRC identifies the following eight tools as the best to keep on hand for cleaning your property:
- Microfiber cloths attract more dirt than you ever thought could be present, and distilled water is one of the most powerful solvents available while also being safe. The combination is unstoppable!
- One damp and one dry cloth to follow it to make sure you pick up all the dirt and prevent streaking.
- A white or blue non-scratch scrubbing sponge or microfiber cloth for hard to remove dirt. Green sponges usually have a risk of scratching surfaces. Remember that sponges can harbor germs, so keep the bathroom and kitchen separate.
- A plastic or metal spackling knife or spatula to cover with a cloth and reach into edges and other tight spaces and between louvered door slats.
- A NEW toothbrush – that’s right. While cleaning is a great reuse for an old toothbrush, consider getting a new one or even a scrub brush in a similar design to attack the difficult areas with the extra force of new bristles.
- A razor blade, when used carefully and safely, can be irreplaceable in removing residue from hard surfaces such as tape or paint on a window. Always test first to make sure it won’t damage the surface you are trying to clean, and use at an acute angle to the surface.
- A general purpose cleaner and a tile cleaner will take care of heavy dirt and mold better than distilled water.
- Carry a plastic bag with you to collect trash and debris, saving you from having to clean up after your cleaning.
Bonus: A cleaning caddy with a handle or a bucket with pockets will be indispensable in keeping all your tools together as you move through your home or business.
Making a plan of the order in which to do your cleaning will give you direction and purpose and make sure you are thorough, completing each room before moving on to the next. Another good tip to keep in mind is to clean each room from the top down, that way you won’t have to clean the floor again if you knock dust off a high shelf.
If even after all these tips you think you may have a job for the professionals, call SERVPRO at 732-805-9944 and our experienced and IICRC-certified crew will be happy to give your commercial or residential property a deep clean!
Building Services Management Magazine: April 2014; Eight Tools for Spring Cleaning and IEQ.
National Poison Prevention Week
National Poison Help Line 1-800-222-1222
“Children Act Fast…So Do Poisons!”
“Poisoning Spans a Lifetime.”
March 20 through 26 is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2016 National Poison Prevention Week. This makes it a good time to review the medications, cleaning chemicals, pesticides, laundry detergents, and other chemicals your keep around the house, particularly if you have children or pets. A recent survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding pesticide use in and around the home revealed that almost half (47%) of all households with children under the age of 5 had at least one pesticide stored in an unlocked cabinet, and less than 4 feet off the ground (i.e., within reach of children). The survey also found that 75% of households without children under the age of 5 also stored one pesticide within reach of children.
A few selected recommendations are listed below. Please see the links under “Sources” at the bottom of the page for complete information.
- Always read the label: review all warnings and storage recommendations for everything you buy, and regularly review directions for safe use.
- Store items out of reach and out of sight of children or pets: cabinet locks found at any hardware store can help keep little fingers and paws away from danger.
- See your home from the perspective of children and pets: crawl around on your hands and knees to spot potential issues you might not usually see.
- Never store cleaning chemicals, pesticides, laundry detergents, or anything else potentially dangerous in containers that could be mistaken for food or drink (i.e. cups, water bottles).
- Keep chemicals in their original containers; or if transferring them to something such as a spray bottle, label it very clearly along with particular dangers (i.e. use with gloves).
- Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after use or if you have to step away from a container you are in the process of using.
- Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine; always check the dosage. Avoid taking medicine in front of children and never refer to it as “candy.”
- Alert all adults and caregivers coming into your home to potential dangers. When travelling to a home without children or pets (i.e. grandparents), make sure they have gone through these steps to avoid problems. A study conducted for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission by the American Association of Poison Control Centers found that 23 percent of the oral prescription drugs that were ingested by children under 5 belonged to someone who did not live with the child.
- Keep the number for Local Poison Control in a prominent place in your house and programmed on your cell phone: 800-222-1222.
- Hold on to the label of anything someone might have ingested in order to provide the information to emergency personnel.
By following and reviewing these basic guidelines as well as the information provided by the EPA and HRSA at the links below, you can ensure the safety of everyone under your roof.
US Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration – Poison Help: http://www.poisonhelp.hrsa.gov/
EPA - Pesticides: https://www.epa.gov/pesticides
EPA - Reduce Your Child’s Chances of Pesticide Poisoning: https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/reduce-your-childs-chances-pesticide-poisoning
EPA - Protecting Pets from Fleas and Ticks: https://www.epa.gov/pets
Home Fire Danger Peaks During Holiday Season
Local SERVPRO® restoration specialist cites statistics on escalated cooking and candle fire risk that can turn festivities into a fire drill
Warren, NJ (Grassroots Newswire) December 3, 2015 -- As the holiday season approaches and families gear up for decorating their homes and hosting large gatherings of friends and family, John Zoephel of SERVPRO® of West Somerset County reminds homeowners to take note of some sobering statistics about home fire safety from the National Fire Prevention Association:Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. The three peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1Candles fires peak in December. The top three days for candles fires are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.2
“These statistics are a serious reminder of how the excitement of holiday entertaining can quickly turn into a life-altering fire or even a tragic injury or death,” says Zoephel. “While glowing candles and elaborate meals set the stage for a great holiday get-together, homeowners need to exercise extra care in controlling the dangerous potential for fires.”
According to the NFPA3, unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home cooking fires, with frying posing the greatest fire risk and electric ranges posing a higher risk than gas ranges. Range top cooking in general started the majority of home cooking fires and caused 86 percent of related civilian deaths for the reporting period.
While incidents of candle fires peaked in 2001 and have been falling since, candles are still one of the top 10 causes of U.S. home fires, according to the NFPA. As with cooking fires, unattended or abandoned candles account for a large portion of candle fires–almost 20 percent–but the most frequent cause of candle fires is placing the candle too close to something that can burn, like curtains, decorations or furniture.
“It’s easy to see why cooking and candle fires both peak during the holiday season,” says Zoephel, “and it’s also easy to see why homeowners need to take extra care when decorating their homes or entertaining. A moment’s inattention at the stove or a guest repositioning a candle on a tabletop may be all it takes to turn the festivities into a fight to save property and lives. While our business is fire and water damage restoration and we stand ready to help at a moment’s notice if disaster does strike, our sincere hope is that our friends and neighbors will enjoy a fire-free and festive holiday season.”
For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com. For more information on SERVPRO® of West Somerset County, please contact John Zoephel at (732) 805-9944 or office@SERVPROnesc.com.
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of nearly 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar losses. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.
Our team is ready 24/7 to respond to all your fire and water cleanup and restoration needs.
SERVPRO of West Somerset County is happy to announce our expanding web presence. We can now be found on Google +, Facebook, Yelp, and LinkedIn with our full name, and on Twitter and Instagram under the name SERVPROWSC. Follow us for information about upcoming events, seasonal tips for protecting your property, and more! We look forward to sharing the insight we’ve gained in over sixteen years of remediation and restoration in Somerset County, NJ.