Every Second Counts
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.
Everyone needs to have an escape plan!
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!
Fire Extinguishers = Valuable Tools
Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:
P - Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from your and release the locking mechanism.
A - Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
S - Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.
*Courtesy of the SERVPRO Restoration Newsline Volume 28, Issue 2.
How to Protect Against Water Damage
Want to prevent moisture and mold from damaging your home?
Make sure the gutters on your home are in good order and will flow water efficiently. Clear them of debris when needed and check them twice a year if you have nearby trees.
Divert rain water at least 10 feet from the foundation of your home. Buried piping can work very well and doesn't look out of place even on the most manicured yard.
Don't be afraid to put on your raincoat and inspect your downspouts and the flow of your gutters in the rain! Leaks or poorly implemented systems should show leaking water pretty quickly during a soaking rain.
If you have any questions or concerns when it comes to water damage don't hesitate to call SERVPRO at 434-525-9559! We are here to help!
Practice Fire Safety
- Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
- Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
- Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
- Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
- Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
- Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
- Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
- Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
- Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
- Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
- Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
- Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
- Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
- Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
- To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.
Water Damage from Frozen Pipes: Call SERVPRO!
Call SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties to clean up water damage from burst pipes.
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Do You Know Where Your Water Shut Off Valve Is?
Do you and your family know where the main water shutoff valve is located in your house? It is always harder to find something when in a panic. That is why we highly recommend that you be aware of its location before a disaster strikes.
”Where It Is Not: It is likely not under a sink. The shut-off to the water heater may look promising, but that only affects the outflow of hot water from that point. Do not confuse the gas shut-off to the furnace or water heater with water lines.”
“Check Your Inspection Report: If you still have your property inspection report from when you purchased the house, it should indicate the location of the shut-off valve. Inspection reports often follow a standardized format, so you may find this information located in Section 6.1.”
Follow the link for more helpful tips to help you locate the shutoff valve in your home.
Once you have located your main water shutoff, give us a call or stop by our office and we will give you one of these brightly colored shutoff tags at no cost to you to help you quickly find the valve should an unexpected water damage occur.
Is Professional Carpet Cleaning Worth the Cost?
Yes, and here's why.
There are certain chemicals that can be used to clean stains on a carpet. However, knowing which chemicals to use on what type of carpet as well as the proper procedure to use the chemical should be left up to a professional.
There are various materials used to manufacture carpets and rugs, and they cannot all be cleaned with the same equipment.
Attempting to remove stains yourself and cleaning your own carpets with rental equipment is a bad idea. SERVPRO can clean all of the carpets in your home or simply remove a single stain. Call SERVPRO today at 434-525-9559! We hear to help and our technicians are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week!
Lynchburg Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Lynchburg basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - 434-525-9559
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Follow this link for a basement cleanup done by SERVPRO of Lynchburg / Bedford & Campbell Counties following a heavy rain. The article was taken by WSET news crew.
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 434-525-9559
Merry Christmas from SERVPRO!
SERVPRO Light Tree
The SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford & Campbell Counties wants to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Big thank you to our crew and office members for setting up and decorating outside to make the holidays a fun and festive time for everyone!
Our Marketing Department
At SERVPRO, a typical day in the marketing department largely involves communication with insurance companies and local agencies. Because of the nature of SERVPRO’s work, customers often call their insurance companies before they call us. Since the majority of SERVPRO’s jobs involve insurance companies, our marketing department constantly works with insurance companies and their local agencies to ensure that everything is going well with our ongoing jobs and claims. The SERVPRO marketing department makes rounds to our local agency partners to see how we can assist them. We work with over 250 local insurance agencies in the Lynchburg, Bedford, & Campbell County areas.
Training is another part of our marketing effort to assist the insurance companies and local agencies. At least once a year, SERVPRO offers a continuing education course to help insurance companies maintain their licensing requirements. We are very grateful for the stellar marketing team that we have here at the SERVPRO of Lynchburg/Bedford/Campbell Counties!