Tips on How to Prevent Kitchen Fires
Cooking equipment was involved in an annual average of
19% home fire deaths, 44% reported home fire injuries, and $1.1 billion in property damage.
Kitchen fires are the most common cause of household fires. From grease spills to stray dishtowels, a simple overlook can set your house ablaze. Follow these tips to reduce your risks of a kitchen fire:
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. If you must leave the stove unattended, turn off the heat and move the pan to a cool burner.
- Use a timer to remind yourself to check on your dish. Check your food regularly, whether you're simmering, baking, boiling or roasting.
- Keep the stove top clear. Keep dishtowels, oven mitts, paper towels -anything that can catch fire- away from your stove top.
- Dress for the occasion. Wear close-fitting clothes and tightly roll up sleeves when you're cooking. Loose clothing can come in contact with burners and catch fire.
- Wipe up spills. Cooking on a dirty stove or in a dirty oven and grease buildup can all start a fire.
- Don't overheat your oils. Overheated oil can start to smoke and bubble up, which can cause it to spill out and ignite.
- Wait for grease to cool before disposing! Tossing hot grease into your trashcan can send it up in flames. Wait for it to cool, or pour it into an old food can before tossing it out.
- Keep your smoke detector working. Ensure all are working and change the batteries twice a year (when you change your clocks for daylight savings time is a good reminder).
If a fire does erupt on your stove top, DO NOT try to smother it by sliding a lid over the pan. INSTEAD, turn off the burner and leave the pan uncovered until it has cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and leave the door closed.
Should your home be damaged from a fire, our 24/7 Emergency Service can be reached at (330) 650-4486, or request help online.
6 Ways to Protect Your Home From Flooding
The erosive force of moving water can drag dirt from under a building's foundation, causing it to crack and tumble.
Flooding can strike anywhere and at any time, and floods are the most common and most expensive natural disaster in the U.S. Ignoring the risk means a destroyed home and belongings, and mold soon follows that.
Your first step in avoiding this risk is knowing the flood level of the home you're buying- an official measure of how high floodwaters could rise. You can find this information at FEMA's online flood maps.
Your next steps in protecting your home from flooding should include these 6 measures:
- Safeguard in-home electrical and climate systems. Raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area. Modify your furnace, water heater, and any other anchored indoor equipment.
- Anchor and raise outdoor equipment. Fuel tanks, air-conditioning units and generators should be anchored above your flood level. Unanchored fuel tanks can break free, and severed supply lines will contaminate surrounding ground.
- Modify water valves. A flooded sewer system can cause sewage to back up in your home. Install an interior or exterior backflow valve.
- Determine how water flows around your house. The grading or slope of the house, the angle of the ground, can direct water to or away from your house. This is easy to determine by watching how water flows or accumulates during an average rainstorm.
- Opt for a major retrofit. If your home floods frequently and moving isn't an option, you may need to take drastic and costly measures. Either raise your home on piers or columns so the lowest floor is above flood level, wet-proof your home by installing foundation vents that would allow water to flow through the building instead of rising inside, or do some dry-proofing by applying coatings and other sealing materials to your walls to keep our floods.
- Take last-minute measures as waters rise. Clear gutters, drains and downspouts. Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors. Shut off electricity at the breaker panel. Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they're in harm's way.
If you have any flood damage in your home or building, call us today at our 24/7 Emergency Service Line - (330) 650-4486 or at our Online Help Line.
Flash Flood Safety Tips
When a river overflows, bridges, houses, trees and cars can be picked up and carried off.
While in the midst of storm and hurricane season, we feel it necessary to draw attention to some flash flood safety tips.
Firstly, here are some statistics on flooding to note:
- Flooding is the second leading weather-related cause of death
- 2 feet of water will move your vehicle. 6 inches of water will sweep you off your feet
Here are some safety tips to practice when experiencing a flash flood event:
- Get to higher ground and avoid low spots in the road or areas prone to flooding
- Never cross barriers that protect from flooded areas. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately
- Flood dangers are harder to recognize at night
- Never cross water of unknown depth. Roads may be washed out
Keep watch of your local weather station for flooding and flash flooding threats.
Stay tuned for our next blog with "6 ways to protect your home from flooding."
Cybercrime From An Insurance Perspective
IBM estimates businesses are attacked about 16,856 times a year- 46 attacks per business per day, nearly two attacks per hour.
We've heard the stories. Cyber hacks influencing the presidential election, ransomware attacks across the globe. We might even think the hackers are winning the war- the cyber war, that is.
Insurance Business America discusses this matter with an insurance perspective in a recent article, interviewing James Shaheen, cyber risk practice leader at Integro.
According to Shaheen, with every attack, our cyber security experts learn something new, and counter every attack with a defense. It will take us some time, though, to figure out what we need to implement, where the gaps are in the security, to fully protect our data.
When it comes to insurance, Shaheen believes we are doing well in the protection of Protected Health Information (PHI), Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and the Payment Card Industry (PCI), but the concern is what he calls "second-tier data."
Second-tier data, or trade secrets, is what drives businesses, and is also what is not well protected by insurance from these cyber attacks.
Shaheen claims at Integro this is an issue being addressed and developed. How much would such a development be worth to your business?
Protecting Your Homes During the Summer Travel Season
The average property dollar loss per burglary is a staggering $2,251. Take precautions before leaving your house unoccupied.
Before leaving your home alone for vacation time this summer, seek some risk identifications to unoccupied homes and steps necessary to mitigate them.
Burglary is, of course, the biggest risk, and home security systems provide exceptional safety and peace of mind. However, the homeowner still has a critical role in making sure his or her home and its contents are safe.
Do not broadcast your whereabouts and travel activities on social media. Criminals lurk online and are eager to burgle a home when they know the residents are away.
Make the home look occupied:
- If cars are normally left outside, have someone periodically drive them or move them around.
- If there is a swimming pool, keep the water in it circulating.
- Make sure that lawn mowing and watering continue as scheduled.
- Put a hold on mail and newspaper. Use timers on exterior lights to go on and off at the usual times.
Secure the home and its contents. Security systems can only do so much. Take extra precautions when you plan to be away:
- Add security lights with motion sensors to scare off potential burglars.
- Close all window latches and put a secondary blocking device such as a wooden dowel.
- Let the security company know when the home will be vacant.
- Lock the garage door manually.
- Move jewelry to a safe or bank safety deposit box.
- Do not leave keys in an obvious place.
- Lower the volume or shut off the ringer on telephones so they cannot be heard outside.
- Make sure fine art, expensive electronics and other valuables are not visible through windows.
- Put fresh batteries in smoke detectors so they remain operable.
- Deadbolt the doors.
Minimize the potential for damage. Some steps you can take to avert potential disasters include:
- Shutting off water lines.
- Making sure a sump pump in the basement is working properly.
- Making sure washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers are turned off.
- Unplugging small appliances and electronics to prevent damage from a power surge.
A watchful pair of eyes is the best defense, so ask a trusted neighbor to look in on things while you are away, to alert you and the police is there is anything suspicious. A house-sitting arrangement is worth considering for a long absence.
We're On Social Media !
Social media allows us to interact with our customers, local businesses, and industry partners in new and exciting ways. SERVPRO of Northern Summit County is active on Facebook and LinkedIn, with more outlets to come! We would love for you to follow us so we can hear your thoughts and feedback through social media, and we welcome comments on industry topics and content you would like to hear more about !
On our social media pages, you can find relevant safety, cleaning, and remodeling tips, local and industry news, event information, before and after pictures of completed jobs, pictures of our crew, volunteer and fundraising campaigns, and more! Please click the links below and follow our pages to receive the latest updates from us!
Roof Tarps: Preventing Further Storm Damage
A damaged home protected under a roof tarp until further repair is put into action.
Roof damage can be caused by heavy rains, winds or falling debris. To reduce the possibility of even more damage, some may use a roof tarp, offering a quick solution and a gap of time until better weather permits a safe inspection and repair.
It seems like a good, and cheap, way to quickly cover the holes in the roof, stop the water leak, and prevent rodents from entering the home or business through those holes, although we do not recommend this as a permanent solution to the problem.
- It will wear out over time.
- It is only a temporary fix, and can cause more problems as time passes.
- If the roof has water damage, mold could be growing in the affected areas.
- Wind can move the tarp, leaving spaces uncovered and the roof will leak again.
- If not installed properly, it could hold pools of standing water, aka, mosquitoes.
- The tarp can increase the heat inside your home or business. Heat and moisture trapped under the tarp may cause mold and other damage inside your property.
Don’t wait for more damage to occur in your home or business! Our 24/7 Emergency Service can be reached at (330) 650-4486, or request help online.
Creating a Killer Facebook Ad Campaign for Your Business
Another option would be to invest tens of thousands in expensive branding... Facebook allows you to start your marketing budget at just $5.
Marketing on Facebook doesn't have to be confusing and intimidating. Here are some things to consider when developing your Facebook Ad campaign, a simple and straightforward strategy that will expose your message to your ideal market and present a relevant message that drives prospects to take action:
- Target your audience. Identify your ideal client, find people who had had “liked” groups related to the subject, target a specific ZIP code or individuals who fall between certain ages. Facebook allows you to filter these and more demographics.
- The ideal budget. Facebook allows you to start your campaign budget at $5. As you progress, so can your investment.
- The perfect Facebook Ad. What should it look like?
- Don't mention pricing. Studies show that ads without price have 10% higher conversion rates.
- Add a face to the ad.
- Choose images that show the desired result of your clients, where they will be after your work.
- Test Red vs. Blue. Studies also show ads with red and blue have 20% higher conversion and click-through rates.
- Use a "call to action" button, such as "Apply Now."
- Where should the clicks go? You do not want to send your prospects to the home page of your website. Direct your traffic to a landing page where they can download a report, where the only action they can take is the next step in the process.
For details and graphics on this subject, click here to read the main article.
Are You in Need of a Water Heater Repair?
A corroded water heater will occur if not maintained, leading to flooding and further damage
It's easy to forget our water heaters need to be maintained- we use them frequently for showers, the dishwasher and the washing machine. But if we neglect the maintenance could result in malfunctions and replacing the water heater.
Notice these first signs to avoid a bigger problem:
- The smell and color
- The hot water will have an off smell and rusty color.
- This could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater, and the anode rod can be replaced.
- The smell could be due to bacteria growth. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for some time.
- The corroded pipes
- Cause an off-color, water that is not hot enough, too hot or no water at all, as well as sediments appearing in the water
- Before acting on the above points, have the water heater inspected by a plumber
- Can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing
- The strange noises and leaks
- Usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank
- Leaks coming from the water heater could lead to flooding
- Pops, bangs, gurgles and the like indicate something is wrong with the water heater
- A boiling sound indicates the water heater is overheating or pressure is building up inside the tank
- All the above need to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems
Having your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs will save costs, further damage to your unit and home and replacing your unit altogether.
Tips to an Appropriately Floored Kitchen
Kitchens go through a lot, and having an appropriate floor to withstand the dirt, the grease, the falling heavy objects, and God knows what else, is extremely important to keeping the environment in check.
Here are some pros and cons to various types of flooring recommended for kitchens:
- Quick and simple cleaning
- Withstands blows from heavy objects and scratches
- Multitudes of color options
- Over time, seams between individual fragments will clog with mud, difficult to clean
- Laminated Floors
- Simply washed by semi-dry cloth
- Attractive appearance
- Waterproof option
- Can withstand household chemicals, somewhat resistant to abrasive detergents
- Easy cleaning
- No seams
- Attractive appearance
- You get what you pay for
For further information, follow the link to read HGTV's Kitchen Floor Buying Guide: http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/kitchen-remodel/kitchen-floor-buying-guide