Recent Posts

4 Tips to Prevent Restaurant Kitchen Fires

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Two men working in a restaurant kitchen There are many ways to avoid a kitchen fire in your restaurant, read up on a few of them here.

Your restaurant’s kitchen is the most significant part of the business, and it creates several fire hazards. However, to avoid fire damage repair, you can take several measures that will reduce the risk that a fire will occur. Below are several strategies to employ in your kitchen. 

What Tasks Can Help You Avoid Kitchen Fires?

1. Maintain Electrical Equipment

Often, the kitchen has many different electrical appliances, such as blenders, toasters, and ovens. However, the wiring and cords can wear down over time, increasing the risk of a spark that creates a fire hazard. You should inspect all electrical equipment regularly for damage, paying close attention to the cords and outlets.

Also, schedule yearly professional maintenance for all kitchen appliances to check for damage that you cannot easily see. After closing the restaurant, unplug all appliances to prevent a fuse shortage at night that could cause a fire. 

2. Clean Grease

While grease is unavoidable in most commercial kitchens, you should manage it carefully to avoid issues that require fire damage repair. Grease is extremely flammable, and it can splatter around the area, allowing flames to spread.

Regularly clean all surface areas that accumulate grease, including the counter tops, walls, ranges, grills, hood systems, and floors. Then, dispose of the residue away from the kitchen. 

3. Train Staff 

Make sure your entire staff, from cooks to servers, knows how to properly identify fire hazards. They should understand the location of breaker switches, as well as how to operate them. Then, create clear guidelines about the process and frequency of cleaning grease, and how to keep flammable materials away from the oven and stove. 

4. Never Leave Food Unattended

When cooking food, someone should always be monitoring it. Anything cooking over an open flame poses a significant fire hazard, as grease or oil can spill over and catch on fire quickly. Food that burns in the oven or microwave can also create a dangerous issue. If everyone on your staff must leave the kitchen for some reason, turn of all burners and heat sources while they’re away.

Mold in Your Home Due to Unnoticed Water

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

A wall covered in mold inside a home Mold can vary in severity and can spread over a large area as seen on this wall from an old abandoned home.

When water goes unnoticed in the home, it can lead to the growth of mold. Mold is a fungus that grows in wet, dark environments, and it can thrive anywhere these conditions are present. It is a particular hazard in the home, where people often spend the majority of their time. But the first step to mold removal is to recognize the signs of an infestation. Below, get to know some common types of household mold and their signs and characteristics.

A Guide to Common Household Mold

  1. Alternaria

Alternaria is the most common form of allergenic mold. You will mostly find it in damp areas, especially around bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and leaking pipes. It is dark in color, either gray, brown, or black, and has a velvety texture. It is known to spread quickly. Reduce the risk of Alternaria growth by promptly fixing all plumbing leaks. Shut off all taps every time you use them, and wipe up the moisture from walls and floors after showers and baths.

2. Chaetomium

Chaetomium grows in walls, roofs, and flooring that have experienced water damage, often from leaks or burst or broken pipes. The mold starts out as a whitish color and grows darker over time. It also has a cotton-like appearance and a musty, stale odor. If you’re unsure of the source of the water damage causing the infestation, a mold removal professional can help you pinpoint the cause.

3. Penicillium

Penicillium is blue or green in color and tends to flourish in water-damaged environments. Its spores are known to travel through the air, where they can be breathed in. Minimize the chance of Penicillium growth by eliminating high humidity in the air. A dehumidifier can help in this process, and you should also address leaks in a timely manner.

4. Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys is another word for black mold, but its color can range anywhere from dark green to inky black, and its texture is slimy. It thrives in moist areas with high humidity. Like other types of mold, Stachybotrys starts with some type of water damage. Aim to keep the household dry and the humidity low, and have all plumbing issues repaired right away. Never try to remove Stachybotrys by yourself. Special equipment and protective wear are required, so schedule remediation by a mold removal professional.

A mold remediation team will ensure any of the above dangers are eliminated from your home. SERVPRO of Cheshire County has been serving the Westmoreland, NH, area since 1978. They offer mold removal services, as well as fire and water damage restoration and biohazard cleanup. They work with both homes and businesses to keep environments safe and comfortable. Call (603) 352-7251 or visit them online to request a quote.

3 Ways to Prevent Pet-Related Fires

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

A dog jumping up on a stove inside the home Dogs can sometimes jump up on the stove and turn the knobs by accident.

You love your pets and naturally want to protect them from harm. Unfortunately, pets can sometimes cause fires in the home if a few simple precautions aren’t taken. While fire damage repair can help restore your home, it’s best to prevent fires from breaking out in the first place. Here are a few ways you can protect the health of your pets and your family. 

What You Need to Know About Pet-Related Fires

1. Be Careful With Candles

A wagging tail is a sign of happiness in dogs, but it can also be hazardous around open flames. Pet owners are encouraged to forgo conventional candles for flameless ones. If you do use candles, place them somewhere your pets can’t reach them.

2. Safeguard Your Stove

Larger dogs sometimes jump on stoves and inadvertently turn the knobs with their paws. This could result in pets burning themselves, but it can also lead to a fire if there are flammable materials nearby. Along with removing papers, cardboard, and fabrics from around the stove, you should also consider removing the knobs on the stove when away. You can also install locks on the knobs to prevent your dog from inadvertently turning them. 

3. Use Ceramic or Stainless Steel Water Dishes Outside

While it may seem unlikely, using a glass bowl on a wooden deck for your dog’s drinking water can also be a fire hazard. When the sun’s rays are filtered through water and glass onto the wood beneath, a fire can break out — similar to what happens with a magnifying glass on a sunny day. If a fire occurs on your deck when you're not around, it can easily spread to the home and cause significant destruction. 

5 Steps to Take If Your House Floods

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

A home almost completely submerged in water during a flood Severe weather and flooding can cause serious damage to your home.

Whether due to extreme weather/flooding or a plumbing failure, a flooded house is a serious issue that can have repercussions long after the water recedes. Your first priority during a flood is to get your family to safety, but once the immediate emergency needs are taken care of, it’s time to focus on disaster recovery for your property. To protect your health and safety, below are the first steps to take.

How to Respond to a Flood in Your Home

1. Reduce Additional Risks

Electricity can cause additional dangers when your home floods. Even if the power has gone out, if there’s standing water in your home, you might be at risk for electrocution or fire when the power is restored. If you can safely reach the fusebox and turn off the main power line, then do so. If not, call an electrician for help. If it’s only your home that’s flooded, call the gas and sewer companies as well to shut off those lines to prevent more damage. 

2. Avoid Contact With the Water

Even if the floodwaters appear clean, they could be contaminated with bacteria, sewage, or household chemicals that can make you sick. If you must enter your home for cleanup, use proper protective gear, including boots, hip waders, gloves, and masks. Take care when handling any items that have come in contact with the water, and throw away all food that got wet. 

3. Take Photos 

Before attempting to clean up or make repairs, take photos of the flood and damage. Your insurance company will need them to process your claim, and if you start cleanup before documenting the damage, you could affect your coverage and reimbursements. 

4. Contact Your Insurance Company

Notifying your insurer as soon as possible after the flood can help speed your claim and get you on the road to disaster recovery sooner. Follow your insurer’s instructions regarding cleanup or repairs. They may request that you wait until an adjuster examines the damage before starting cleanup. If you are located in a designated disaster area, you may be eligible for additional help and funds from FEMA. Your insurance company will help you with that claim. 

5. Begin Cleanup & Mitigation

Once your insurer gives the go-ahead, you can begin the process of disaster recovery. Because mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours of a flood, it’s best to get professional assistance with cleanup. Without proper mitigation, floods can lead to toxic mold throughout your home, causing significant health risks. Expect to replace any furniture that was saturated, as well as carpeting and drywall.

Water Damage Due to Appliance Failure

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

A dishwasher overflowing in a kitchen A broken dishwasher can cause disastrous residential water damage.

Think of all the appliances in your home that are connected to a water supply. Now think of all oh the hoses, pipes, valves, etc. that can fail unexpectedly. Appliance failures are responsible for more than 30% of all residential flood claims. Dishwashers alone have a 20% failure rate in the first 3 to 4 years of being used typically due to a damaged supply or drainage line. Coming in as one of the top leading sources of residential water damage are washing machines. More than half of all claims are caused by supply hose failure. If your home has a sump pump, there are several ways that it can fail including: loss of power, dirty water, missing/broken valves, frozen/clogged lines, and more. A sump pump failure can be disastrous and cause massive damage to your home. When thinking about toilets, we know that clogging followed by an overflow is quite common, making up about 1/3 of all water damage caused by toilets. Another appliance to periodically check on is the refrigerator, especially ones with an ice maker. These can be easily damaged resulting in possible water buildup, and you will also want to have the water lines inspected annually. There are ways to prepare for water damage such as leak detection systems, especially with a shutoff to the main water supply. Check your hoses, supply lines, valves, etc. annually and plan to replace if you see any damage or cracking.

Make sure to call your local SERVPRO as soon as you discover water damage to reduce further damage to your home.

SERVPRO of Cheshire County: (603)-352-7251

https://www.SERVPROcheshirecounty.com/

Preparing For An Unexpected Hailstorm

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Hail collecting on the windshield of a car Hail can cause severe damage to your car or roof.

Hailstorms can happen year-round and can vary greatly in severity. Hail can be anywhere from .2 inches to 6 inches in size and weigh more than 1 pound. Annually, hailstorms cause close to $1 billion in damages mainly to roofs and cars. While hailstorms are not easily predicted, there are a few ways to prepare for them to lessen future damage. The first thing to check is your roof. You will want to look for any missing or worn shingles and get those replaced. If you know hail is on the way, try and get your car to the garage or a covered area if possible. Hail can be the bigger than a baseball and can fall from the sky up to 100 mph, yikes! During a hailstorm, you will want to stay inside and avoid skylights or any other glass windows/doors in your home. If you haven’t yet, check with your insurance carrier to see what is covered on your current policy and consider adding hail damage.

Educational Facilities

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO van outside of a building SERVPRO cleaning the inside of an educational training facility.

At SERVPRO of Cheshire County, we understand the importance of a continuous, uninterrupted class schedule. Even in the event of an untimely disaster, school cancellation should be a minimal concern for an educational facility. SERVPRO professionals are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist with fire and water cleanup and restoration for all types of schools. From Kindergarten, to elementary schools, middle and high schools, colleges and universities, dormitories, libraries, day cares, and event or sporting arenas, SERVPRO has them covered. Here's what sets SERVPRO apart from other emergency restoration companies:

  • Around the clock availability
  • Timely response and assessment of damage
  • Proven track record of quality service with other educational facilities
  • Clear, concise communication with school officials
  • Industry leading equipment and technology
  • Industry trained and certified technicians
  • Mindfulness of legal and environmental concerns
  • Isolate damaged areas from unaffected areas of the facility
  • Ability to limit class and schedule interruption
  • Confirmation of client satisfaction at time of job completion

Whatever the situation, SERVPRO of Cheshire County is here to ensure the main objective of the school staff is to provide valuable lessons and information to its students, and cleanup & restoration can be left to the pros. 

Water Loss, Big or Small

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

A dishwasher overflowing with water in a kitchen A dishwasher overflow or leak can cause serious water damage.

When you think of a water loss at a residence, what probably comes to mind first is a flood, storm or other natural occurrence. Or maybe you think of a leaky roof or a basement filling with ground water from a heavy rainstorm. The kitchen is usually home to a lot of the appliances that can cause serious water damage such as the sink, refrigerator or the dishwasher. Other things in the household that may not come immediately to mind is a broken aquarium, a leaking waterbed mattress- does anyone use those anymore? Water damage can be caused by all sorts of unfortunate events, big or small. Regardless of how a property starts taking on water, SERVPRO is here to help. Our crew will act fast to assess the situation, prevent further damage and extract the water. Using our state of the art equipment and moisture meters we will quickly restoring your property following a water loss.

Emergency Water Damage Tips - Before Help Arrives

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

picture of a damaged ceiling with large hole and sheetrock peeling off. We are available 24/7 to assist with emergency water damage restoration services.

A household flood can be devastating and it’s easy to give in to panic. Take a deep breath, make sure everyone is doing ok and tackle what needs to be done one step at a time. Below are important things to do following a flood in your home:

  • Shut off the water source. If you are able to do so safely, shut off the water source immediately or contact a qualified professional to stop the water source for you.
  • Cut power to wet areas of building. If access to the main electrical panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off all breakers for wet areas of the building.
  • Avoid unsafe areas. Do not enter any areas where electrical equipment, outlets, breakers or switches have been exposed to the water. Always keep away from anything that poses a threat of electrocution.
  • Do not use your household vacuum to try to clean up the water. Our equipment is specially designed to suck up water where a regular vacuum is not and may lead to electrocution.
  • Use caution with rooms that have wet ceilings and walls. Do not enter a room that has a ceiling sagging from retained water. Also, don’t turn on any light fixtures or fans that are in a wet ceiling or wall.
  • Check that any vital medications are safe.
  • Save any items of value/sentimental importance that are safe to get to and move them to a dry location.
  • Place wood blocks or aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpet if you are able.
  • Call for help. We are available 24/7 to assist with emergency restoration services. (800) 352-7251. The first 24 hours following a water loss are critical because being proactive helps in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Also contact your insurance carrier ASAP. Write down anything that is important (i.e. a claim number) to remember and keep that information handy.
  • While you wait for help to arrive, remove as much access water as you are able by mopping and blotting.

Untreated Water Damage at You Home or Business

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO technician tearing down a ceiling as a result of water damage A ceiling being torn down after water leaked from above.

When assessing water damage, an important thing to remember is that a small leak that may appear minor can actually lead to a large scale mold issue. There are many things to consider when deciding if water damage is worth the money to repair such as; corroding pipes, a decrease in the value of your home, damaged ceilings, damaged flooring, and many more issues. It may seem like a quick fix to paint over a water spot on your ceiling or wall, but molds could be growing in the dry wall underneath which can cause health effects. Electrical shorts are another side effect of unattended water damage which can be a huge fire hazard. When it comes to your flooring, wood is very absorbent so the longer the water sits, the worse the wood will get resulting in a much more expensive fix. This goes for carpets too as carpets can actually begin to break down the longer they are left wet. The safest and most cost efficient thing to do when you realize you have water damage is to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Here are some helpful SERVPRO tips on what to do after flooding occurs:

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.