Home (Safety) For The Holidays!
The holiday season is here! No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or all three, we’re excited to share in the holiday spirit. It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, and while you’re busy decorating the house, safety may be one of the last things on your mind.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 15,000 injuries related to holiday decorations in 2012. Mishaps send about 250 people to the ER daily, with falls, cuts and back strains topping the list of injuries. To ensure you have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season with your friends and family, here are 12 tips to keep in mind as you deck out your home:
1. Keep live trees away from heat sources.
Place your tree away from fireplaces and heaters, and keep a fire extinguisher near your tree. Live trees are highly flammable, due to needles and sap.
2. Hydrate your tree.
A dried-out tree can catch fire faster than one that has been properly watered. Check the water level every other day to ensure proper hydration. Starting with a green tree is one way to keep it from drying out so quickly.
3. Fake it!
If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.” Fire-resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.
4. Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
Paper can catch fire very quickly and can cause flash fires. Instead, recycle (or better yet, reuse!) your wrapping paper.
5. Work as a team.
When stringing lights and decorations above your normal reach, make sure you use a proper ladder with someone supporting the base.
6. Double-check your lights for safety.
Replace any lights with frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections. The CPSC issued new guidelines for seasonal light safety in 2015, setting a minimum wire size, and standards for strain relief and over-current protection.
7. Power down before you turn in.
Turn off all lights when you go to bed and before leaving the house to avoid a short that could start an electrical fire.
8. Prevent electrical cord damage.
Don’t mount lights in a way that might damage the cords, and avoid using nails or tacks. Use hooks or insulated staples instead.
9. Secure candles.
Keep candles on a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
10. Use unbreakable ornaments.
If you have fragile ornament, place them out of reach from pets and kids.
11. Skip the fake food.
Avoid decorations that look like candy or food if you have young children — or pets — in the house.
12. Beware of poisonous plants.
While festive, poinsettias are poisonous when eaten, so keep them out of reach of kids and pets.
The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.
Making the correct decision when you encounter a water damage
A flooded basement is no fun. You have a big mess and you need help now. Any type of devastation in your home or office can be disastrous. It is important to do your homework when hiring a contractor. Some companies dabble in restoration work, but, in fact, they just specialize in carpet cleaning or reconstruction. Here are some things to consider when you are looking for a reliable water restoration company in an event of an emergency.
Construction companies may offer restoration services, but they don’t have the proper training and expertise to be a restoration company. To restore something means to bring it back to what it looked like before. A restoration company should be certified in water and fire damage.
When an emergency happens, it usually isn’t going to happen during business hours. You want a company that can start to work right away. You want a company with 24-hour representatives that can get to your home quickly. You want to talk to a live representative day or night. You don’t want to wait till business hours to call. The longer that water and fire damage is left sitting, the worse the situation will become.
Any company who is reputable should stand behind their work.
You also want a company that can start to work right away. The longer you delay and allow the damage to sit, the more problems it is going to cause.
You have the power to hire any water restoration company that you think is best and SERVPRO is here to help you with all your restoration needs.
Holiday Cooking Safety Tip
Thanksgiving is a time for family and holiday traditions including taste tested, Thanksgiving recipes. It's also a time where family members may want to join in the food preparation so fire safety is important. With the speed of deep-frying a turkey, the irresistible flavor, and juiciness that results, turkey frying has become a Thanksgiving tradition for some. But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury, which is why organizations like Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association advises against using them. If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer, and take these precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your home.
Many first-timers fill the fryer with too much oil or attempt to fry a turkey that isn't entirely thawed. Both mistakes can cause serious fires. U.S. fire departments respond to more than 1,000 fires each year in which a deep-fryer is involved.
Tips to help prevent deep fried turkey accidents
- Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
- Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
- Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
- Place the fryer on a level surface and avoid moving it once it's in use.
- Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
- Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
- Never leave fryers unattended.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
- Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
- Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep an "ABC" or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not to use water or a garden hose on a fire related to Turkey Fryers.
- Skip the stuffing when frying turkey and avoid water-based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® or SERVPRO. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. Neither SERVPRO or State Farm makes any guarantees of results from use of this information.
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Whether it be Water Damage, Fire, Biohazard and Crime Scene services SERVPRO Hicksville/Plainview provides total project management, Facilities Cleaning and Restoration and Contents Cleaning and Restoration.
We have the expertise and experience to get you back in business quickly! We stand Ready for Whatever Happens.
Recovering From Fire Damage
The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make all the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO Hicksville/Plainview can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. SERVPRO Hicksville/Plainview provides timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services can help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible. SERVPRO Hicksville/Plainview is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly.
Mold spores, invisible to the naked eye, can be found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Spores make their way into the home either through the air or after attaching to objects or people. Open windows, doorways and ventilation systems are all gateways through which spores can enter.
Mold will only grow if spores land somewhere that has the ideal conditions for growing - places with excessive moisture and a supply of suitable nutrients. If this does not happen, molds do not normally cause any problem at all.
Mold can often be found in areas where leakages and flooding have occurred and near windows where condensation builds up. Mold it is usually visible and often produces a musty odor.
If you do not see visible mold. Then it is recommended to hire an Air quality Environmental to come to your home and do a concluded test. Once the Environmentalist does his report and verifies that there is mold, that is when SERVPRO would come aboard to do the remediation. SERVPRO is Certified, Licensed & Insured Mold Remediation Company.
Baby, It's Cold Outside
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
As the calendar turns to Fall, and temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to prepare your water pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Most of these problems happen in basements that are poorly insulated and unfinished. The good news is there’s a simple tip to prevent pipes from freezing – space heaters.
By placing one or more space heaters you’ll help to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. The heat generated acts as an insulation barrier. You’ll also save money in the long term. As for attics, wrap the pipes with heat trace tape.
Don’t be a penny wise and a pound foolish when it comes to your thermostat temperature setting. Keep it set at a minimum of 65 degrees throughout the day.
It’s also a very good idea to have your HVAC system checked and inspected by a professional before it gets too late. By practicing common sense maintenance you may prevent a disaster.
Make sure to know where the main water valve is located in case your pipes do freeze so you can turn it off. Turn on all faucets to drain the pipes.
Be proactive. Take preventative steps. By acting now you can save money and lots of headaches.
Hurricane Florence: Class Four to Class Three
In recent news, hurricane Florence has led a path of destruction. However, the once, category four hurricane has weakened to a category three hurricane. However, this does not mean that hurricane Florence will not wreak havoc on the Carolina's later this week. With winds up to 125 miles per hour maximum, Florence is forecasted to hit South Carolina by Thursday or Friday where the coast is anticipated to take the most substantial damage. But what is the difference between a category three hurricane and a category four hurricane?
Luckily, but unluckily for South Carolina, a category three hurricane has winds that reach up to 111 to 130 miles per hour. This can cause significant damage to people, property, and animals. With a category three hurricane, damage to poorly framed homes is common, and even damage to buildings framed with wood or steal is not unlikely. During the time after the hurricane lands, electricity and water will not be available for a few days.
Category four hurricanes, formerly hurricane Florence, winds range from 131 to 155 miles per hour. This kind of wind force causes catastrophic damage to all properties, peoples, and animals. If you think you are safe by having enough water and food for four days after a category four hurricane, you are wrong. Power outages and water shortages can last up to a month when a town becomes a victim of a category four hurricane.
Understanding the severity of hurricanes is the first step in preparing you, your family, and your home for any oncoming hurricane damage.
IF YOUR FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY ISSUES AN EVACUATION WARNING, PLEASE EVACUATE YOUR HOME AND FIND A SAFE PLACE.
For any other hurricane damage related issues, please call SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview so we can help stop the mitigation of the damage.
How to beat the Long Island Summer Heat
Extreme heat is defined as a long period typically 2 to 3 days of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat , evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning. Older adults, children are at greater risk from extreme heat.
Tips to Beat the Heat wave:
- Find Air Conditioning: Stay Cool Indoors
- Avoid strenuous activities
- Watch for heat illness
- Example: Nausea and vomiting, Headache, Dizziness or Vertigo, Fatigue, Hot flushed dry skin, Rapid heart rate, Profound sweating.
- Wear light clothing
- Drink plenty of fluids
- NEVER leave people or pets in a closed car.
- Wear Sunscreen
Staying Informed for up to date alerts and safety tips with your local news station.
If you or someone you know are in need of a cooling station please click here to find the closest spot to you.
Good News looks like there is a cold front in the horizon to break these rising temps.
What Causes Flooding?
Besides the unfortunate pipe burst, what normally causes floods? Floods can happen anywhere and can be caused by human-made structures or nature.
The most common cause of a flood is heavy rains. Cities have drainage systems for the sole reason of heavy rains. However, if the system becomes overwhelmed an overflow can occur.
Overflowing rivers are another cause of flooding. Even if you do not experience heavy rains in your area, flooding can occur from rivers if you live upstream of a location that did have heavy rains.
Many urban cities use concrete to build their water basins in case of heavy rains. Even though concrete is durable, it is not permeable so when these basins fill up the water has nowhere else to go and can cause flooding in low-lying areas.
Winter months can also cause flooding. Melting snow and ice, in large quantities, can cause low-lying areas to flood. This only occurs when there is a winter of heavy snowfall.
Flooding can be a severe problem depending on where you live. Check your residential flood maps to see if your home falls in an at-risk area so you can prepare yourself for possible floods. If you home does flood, call SERVPRO of Hicksville and Plainview so we can help you start the restoration process.