Safety tips on Holiday Cooking
A table with a roasted turkey surrounded by all the holiday fixings.
The time for holiday cooking and baking is here! There will be cookies, candies, turkeys, hams, and all the sides a person could imagine. Family and friends will gather, reminiscing about the year’s accomplishments and events. But all of these things lead to distractions, which can cause some potentially dangerous situations. House fires, smoke damages, and injuries increase during the holidays. Here are some safety tips on how to make sure you have a fun and safe holiday season.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves while cooking.
- If you’re frying, broiling, or grilling, never leave it unattended.
- If you’re baking, simmering, roasting, or boiling food, you’ll need to check on it regularly.
- Set a timer so you don’t forget that item you left in the oven.
- Make sure that kids and pets stay clear of the cooking area.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire clear of heat sources. Examples of this are pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packages, towels, and curtains.
- Clean surfaces on a regular basis so grease doesn’t have an opportunity to build up. Heavy buildup of grease and oils can become flammable.
- Make sure you check the stove, oven, roasters, or any other cooking items to make sure they are shut off before going to bed or leaving the house.
- It’s good to purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.
Our team at SERVPRO of Casper hopes you have a safe and fun holiday season!!!!
Tips on how to keep your pipes from freezing
A pipe break that is leaking water.
With winter right around the corner, there is always a risk of frozen pipes. With some seasonal preparation, you can significantly reduce your risk of plumbing breaks, and the water damage it can cause. Here are a few tips on how to do that.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- In extreme cold conditions, open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to expose the pipes to warmer air. Make sure any harmful cleaners or household chemicals are out of reach for pets and children.
- During freezing temperatures, allow a small amount of water to drizzle from the faucet. This continuous movement of water through the pipes helps keep them from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat at the same temperature at night and during the day. During freezing temperatures, you want to keep the temperature at least 70 degrees.
- If you’re going to be gone during the cold weather, you’ll want to leave the thermostat to at least 55 degrees.
If you happen to experience a water damage because of a frozen pipe this winter season, know that SERVPRO of Casper is here to help.
Commercial Carpet Cleaning
Commercial Carpet Cleaning
Most people are very conscientious about maintaining the carpeting in their homes. But when was the last time you looked at the carpet in your business? Clean carpets in an office brighten up the general appearance of every room. It also makes the business more appealing to customers. In addition to cleaning, routine maintenance is key in extending the life of wall-to-wall carpeting.
Carpet manufacturers agree that the measures you take between regular carpet cleanings can expand the life of your carpet. Your carpet collects settled debris from the air, and residues tracked in from outside shoes. It collects dust, dirt, gases, animal and human hair, and many other soils.
The good news is that about 80% of the soils in the carpet are dry soil. These are materials that can easily be removed by vacuuming. By doing some of these preventive maintenance actions, you can help the life of your carpet.
- Regular vacuuming (By vacuuming you can pull up 80% of soils in the carpet). Twice per week is ideal.
- Spot Removal, as needed
- Pilating the carpet to prevent matting
- Moving furniture to change traffic patterns
- Using walk-off mats to limit the amount of outdoor soil tracked onto the carpet
If you would like a free estimate for your commercial carpet cleaning, call SERVPRO of Casper today at 307-235-6558.
Wild Fire Preparation
Towards the end of the summer, Wyoming always run a risk of wildfires. It could be caused by human error, or mother nature. A wildfire is potentially just as dangerous as flooding, and should be taken seriously.
If you’re under a wildfire warning, get to safety right away.
- Leave if told to do so
- If trapped, call 911
- Listen for emergency information and alerts
- Keep NIOSH N95 masks on hand to use to help keep particles out of the air you breathe
If you’re in a high risk area, you should prepare now.
- Sign up for your community warning system
- Have a plan for pets and livestock
- Find different shelter locations
- Gather emergency supplies, including a NIOSH N95 mask. Make sure you have a list of medications and a treatment plan, and don’t forget your pets.
- Close all doors and windows, and set up a portable air filtration machine to keep the pollution levels down in your home.
- Keep important documents in a fireproof container, and stored in a safe place, and make sure you have password-protected digital copies.
- Make sure you know where the outdoor water source is, and hook up a hose that can reach any area of your property.
- Make sure you create a fire-resistant zone free of debris such as leaves, tree branches, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from any structure.
- Review your insurance coverage, make sure it’s all up to date and you have enough to replace your property if need be.
Survive during a wildfire
- Evacuate immediately if the authorities tell you to.
- If trapped, call 911 and give them your location, and turn on lights to help rescuers can find you
- Use NIOSH N95 masks to protect your respiratory system.
- If you are not forced to evacuate, and the condition keeps getting smokier, stay inside where it’s safer.
The after care
- Check with authorities before going back to your property, and to make sure your water is safe to drink.
- Be cautious walking around and moving things that have been burnt. There could be heat pockets, and you could get burned or start another fire. Also be considerate about your animals walking on anything that has been burned by the fire.
- Make sure you reach out to your family through text or social media. Phone lines may be over loaded because of the disaster.
- Document property damage and take photos. Make a list of anything that was destroyed and call your insurance company.
Safety Driving in a Hail Storm
Vehicle damage from a hail storm.
During spring time, rain storms and thunderstorms are a common occurrence. While some of these result in light to moderate rainfall, some may produce hail. Hail storms can cause injuries, and they can be damaging to your property. If you encounter a hail storm, here are some safety tips.
- Hail falls down fast, and can cause injury. If you are in your car when hail begins, it’s best to stay inside your vehicle until the storm passes.
- The speed of your vehicle can amplify the impact of falling hail, and could cause your windshield or any other windows to break. Safely pull your car off the road when hail begins to fall. If possible, parking under a nearby overpass can protect your vehicle from further damage.
- Park your car on an uphill slope, if one is available. Your windshield is designed to stand hard impacts, where the rest of the windows are not.
- When in your car, it is best to be lying down with your back up. Cover yourself with any available blankets or coats to protect yourself from debris in case any windows break.
During any storm it’s important to make sure your radio is on to hear any storm warnings and updates.
When a commercial water damage occurs, documents and files may get wet. Depending on the type of business and the nature of the documents, these may be critical to your clients, and the operation of your business. SERVPRO of Casper offers document drying services in these situations. Your documents are packaged, frozen, and shipped to our document drying center. Once they arrive at the center, they are freeze-dried to remove all water from them. While documents typically cannot be fully restored, the freeze-drying method prevents further damage, and typically brings the documents to a usable condition. Here are few common questions about document drying:
Is Document Restoration HIPAA Certified?
Yes, all members of the Document Restoration team are HIPAA Master Certified. The facility is monitored with a 24/7 surveillance. For highly-sensitive documents, dedicated courier service can be utilized.
Should you create your own inventory?
SERVPRO will perform an inventory, but it’s always a good idea for you to do your own inventory as well.
Do we pack-out documents on the loss site?
We typically do not pack-out documents, but if you need assistance with pack-out, please let us know. We are always happy to help.
Are we able to restore more than just paper documents?
We can restore photos, photo albums, yearbooks, and more.
How long does the process take?
The average time frame of completion is around 3-60 days. The time completion will depend on the quantity of the job, services being completed, and how much damage is sustained.
If you end up with water-damaged paperwork and need our assistance, call SERVPRO of Casper at 307-235-6558.
Is your area flooding?
Floods are unpredictable, and they can happen in virtually any location you may live in. Just because you haven’t had a flood in the past doesn’t mean it will never happen in your area. It’s very important to be prepared in case the unexpected happens.
Things you need to know:
- Know the flood risk in your neighborhood. Do you live in a flood plain?
- How to prepare your home or property
- How to respond when floodwater comes
- How to recover after a flood
Ways to prepare:
- If your area is flood prone, it is best to have hard-surface flooring instead of carpet in your home
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Prepare a household flood plan
- Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers on display
- Check your insurance policy to make sure your property is covered for flood damage
If flooding is forecast to happen, take time to prepare:
- Place important documents, valuables and vital medical supplies in a waterproof case
- If you go to a different location, make sure your pets are with you. If you cannot take them, make sure you move them to a higher location with plenty of food and water
- Move any electrical appliances, furniture and area rugs to a higher location
Relocating to safer ground:
- Monitor the radio for warnings and advice
- Pack your essential needs: warm clothes, critical medications, valuables, personal papers, and an emergency kit
- Empty fridge and freezers and leave the doors open
- Turn off your gas and water
- Make sure you have your mobile phone with you
- When you leave, make sure you lock your doors
- Do not drive into water of unknown depth
Fire pit safety
Don't have your summer ruined by your fire pit.
When summer arrives, you may get excited about the idea of relaxing by the fire pit in your backyard, enjoying the warm glow of a fire. But there can be safety concerns if it is not placed in the right area, or if the fire pit is not built properly. Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts to make sure that you have a fun summer with your fire pit.
Do: Make sure your surface is level before building your fire pit. It reduces the risk of a log rolling out of the pit.
Do: Build your fire pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees, and bushes. Building it closer increases the risk of fire damage.
Do: Make sure your guests keep a proper distance from your fire pit. Keep a close eye on children and pets.
Do: Check the weather forecast before building a fire, to ensure that it will not be excessively windy. You don’t want wind-driven embers or flames spreading to your trees, bushes, or home.
Do: Once you’ve extinguished your fire, gently stir the ashes to until they are cooled down.
Don’t: Don’t start your fire using gasoline or lighter fluid, if avoidable. A fire started with liquid accelerants can easily get out of control. When possible, use dry kindling instead.
Don’t: Don’t use river stones in the construction of your fire pit. Smooth stones from the river may have absorbed moisture over time, and when they are heated quickly, they can explode. It is best to use dry, rough stones.
Don’t: Don’t leave a fire unattended. Having someone present with the fire at all times ensures that if the fire starts to spread outside the pit, it can quickly be extinguished.
With the coming of Spring, the first property concern that comes to mind is typically Spring cleaning. But this is also an important time to perform seasonal inspections on your property. Checking sprinkler systems and frost-free faucets for ruptures can prevent a lot of property damage. This is also a great time to inspect the condition of your roof. You don’t want to find out later through musty odors and staining on your ceilings that you were missing shingles on your roof, or that you had some other roofing damage.
The best time to detect leaks in your roof is during spring rainfall. If a wet spot appears on your drywall, mark the area immediately, and place a bucket to catch any drips. You will need two companies to address the damage: A roofing contractor to address the leak in the roof, and a restoration company (such as SERVPRO) to dry out any wet areas in the home.
If you don’t want to wait for a rainstorm to diagnose leaks, you can spray a garden hose over any areas that you think could be weak. Have a helper observe inside the attic while you do this, to quickly identify any drips or wet surfaces from the testing.
If you have any concerns of having wet materials from a leaky roof, give SERVPRO of Casper a call. We can perform a free assessment, and perform structural drying as needed.
Always be prepared for any kind of storm event.
Wyoming may not have tornadoes as frequently as areas in the Midwest and the South, but they do still occur. Our wide-open prairies and sparse population result in most tornadoes touching down in unpopulated areas. But there is still a risk of homes and businesses being affected. Because of this possibility, it’s important to know how to handle a potentially dangerous tornado event.
Tip 1: Be prepared
The best way to stay safe during a tornado is to be prepared with:
- Fresh batteries and a battery-operated TV, radio, or internet-enabled device to listen to the latest emergency weather information
- A tornado emergency plan including access to a “safe shelter” for yourself and for people with special needs
- An emergency kit including water, non-perishable food, and medication, and a list of important information, including telephone numbers.
Be sure your children know what a tornado is, and what watches and warnings are.
Tip 2: Stay aware of weather conditions
Pay close attention to changing weather conditions in your area. If you know thunderstorms are expected, stay tuned to local radio and TV stations or a NOAA weather radio for further weather information. Some tornadoes strike rapidly without time for a tornado warning. The following weather signs may mean that a tornado is approaching:
- A dark or green-colored sky
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud
- Large hail or a loud roar that sounds like a freight train
Tip 3: Know where to shelter
Falling and flying debris cause most deaths and injuries during a tornado. Although there is no completely safe place during a tornado, some locations are much safer than others.
- Go to the basement or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway)
- Avoid windows
- For added protection get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress. Protect your head with anything available.
- Do not stay in a mobile home