Christmas Tree Safety
‘Tis the season many of us have been waiting for all year long; Christmas! It’s the time to celebrate joy with family and friends. Many begin to decorate their homes with beautiful lights and other Christmas décor, including the must-have Christmas tree. In the United States, Christmas trees start approximately 210 house fires per year. We have listed some safety tips to prevent any fires from sparking in your house.
- Look for a fresh tree with green needles. Dry trees are more likely to catch fire than fresh ones.
- Always keep your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. Nearly a quarter of fires occur because a heat source was located too close to the tree.
- Keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Use low energy, safe lighting that’s been certified by a safety testing lab. Don’t use damaged or frayed cords.
- Make sure the light you use outside, is suitable for outdoors. Decorative lights with live voltage were involved in more than 20 percent of the fire instances.
- Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night. This not only saves energy but also prevents fires from starting at night.
- If you are using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame resistant and have a seal for an approved safety testing laboratory if the tree contains a built-in lighting set.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure everyone knows its location and how to use it.
Between 2006 and 2010, about 230 home fires per year were responded to by U.S. fire departments, killing an average of four people each year and injuring many more. If you have any inconvenience with your tree of other Christmas décor, don’t hesitate to contact us. Here at SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock, we focus on dealing with all the troubles so that you can enjoy your holidays. We wish you a safe and fire-free Christmas!
Turkey Frying Safety
Thinking about all the delicious food for Thanksgiving dinner makes our mouth’s water. Cooking this special meal is a meaningful time for many families. It’s a moment to celebrate with the ones you love and enjoy the smell of the food ready to be set on the table. But many things can go wrong without the right precautions. Here at SERVPRO® we care about the well-being of you and your loved ones. This blog lists some important information to prevent any dangerous burns or fires when cooking the main dish; the turkey.
- Keep your turkey in the freezer.
Put it in a place where you can monitor the temperature. When thawing the turkey, wrong temperature can cause bacteria to grow rapidly.
- Use a food thermometer to ensure that the stuffing temperature reaches 165 °F.
- Don’t use glass pans to cook your turkey because it could shatter.
In the case you do use a glass pan and it breaks, turn off the oven immediately. Wait for the oven to cool off and use gloves to pick up the broken glass.
- To avoid any glass from breaking, use an aluminum or steel pan to cook the turkey.
- Juicy turkeys.
Many times, while the turkey is cooking, juice tends to drip put of the pan and cause fire sparks. To avoid this from happening, make sure to have two to three cooking syringes nearby. Check the turkey constantly and absorb the juice with the syringes.
- Always use cooking mitts to avoid burning your hands.
- Children in the house.
Make sure to place knives and hot pans somewhere they can’t reach it.
- Taking the turkey out of the oven.
Wait a few minutes for the oven to cool off. Ask someone for help when carrying the turkey out of the oven to avoid getting burned or dropping the turkey.
SERVPRO® wishes you a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving around the people you love. Remember, in the case something goes wrong, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we will help you deal with situations from fires to mold, to floods and much more! Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened." With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock.
Space Heaters: A Quick Guide
After coming back from a cold and windy day, the only thing you want is to feel warm again. You turn on your space heater and stay there till you feel your body get warm and cozy, but it is important to know that all space heaters should be monitored regularly because it can be dangerous, if left unsupervised.
Here is some useful information to keep yourself and others warm and safe around a heater.
Some of the main risks of space heaters are fires, burns, and carbon monoxide poisoning. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 house fires every year are associated with space heaters. Data also shows that at least 6,000 people have suffered extreme burn injuries associated with heaters as well.
- Space heaters should be plugged directly in to the wall because using the wrong extension cord could spark a fire. Also, make sure to check these plugs often for cracks or damages to avoid any risks.
- Make sure to place your space heater away from flammable objects such as curtains, furniture, plastic materials, paper, gas or paint.
- Don’t let pets or children near the space heater.
- Never leave the heater on, always turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Wear mittens or winter gloves if you will be warming your hands near the heater. Once the heater is on full power don’t touch it because you could get burned.
- Place space heaters on flat surfaces. Never place them on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
- Space heaters should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
It’s important to remember these tips – and that you can count on SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock 24/7 if you need us.
How to Prepare Your Home for the Winter
The leaves are falling, the wind is blowing, and winter is whispering “I’m coming.” It is important to be ready for the cold winds and snowy days. Read this list to make yourself and your home cozy and ready for the cold.
- If the sidewalk is snowy, wear boots and walk carefully to prevent slips and injuries.
- Wear thick socks and long sleeves inside your For extra warmth, buy cheap tights and wear before putting on pants.
- Drive only if it is necessary. If you must drive, do it during the day and don’t travel by yourself.
- Make sure your tires have enough tread.
- Have a winter-kit (blanket, gloves, salt to melt snow, first aid kit, flashlight and phone chargers) ready in your car in case an unexpected event happens.
- Check your home’s exterior doors for cold air leaks. Do this from inside the house. Seal doors by installing foam or felt weather stripping inside the door frame.
- Look for damaged or missing pieces of your roof that may leak during winter’s storms or from melting snow.
- Clean the gutters, water can back up against the house and damage roofing.
- Turn on exterior faucets to prevent pipes from bursting.
- If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you're not using it.
- Lower the hot water temperature.
- Set fan blades to move clockwise in winter.
- Make sure your furniture isn't blocking your home’s heating vents.
Winter can become a dangerous season if you are not careful and prepared for it. If you follow these easy steps we assure you will be able to enjoy this season and have fun playing in the snow. Don’t forget to have hot chocolate, blankets, and gather with your family to keep the warmth flowing in your home.
How to Prevent Mold from Growing in your Home
Mold is a nightmare for anyone who has ever had it in their household. It is disgusting and makes you cringe with only the thought of it. Despite there being good mold, most people don’t want any mold at their place. Houses contain plenty of organic materials for mold to feed off such as wood, drywall, carpet, food, paper, wallpaper, paint, fabrics, cotton, books, leather, furniture, dust, ceiling tiles, inside air conditioners and almost any other organic material. Moisture is another thing that makes mold grow, but this can be controlled by keeping the moisture in your house low. If something in your home is wet for more than 24 hours you run the risk of mold starting to appear. Here are some steps to prevent mold from growing in your house.
- Identify problem areas in your home like condensation in windows, water stain on ceilings, leaks, areas that flood, etc.
- Install mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock.
- Dry wet areas immediately, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours.
- Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine.
- Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside.
- Make sure AC units and dehumidifiers are not producing moisture by checking and cleaning them periodically.
- Keep indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
- Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage.
- Keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
- Open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in.
- Let fresh air in to reduce moisture.
- Indoor plants. Add a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree helps delay mold growth in plant soil.
Remember to vacuum and clean often to reduce dirt and prevent mold from living in your house. It has been found that 80% of mold grows on dust. Once mold has begun to grow it's not enough to just take away the mold's moisture source. Mold that runs out of moisture can lie dormant for a long time without dying. So, if you already have mold growth in your home make sure to act fast and remove it immediately. Follow the steps above to ensure a mold-free household.
Floods: What You Should Keep in Mind
With the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it has most of us thinking about what we would do if were in the situation that we needed to evacuate our homes because a hurricane was hitting our streets. What would we do if we came home and our house had been destroyed by flooding? What would we do if we suddenly have no clothes, food, or any of the appliances that we’ve come so accustomed to using?
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities safe for you to perform
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. We are water removal and cleanup specialists and are ready to service your Lubbock home when flooding or water leaks cause water damage. We quickly dry your property using state-of-the-art water removal equipment and advanced drying techniques, documenting the drying process to make sure your property is dry and the job is done right.
SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock specializes in restoring contents damaged water. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including the following:
Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
We can’t imagine what the people in the Houston area along with the entire state of Florida are going through – but we want to help. Though the storms are over, donations are still needed. Please text HARVEY to 90999 to donate to the American Red Cross. You are also able to donate to both hurricane relief funds on their website: www.redcross.org.
Let us help you if water ever damages your home – call us 24/7 at 806-780-6311.
Fire Safety for Pets
Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to, according to their website – and also, they are the most preventable. According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you need a plan for your family in case of disaster, you should also have a plan for your pets.
Did you know?
- The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets.
The best way to protect your pets is to include them in your family escape plan, in case of disaster. Train your pets to go to you when you call their name that way in the event of a fire evacuation, you can leave with them easily and safely.
The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have provided the following tips:
- Be sure your pet is not left unattended by open flames, such as cooking appliances, candles, or fire place. Be sure to extinguish any flame before leaving your home.
- Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. A stove is the number one appliance involved in your pet starting a fire.
- Invest in flameless candles – these candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle (something cats are notorious for).
- Secure your pets while you’re away – keep them confined in secure areas that don’t present a potential fire hazard.
Some other tips? Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from your home and keep their collars on. Have leashes nearby and ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. You can also affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the cling to a front window. This information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.
Pets become a part of our families, and we need to remember that we need to have plans in place for them too when it comes to safely evacuating a home in case of a fire. And remember, if you are victim of a house fire, SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock can help #LikeItNeverEvenHappened.
Protect Your Business
When natural disasters happen suddenly without warning, it can be tough as a business owner to know what steps to take. Today we’re providing you with a couple of tips to ensure that you’re not left unprepared if your business is victim of a disaster.
First – protect your workers!
Talk with each employee to ensure they know just what to do if a disaster hits during work hours. Plan evacuation routes, emergency shelter areas, and have regular drills to practice your safety plans.
Secondly – secure your assets!
Protect your facilities, equipment, and more by contacting us to see what we can do for you in case of disaster. Back up data and software regularly, and maintain an up-to-date inventory of all equipment.
Third – remember us!
Keep SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock’s contact information handy so you can get back to work as soon as possible following the disaster. SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock is ready to respond immediately and work quickly to clean or restore your business. We understand that your property’s appearance is important and that every hour spent restoring is an hour of lost productivity. When you need a restoration or cleaning professional, SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Whether it be small offices or large restaurants, we can help with it all. We’re available 24/7 to get your business back up and running. Have Questions? Call us today at 806-780-6311.
This time of year – everyone loves candles. The autumn scents then transitioning into Christmas aromas make your house feel like it’s changing along with the seasons. However, it’s important to remember some safety tips anytime there’s an open flame in your home or business.
Here are some important tips from Candles.org to keep in mind when you light your candles:
- Burn the candle in sight – extinguish candles when leaving the room and before going to sleep. Check to ensure the wick is no longer glowing.
- Never burn a candle near anything that can catch fire – keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpet, paper, flammable décor, etc.
- Keep candles away from children and pets – it’s easy for them to get burned when they don’t realize how dangerous flames can be.
- Trim candlewicks to ensure even burning – long and crooked wicks can cause uneven burning and dripping.
- Place candle on stable, heat-resistant surface – this helps prevent heat damage to underlying surfaces and prevents glass containers from breaking!
- Keep candles away from drafts, vents, fans, and other air currents – this will help avoid flame flare-ups!
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down – discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or ½ an inch if in a container.
- Never touch or move a burning candle or candle container when wax is liquid – once it’s burning, keep it still!
- Never extinguish candles with water – water can cause hot wax to splatter and can potentially break the glass container.
- Extinguish a candle if it repeatedly smokes, flickers, or flame becomes too high – this means the candle isn’t burning properly. Trim the wick and check for drafts before relighting.
We love candles, but it’s important to practice safe habits when lighting them in your home or office. In the event that burning a candle becomes disastrous, remember that you can call SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Are You Prepared if a Disaster Strikes?
You watch the news and see disaster strike other families, but you never think it could happen to you – until it does. Emergencies can happen at any time, and turn your world upside down in a matter of seconds. Being prepared will benefit you if you’re ever affected from a disaster. There are many benefits that come along with being armed with a plan in a disaster situation. Take action before an emergency happens. Here are a few steps from the Red Cross that you can take to start your emergency plan:
- Discuss with your family how you’ll respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work, and play. Consider how you will respond to emergencies that can happen anywhere: such as floods and fires.
- Assign roles to each family member and identify how you will work as a team in case of an emergency.
- Discuss an evacuation plan in case you need to leave your home - have an evacuation route planned.
- Build an emergency kit – include the basics: water (one gallon per person), non-perishable food, flashlight, battery powered radio (with extra batteries), a first aid kit, medications, sanitation and hygiene items, personal documents, emergency blankets, and a map.
- Plan ahead for your pets. If it’s not safe for you at home, it’s not safe for them either.
- Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency: choose a place next to your home and another outside of your neighborhood just in case members of your family can’t make it back to your home.
- Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. Save the number and be sure that places where your children spend their time (daycare, school, babysitter, etc.) have the number saved too.
- Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Grab your emergency kit items and drive the evacuation route you have planned.
Another safety measure you could take is to download the SERVPRO® Ready Plan app on your cell phone. This allows you to create an emergency ready profile that contains critical information – which helps speed up response time after fire or water damage. Help is then only a few clicks away! The app stores your property details, utility shut off locations, key contacts, damage photos, local weather, and more!
Stay armed, stay prepared, and know you can call SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock at any time of day at (806)-780-6311.