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Kitchen Cautions

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage  Kitchen Cautions Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. The leading cause? Unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

Families gather in November for Thanksgiving and spend time preparing a delicious feast, but it you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. The leading cause? Unattended cooking. 

It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! 
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that catch fire away from the stove top - such as oven mitts, towels, curtains, wooden utensils, food packaging, etc.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. 

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, keep the door closed and turn off the heat.
  • Keep a lid nearby when your cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove-top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Five Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

A deep-fried is turkey delicious, but worth it? if you've seen any of the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires online, you may have asked yourself this question before. Running the risk of bodily injury or property damage is something to consider when menu planning this holiday season. 

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. 
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

November is Military Family Month

SERVPRO of Dane County West would like to thank all service members and their families during Military Family Month and all year-round. These families have made numerous sacrifices to support their military service member, and we acknowledge their dedication.  November 11 is also Veterans Day.  Thanks to all veterans and active duty military, who have fought for our freedom, and those who have lost their lives fighting for their country. We salute you! 

If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Dane County West to make it "Like it never even happened."

24/7 Emergency Services, #608-497-3331

http://www.SERVPROdanecountywest.com/fire-damage-tips

SERVPRO of Dane County West wish you a safe and happy holiday season! 

Shocking Facts About Lightning

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck.  Here are a few lightning safety tips.

Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities.  If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.

Go indoors.  Remember the phrase, "When thunder roars, go indoors." Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder.  Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.

Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete.  Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls.  Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. 

Avoid water.  Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building's plumbing.

Avoid electronic equipment.  Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet.  Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio, and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.  Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances. 

Whether you have damage caused by a storm, tornado, flash flood, or any other reason, SERVPRO of Dane County West has the resources, experience and training to help get your doors reopened for business or home as soon as possible. 

www.SERVPROdanecountywest.com

#608-497-3331

October is Fire Prevention Month

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage October is Fire Prevention Month every second counts! October is Fire Prevention Month. SERVPRO of Dane County West is Faster to Any Size Disaster! #fire #spdcw #emergencyservices

October is Fire Prevention Month - a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan.  Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2017 theme is "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out! 

According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off "you could have less than two minutes to get out safely," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the first thought after hearing a fire alarm.  Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today. http://www.nfpa.org/fpw

Keep Fall Fire-Free

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Keep Fall Fire-Free If you have a fire or water emergency, call SERVPRO of Dane County West. #608-497-3331. #SERVPROdanecountywest #spdcw #fire #waterdamage

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways and yards. 

*Facts and information provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org.

If you have a fire or water emergency, call SERVPRO of Dane County West. #608-497-3331.

http://www.SERVPROdanecountywest.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration

Saving Hardwood Floors After Storm/Water Damage

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Saving Hardwood Floors After Storm/Water Damage Call SERVPRO of Dane County West for fire, water and mold restoration. #608-497-3331. Working to make it "Like it never even happened." #spdcw

Storms can wreak havoc on a home. Hardwood floors are often affected. If you have water damage to your wood floors, we can often save them with our floor mat drying systems.

At SERVPRO of Dane County West we utilize the latest in drying technologies to restore damaged materials instead of replacing.  This saves everyone time and money.  One great example of this is the floor drying system we use to save hardwood floors after a water loss.  The attached photo is from a home in Madison, WI that had a water loss from a recent storm.  We were able to save their hardwood floors using our floor drying system.  Needless to say the customer was very happy they didn't need to spend thousands of dollars to replace their floors! 

Why take the risk? Call SERVPRO of Dane County West to help! #608-497-3331.

Working to make it "Like it never even happened."

Flu Season - Prevention Tips

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Flu Season - Prevention Tips Homes and businesses can depend on SERVPRO of Dane County West to clean and sanitize building materials. #SERVPROdanecountywest

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinatedeach year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. 

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm

Help prevent the spread of flu germs.  Homes and businesses can depend on SERVPRO of Dane County West to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA-registered cleaners and disinfectants.  

SERVPRO of Dane County West

#608-497-3331

www.SERVPROdanecountywest.com

Mold, the good and bad - tips to prevent mold growth

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold, the good and bad - tips to prevent mold growth If you have excessive mold, call SERVPRO of Dane County West to mitigate the problem areas. #608-497-3331 #SERVPROdanecountywest

Mold, the good and bad.

Mold can be good — it's essential in making brie and penicillin, for example, and necessary for the decomposition of organic matter in nature — but it can also be bad, especially when it grows undetected in your home or business. 

Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated.

Mold can grow anywhere: on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you can't see, such as the backside of drywall, areas inside walls around leaking or condensing pipes, and above ceiling tiles.

Not only is a mold problem difficult and costly to fix, but mold can also produce allergens and irritants that may compromise your health.

So what can you do if you're concerned about mold growing in your home?

The best approach is preventing mold before it becomes a problem. The key to mold prevention is simple: moisture control.

Here are nine ways to curb moisture indoors, and the mold that thrives on it.*

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you've experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can't be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.

5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).

6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

7. Clean or repair roof gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

8. Improve air flow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.

Finally, educate yourself on your region's climate — be it the cold and wet Northeast, the hot and wet South, the hot and dry Southwest, or the cold and dry West — and how it responds to moisture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step.

*tips from MNN 

https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/how-to-prevent-mold-9-tips

If you have excessive mold, call SERVPRO of Dane County West to mitigate the problem areas. #608-497-3331

http://www.SERVPROdanecountywest.com/mold-remediation

Be "Ready for whatever happens" with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program (ERP)

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Be "Ready for whatever happens" with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program (ERP) The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place. #608-497-3331

In the even of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or smart phone. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. 

To schedule your no-cost ERP, call SERVPRO of Dane County West. #608-497-3331.

http://www.SERVPROdanecountywest.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

What is Black Mold?

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What is Black Mold? Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called black mold, and it does produce allergens and irritants.

You may have seen sensational news reports that warn about the dangers of “black mold” or “toxic mold”. These reports can be alarming and confusing so it’s beneficial to get the facts to better understand mold.

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called black mold, and it does produce allergens and irritants. However, many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants. Treat any mold with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by visiting Mold Damage Tips

How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?

Since many types of mold can cause reactions, you should contact us regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold may exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect you have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Dane County West immediately. 

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (608) 497-3331

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

http://www.SERVPROdanecountywest.com/black-mold

If you have a water and/or mold issue, call SERVPRO of Dane County West for help. #608-497-3331

It's the Water You Don't See

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage It's the Water You Don't See Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

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 Dane County West Professionals have 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 Dane County West will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO of Dane County West Professionals.

  • 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 Dane County West Professionals to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO Professionals 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. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • 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 Dane County West Professionals have the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Dane County West - #608-497-3331

SERVPRO of Dane County West