National Safety Council
Emergency Preparedness: Will You be Ready if Disaster Strikes?
Images of devastation in Texas and Florida caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma are heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with the victims and first responders.
Get daily hurricane updates from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
What happens if disaster strikes and effects you or your family? First call a reputable damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch Mira Mesa Rancho Penasquitos. Our technicians are trained to take care of water damage and mold mitigation due to flash flooding and heavy rains. We are available to help anywhere in San Diego County - especially Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos. We are ready to take on water damage jobs both large and small. In addition, their customers give SERVPRO Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa/Rancho Penasquitos excellent reviews for their quick, efficient, and high-quality water restoration work and mold mitigation work. Call today for a quick, no-cost estimate at 858.270.5234
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month, held annually in September and sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, reminds us that we need to be ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters – no matter where we live. Disaster can strike at any time, so it's important to have a planned response when you're at work, on vacation or on the road.
The National Safety Council offers some safety tips specific to each of the following emergencies:
Federal agencies, like Ready.gov, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also are valuable resources for emergency preparedness.
When you face a natural or man-made emergency, try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. In some cases, however, cable, electric and cell phone service will be disabled, making communication nearly impossible. The National Safety Council recommends the following general precautions that apply to many disaster situations:
- Make sure to have a family communication plan in place; all members of the family should review and practice the plan
- Have all family members' and other important phone numbers written down or memorized
- Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home
- Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
- Assign one family member the responsibility of learning first aid and CPR
- Know how to shut off utilities.
Pipe Burst Safety
Severe cold can inflict major damage to your home, and burst pipes can be the worst of all. The last few years have taught many people some harsh lessons about winter damage. If your pipes freeze and burst, you must take immediate action to limit the damage.
Visualize this: 250 gallons of water. It’s not something you want flooding your home, is it? Well, it’s about what one 1/8-inch crack in a house’s water pipe can leak in 24 hours. Burst pipes aren’t rare — they damage literally millions of homes each year. The best way to avoid the issue is to be prepared. If the worst happens anyway and a pipe bursts, you’ll need to move fast to safely halt further damage and ensure your home is properly repaired.
Know What to Do
- Assess the amount of water and probable location of the leak — it may be necessary to turn off the electricity to your home to avoid electrocution. Never touch a wet outlet, switch, or appliance.
- Turn off the house’s main water valve.
- If the leaked water is warm, it may be necessary to turn off the water valve to the water heater.
- If appropriate to the situation, place an appropriately sized container under the leak to catch the water.
- Turn on the faucets throughout the house to drain the water left in the system.
- Call a plumber immediately to help repair or replace the pipe.
- Call a water remediation company (e.g., SERVPRO®) immediately. This is important as it affects your insurance claim and helps prevent mold from growing in your wall space, under your floor, or between the floor and ceiling between stories. Your homeowners insurance policy may cover costs you incur with the remediation company.
- Take photos of the burst pipe and of all the damage to the house’s structure and your personal property for your insurance claim.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Contact SERVPRO La Jolla or SERVPRO Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos any time of the day for emergency services.
Tips to protect your home from flood damage
Devastating Home Flood
Most people think they’re covered for flooding with their homeowners insurance policy. But they’re not!
You must buy a separate flood insurance policy to be covered. If you’re in a flood plain, and you have a mortgage, you likely do have the insurance because mortgage companies require it.
But if you’re not in a flood plain, you’re not required to purchase it. That’s where the gap is. Only 18% of homeowners in low-to-moderate risk areas have flood insurance. Of those that have it, 1 in 5 have made a claim.
Now imagine being one of the 82% without flood insurance. There’s a 20% chance you’ll be flooded. In fact, did you know that flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the U.S. (that’s according to floodsmart.gov.)? Are comfortable with that level of risk?
For more about flood insurance, here are some details we put together to help you decide whether or not you should purchase it.
Regardless of whether or not you purchase insurance, there are some proactive things you can do to be prepared just in case the nightmare does happen:
Put Together an Emergency Kit and Evacuation Plan
If you live in a high-risk area, it’s a good idea to have a “go-bag” ready in case you need to leave quickly. Include:
- A few changes of clothing for you and family members
- Insurance policy numbers
- Phone numbers of your agent
- Your insurance company’s main number
- Essential toiletries
- Money to get you through a few days
It’s also wise to have an evacuation route mapped out and to have a location to which you can go, such as a loved one’s home or hotel. Always follow the direction of local and state authorities if ordered to evacuate. Remember: Your possessions and your home are small comfort if your family is injured or worse.
Preventative measure: If you believe water will begin to accumulate in your home, shut off power at the main electrical panel in your home, says Bill Begal, owner of Begal Enterprises, a Rockville, Md., disaster restoration company. But never stand in water to do so — if the area around the box is already flooded, leave it alone.
In addition, know what to do in the first 24 hours after a flood to avoid additional risks to your health and home.
5 Tips to Help Your Home Stand Up to a Flood
1. Close foundation cracks with mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement, which expands and fills gaps completely and costs only a few dollars. Don’t patch solely with mortar or cement, which may crack again. If water is a recurring problem, be sure to investigate other solutions for issues like wet basements.
2. Invest in a battery-powered sump pump. Sump pumps let you pump water out of your home and can be an excellent defense against flooding — unless they’re powered by electricity and the power is out. Battery-powered sump pumps are a relatively inexpensive ($150-$400) solution.
3. Move expensive items to a safer location. If you have a second floor or an attic, moving furniture, photographs, and artwork to a higher level will protect your possessions in all but the most severe floods. Elevate furnaces and water pumps when they’re installed, if possible, to a height of 12 inches above the highest known flood level for your area, suggests FEMA.
4. Anchor your fuel tanks. Unanchored tanks can float, rupture, and release fuel. Once the power sources of system units like furnaces and water heaters are disabled and the units cooled, you can also wrap them in waterproof tarps to mitigate water damage.
5. Install sewer or septic line check valves. They allow waste to flow only one way. Plan to spend $100 or more per valve to have a pro install them, or do it yourself for $10-$15 each to ensure sewage can’t back up into the standing water in your home. Install at a point in the pipe that’s easy to access for repair.
Fire Safety for Big Kids
Fire Prevention for Big Kids
Big kids are curious about fire. Teaching your children about the hazards of playing with matches and other flammable materials, as well as practicing a fire escape plan with your family, can help prevent accidents and injuries.
Top Safety Tips
- Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
- Consider installing a smoke alarm that has a 10-year battery.
- Teach kids never to play with matches, lighters or fireworks.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and always blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep. Teach older kids not to use candles in their bedrooms, unless supervised by an adult.
- Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions when cooking and don't leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency, and make sure you know how it works. You might be surprised that most people don't know how to use one.
- Children should know how to respond to the sound of a smoke alarm. Teach them to get low and get out when they hear it. A child who is coached properly ahead of time will have a better chance to be safe. Watch our video to learn more.
- Practice feeling the door, doorknob and cracks around the door with the back of your hand to see if they are too hot. Help your children practice this step.
- Together, have your family plan and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire. It is important to have an alternate exit in case one is blocked by fire.
- Choose a place to meet outside that is a safe distance away from your home.
- If you cannot safely escape your home or apartment, keep smoke out of the room by covering vents and cracks around the door and call 911 or your fire department as quickly as possible. Then signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- To prevent possible fires, avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.
- If using gasoline-powered devices, store gasoline in a locked location where children cannot access it. Keep only small quantities in an approved container that has child safety features.
If you run into any trouble and need help cleaning up fire damage, please called our highly skilled experts at SERVPRO Scripps Ranch Mira Mesa Rancho Penasquitos 858.270.5234
Main sewer line back up...
We had a main sewer line backup into our home a few days back which required extraction, sanitation and drying / remediation of the affected area. This was the first time happening ever in that home and we have lived in the same home over 35 years! I didn't know who to call at first but then I was referred to SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch. SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch showed up on time, their staff was courteous, professional and incredibly thorough. Their staff explained exactly what the process would entail and I understood fully and also knew what to expect. My family was thrilled with the result. I hope I never have to call them again, but glad they're just a phone call away. Thank you SERVPRO of Scripps Ranch!
California Wildfire History
Raging California Wildfire
Recently, the Thomas fire became California’s largest wildfire on record, burning approximately 300,000 acres.
The massive fire, raged for weeks through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, has claimed just over 1,000 structures and San Diego fire engineer Cory Iverson died fighting the fire in December.
Here’s a look at how the blaze compares with four other major wildfires in the state’s history:
1. Thomas Fire
Burned 300,000 Acres
County: San Diego
Structures destroyed: 2,820
3. Rush fire — 272,200 acres*
Structures destroyed: 0
* 271,911 acres burned in California; 43,666 burned in Nevada
4. Rim fire — 257,314 acres
Structures destroyed: 112
5. Zaca fire — 240,207 acres
County: Santa Barbara
Structures destroyed: 1
Source: LA Times
Water Safety at Home
WATER SAFETY AT HOME
We know water is everywhere. So to make it easy, we divided it into three categories: Water in the home, swimming safety and boating safety.
Here you'll find everything you need to know about water in the home. Whether you're bathing your baby in the sink or splashing around with your toddler in the bathtub, water is great fun for kids. But it's also a place where safety must come first, so here are a few tips for kids who love to get wet.
The Hard Facts
Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old. Children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home in the bathroom or a bucket.
- Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult.
- Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and kiddie pools immediately after use. Store them upside down so they don’t collect water.
- Close toilet lids and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
- Install fences around home pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a life.
Commercial HVAC Cleaning
For business owners, it’s possible to overlook certain aspects of your building or office space such as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC system). When these systems are not properly maintained, they can accumulate dust, pollen, and other debris. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.” It’s very important to maintain clean ducts in order to maintain a healthy environment for your business.
When these ducts are not given the maintenance that they require, the HVAC system may begin to fail and waste unnecessary energy that can cost you. Keeping your air ducts clean can save you and your business money. HVAC systems may also leak and cause water damage and mold damage that can weaken the structure of your property. These damages can produce odors throughout your business and can be unpleasant for the employees and guests.
Contact SERVPRO Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa/Rancho Penasquitos for the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. Remember that maintaining the HVAC system can extend the life of the equipment. Don’t wait to call our experts on commercial air ducts and HVAC cleaning at 858.270.5234.
Farmers Insurance Open
Farmers Insurance Open 2018
SERVPRO has extended its sponsorship with the PGA Tour through the 2020 season, retaining its designation as the official cleanup and restoration company of both the PGA Tour and the Champions.
SERVPRO La Jolla and SERVPRO Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos was in attendance, among many other SERVPRO franchisees from the SERVPRO family.
SERVPRO La Jolla, SERVPRO Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos is very proud to be a part of the SERVPRO family, especially during amazing events like these. This sponsorship allows us to showcase our capabilities not only to the communities where PGA events are held, but also to the huge television and online audience that follows the exciting tour. Both individual property owners and commercial facility owners will have the opportunity to learn about SERVPRO and the services offered as they enjoy watching the world’s best players compete on the world’s most beautiful golf courses, in our very own home town, La Jolla.
Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., Chief Executive Officer, reveals that SERVPRO will have a presence at several PGA Tour tournaments in 2018, including The Players Championship and The TOUR Championship. “In addition, we plan to be involved with First Responder events throughout the PGA Tour year,” said Steen.
What you need to know about Mold in the Workplace
Mold can grow virtually anywhere and generally is not a problem. However, issues arise when mold grows indoors.
An OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin states that being exposed to mold can result in health problems and can cause significant damage to a workplace.
Scientific research on the health effects of mold exposure is ongoing, but some facts are known. Mold exposure may cause allergic reactions; skin or mucosal infections; asthma attacks; and skin, eyes, nose and throat irritation, according to OSHA.
“If left unchecked, mold can eventually cause structural damage to a wood-framed building, weakening floors and walls as it feeds on moist wooden structural members,” OSHA states. “If you suspect that mold has damaged building integrity, consult a structural engineer or other professional with the appropriate expertise.”
To help prevent mold growth in buildings, be on the lookout for water damage, leaks or excessive moisture, and be sure to clean up all spills immediately.
If you suspect mold in your workplace, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there visible water damage anywhere?
- Are there building materials around that have been wet for more than two days?
- Does the building have pre-existing moisture issues?
- Are workers complaining of musty or moldy smells?
- Is anyone reporting health problems that could be associated with mold?
OSHA recommends a number of tips to help prevent mold in your workplace, including:
- Repair any plumbing problems immediately.
- Keep your building’s humidity level below 70 percent.
- Regularly inspect your building’s HVAC system.
- Ensure adequate drainage is around your building.
- Keep vents for moisture-creating appliances on the outside of the building.
Call SERVPRO La Jolla or SERVPRO Scripps Ranch Mira Mesa Rancho Penasquitos if you need help with possible mold in the workplace.
Source : www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com