How to Properly Prepare For a Power Outage
Severe winter weather may cause power outages. Are you ready if the electricity goes out? Prepare now to make sure you stay safe and are ready for the unexpected. Power outages can influence the whole community and economy by disrupting communication, water and transportation. Many businesses face closure, even gas stations, banks and ATMs are not able to function. Other issues include water contamination, food spoilage and unavailability of certain medical devices. Check out our list fo recommendations on what to do during a power outage;
- Make a list of anything you need that uses electricity; plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Plan if you have medication that needs to be refrigerated. Talk to your doctor about what to do with medicine if you lose power.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed. Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Make sure to have a flashlight and extra batteries at home so that you can see where you’re going and what you’re doing.
- Have enough non-perishable food and water for your family.
- Keep your mobile phone charged and consider investing in a back-up battery if you don’t already have one.
- Keep your gas tank full to make getting around easy. Consider checking on your neighbors, especially elderly or those with special needs.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Do not use a gas stove to heat your home, if safe go to an alternative location to stay warm.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
Contact SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 if you would like more information on preparedness procedures for your home or business. We are available 24/7 365 days a year to serve our community!
Thanksgiving Cautions: Dangers to Consider before Deep Frying Your Turkey
Serving a deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving has grown in popularity over the years as people experiment more in their kitchens. While it may be a mouth-watering option is the risk truly worth it? Many of you may have seen the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires publicized online. Don’t run the risk of property damage or injury – make sure you take the proper precautions when menu planning this season; especially if you are taking on a deep fried turkey.
- Turkey Fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area. Consider placement of the fryer, is it flat, sturdy, out of reach from children?
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill when the turkey is put in and a frozen or partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter (sometimes with great force) when put in the pot
- Even a small amount of cooking oil spilt on a hot burner can cause a considerable flame or fire
- Without thermostat controls some turkey fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire. Make sure it’s not too hot.
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and handles can get dangerously hot. Protect you hands when maneuvering to prevent injury or spillage
Your friends at SERVPRO of Edmonds wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and remind you to stay safe. Remember, our team is on call 24/7 365 days a year, no matter what holiday or time of night. If you experience a fire SERVPRO of Edmonds will come to your rescue, don’t hesitate to call 425-775-5723.
Halloween Safety Tips in Edmonds, WA
The Edmonds Community becomes alive in fall with the crunch of leaves and vibrant colors that come alive throughout the quaint downtown. Many Edmonds homeowners and businesses decorate their space to reflect the festivities of the season and anticipate the trick-or-treating crowds. Keep in mind some of these Halloween safety tips as you venture out for an evening of fun in Edmonds.
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant
- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child or even adult may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
- Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
- Small children should never carve pumpkins to avoid unwanted cuts. Encourage children can draw a face with markers and have parents do the slicing.
- Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin- they can be fire hazards. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest as does not tip easily.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended
Have a safe and happy Halloween and call us in case of an emergency at 425-775-5723.
How to Prepare Your Home & Business for the Fall Season
What does the Fall season mean to you? Vibrantly colored leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, early more fog and cooler weather setting in. Edmonds, Washington is simply beautiful this time of year for residents and visitors alike. The Edmonds Art Walk and Scarecrow Festival is in full swing and families are invited to trick-or-treat at downtown merchants on the Halloween Holiday. As the season changes so does the weather and SERVPRO of Edmonds would like to offer you some great advice on how to prepare your home (or business) for Fall.
- Clean Out Your Gutters: Throughout the summer months there a high chance your gutters filled with leaves and grime and this will get worse as fall progresses. Clogged gutters can form ice dams in the colder months that prevent your drainage systems from working properly. Then, leaks can happen within the home or business, causing a multitude of issues. Get ahead by simply clearing out your gutters as the leaves begin to collect.
- Light Up Your Outdoor Area: Fall and winter means less daylight, leaving a possibility for more accidents. If you don't have lights outside of your home and driveway yet, installing some is a great way to keep your home just a little safer. Lights around the perimeter of your driveway and business or home can mean fewer accidents and even act as a deterrent for break-ins.
- Check In On Your Heating System: Fall signals the first time in months that you will be using your heating system. Schedule an annual heating system checkup, and also manually survey your home's heating vents to make sure they aren't blocked by anything that could be a fire hazard. Dust off vents and clean filters to ensure everything is functioning properly.
Lastly makes sure you have SERVPRO of Edmonds’s contact information in the event that you may have an emergency; our helpful team can be reached at 425-775-5723.
5 Important Items to Include on Your Home Inventory List
If you experience a fire or water damage in your home these items, of high monetary value are among the most difficult to replace if stolen or destroyed. Be sure to save receipts and serial numbers for these 5 high-ticket items, and include them in your digital photo or video home inventory for insurance purposes.
- Electronics & Appliances Electronics and appliances are among the most sensitive and easily damaged items in your home in the event of mishap. They are also among the most sought-after by thieves.
Furniture People rely on your furniture daily, yet few give consideration to the astronomical cost of replacing an entire household worth of furniture until it’s gone. Be certain to include in your home inventory checklist the following high-value furniture items:
- Stereo equipment
- Game systems
- Streaming devices
- Computers, tablets & laptops
- Home office equipment (printers/scanner/fax)
- HVAC equipment
- Toaster/Toaster oven
- Water heater
- Power tools
- Lawn equipment
Jewelry & Costly Clothing Not all policies cover high-dollar jewelry. Check your coverage limit carefully for terms. And be sure to have jewelry items appraised regularly, preferably annually, to ensure an accurate representation of their current price.
- Cabinets & contents
- Furniture & storage
- Tables & chairs
- Dressers, armoires
Collectables These items should also be appraised regularly at a reputable establishment to ensure an accurate representation of their current price and the need for additional insurance coverage as they go up in value.
- Wedding rings
- Necklaces & bracelets
- Broaches & pendants
Firearms Homeowners and renters insurance also typically includes coverage for guns, from standard hunting rifles to collectables and antiques.
How Will Your Items Be Valued?
Items on your home inventory checklist will be valued in one of three ways depending on your coverage rules, so be sure to read over your policy carefully.
- Cash value: Replacement cost minus depreciation (think: garage sale prices).
- Replacement value: The amount you’d pay to replace your belongings at the time of loss (today’s retail prices).
- Appraised value: Typically used for one-of-a-kind antiques and valuables, which have been appraised and documented via your home inventory template.
How To Locate A Residential Water Shut-Off Valve
It’s important to know where your main water shut-off valve is in case of an emergency. If a pipe bursts, dishwasher fails or a toilet overflows, shutting off the water can significantly reduce water damage. It is also an excellent idea to turn off your water if you are leaving for an extended amount of time. Keep in mind; if the water has been off for a long time, open all the faucets in your home before turning the main water shut-off valve back on. In some cases, the surge of water in empty pipes may damage plumbing or faucet.
The locations of your water shut-off valves vary depending on your geographical location, water source and type of residence. Unfortunately, shut-off valves aren’t always obvious and its important to know their location before a disaster strikes. Utilize the tips below to locate your water shut-off valves.
How to Find Water Shut-off Valves
There are multiple shut-off valves in a house – typically one for each of your appliances that uses water and a main shut-off valve for the entire house. You can usually find shut-off knobs for your toilet, sink or washing machine behind the units or under the sink. If your toilet is about to overflow, don’t waste time by running around looking for the main water shut-off valve – simply turn the water shut-off knob behind the toilet.
Well Water (Main) Shut-off Valve
Wells usually have two main shut-off valves: There is a valve that goes from the well to the pressure tank and another valve from the pressure tank to your plumbing. Shut-off both valves if you are concerned about frozen pipes. .
Pressure tanks may be in the basement, garage or closet. To find the pressure tank shut-off valve, look for a valve or knob near the tank. The shut-off valve is usually connected to the same pipe that has the pressure gauge on it.
The well is usually located near the pressure tank but may be outside in a small well house or elsewhere. The well shut-off valve should be near the well or even in a small utility box buried in the ground near the well. If multiple valves are visible, only turn one at a time, and then check the corresponding faucet to see if it worked. Once you have found the right valve, mark it for future reference. You can also trip the circuit breaker to the well to temporarily deactivate the well pump.
City Water (Main) Shut-off Valve
In colder climates this main is usually located in your home’s utility room, along with the furnace or water heater. The main shut-off valve should be on the largest water pipe in this area. Look for pipes that lead directly out of the foundation toward the street.
In warm climates you may find the shut-off valve in a plastic or concrete utility box in the ground toward the front of your house, near the street and sometimes can be covered by dirt.
Did You Find the Shut-off Valve Too Late?
If water damage has occurred call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 and our team will respond immediately. If you would like a complimentary water shut-off tag for your property one of our friendly staff members will send you one to your home or business.
Spring Storm Preparedness
April showers bring May flowers… and sometimes spring storms!
From thunderstorms to high winds and flooding storms can create tremendous property damage. Hailstorms alone cause almost $1 billion in property damage each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Prepare your home for spring storms ahead of time to minimize property damage and protect your family. Call SERVPRO of Edmonds (425-775-5723) for disaster preparedness information, shut-off tags or if you would like an Emergency Ready Plan written for your business.
Here are some tips to keep in mind for your home or business;
- Prune dead or rotting branches from trees near your home or car that could fall during a storm.
- Use surge protectors for electronic equipment in your home such as computers, televisions and appliances.
- Install a lightning protection system that will redirect lightning strikes safely into the ground.
- Know how to shut off the power to your house using the main fuse or breaker on the electrical service panel, and how to shut off water and gas support lines if instructed by disaster officials.
- Educate yourself about flood insurance and if this is something covered under your insurance policy
- Check the condition of your roof and make any needed repairs to minimize damage in a storm.
- Clean gutters and downspouts so water will be diverted away from the siding of your home
- Tie down or bring inside anything that could be blown around such as trash cans or outdoor furniture.
- Unplug expensive electronic equipment in case of a power surge
SERVPRO of Edmonds Supports First Responders
WSCAI Earth Day
Did you know that national volunteer week is April 15-21st? At SERVPRO of Edmonds we would like to take a moment to thank all of the first responders in the community from firefighters, police, EMTs and military personnel. We value all of your hard work and dedication to keeping our citizens safe. Our team enjoys supporting our first responders by collaborating on Emergency Preparedness workshops in the community and donating care packages to local veteran’s housing. We understand the importance of being a first responder as we go above and beyond for our customers who have suffered a water or fire loss.
FEMA’s community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is comprised of volunteers that are trained to be prepared for local disasters such as fires, floods or earthquakes. These groups practice basic response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. With more than 2,700 CERT programs over 600,000 people have been trained nationwide. Several members of our staff have taken the initiative to become CERT members.
SERVPRO of Edmonds plan to support volunteer week with our annual commitment to WSCAI’s Earth Day Project. WSCAI (Washington State Community Associations Institute) spends a day each year focusing on a community improvement project that often incorporates cleaning and landscaping. To find out more about WSCAI’s Earth Day visit their website at https://wscai.org/
What is a maintenance program and why is it important?
Preventive maintenance is an important part of facilities management. The goal of a successful preventive maintenance program is to establish consistent practices designed to improve the performance and safety of the equipment at your property.
The planned maintenance of equipment will help to improve equipment life and avoid any unplanned maintenance activity. A successful preventive maintenance program is dependent on the cooperation of all the parties involved. Managers must rely on the knowledge, ideas, and contributions of all the maintenance personnel at the property.
Things to consider;
Annual Fire extinguisher service
Dryer vent cleaning
Community HVAC Systems maintenance
Fire suppression systems
Backflow prevention valves for irrigation and sprinkler
Groundwater sump pump cleaning and service
Drain line cleaning
Storm water catch basins
Consider top to bottom coverage of your building;
Roof maintenance and cleaning
Gutters and downspouts
Siding, review for cracks, chipping, peeling, sealant failure and adhesive failure. Buried siding at ground level, trims and whitewood decay.
Decks, clean surfaces yearly and watch for bubbling cracks and decay
Windows, flush sill tracks, check failing sealant
Parking garages, review for cracks and water leaks
Walkways should be reviewed for cracks and trip hazards, check for moss and algae
If you encounter a maintenance emergency call SERVPRO of Lynnwood at 425-774-1148 for assistance, we are available 24/7.
6 Tips for Preventing Mold Growth In Your Bathroom
Bathrooms present plenty of damp spaces for mold to grow and resolving lingering moisture is the first step for preventing mold. Check out these following tips to prevent mold growth in your bathroom;
- Monitor humidity levels. Just like for basements, the more humid a space is, the more mold-friendly it becomes. Humidity levels over 45% indicate excessive indoor humidity.
- Repairing leaks. Considering the significant volume of water being used daily, bathroom fixtures and piping can easily develop leaks. Those leaks will result in moist areas that welcome mold growth. It is important to promptly turn to a professional who can repair the leaks and mitigate damage. Additionally, it is always wise to schedule seasonal plumbing checks. You want to make sure that pipes are in good shape and no hidden leaking is taking place.
- Improving ventilation. Moisture can linger if the ventilation system is not allowing air to circulate. Circulation can speed up drying times for residual water in showers, bathtubs, sinks and any other “splash zones.” It is ideal to have an HVAC specialist assess the ventilation efficiency of your property’s bathroom. Ensure the bathroom exhaust fan is working properly.
- Replace moldy caulking. If you notice mold growing on the caulking or sealant of bathtubs and showers, our experts encourage completely stripping the moldy layer and having a professional re-caulk the area. This will ensure that the mold growing in the area will be completely removed, thus eliminating the likelihood of leftover spores starting a new growth.
- Avoid moisture-absorbing furnishings. Furnishing and decorating bathrooms with moisture-absorbing materials can impact the overall level of moisture. It’s best to avoid wallpaper and turn to a specialist for sealing wood countertops.
- Bonus Tip. Residents should use exhaust fans when they take showers or baths. This will allow for condensation and lingering moisture to be removed. Additionally, it’s best if bathtubs and showers are kept as bare as possible. Mold can grow and hide in damp sponges, brushes and soap bottles.
If you have any questions about mold growth in your bathroom call the professionals at SERVPRO of Edmonds 425-775-5723 or visit out website at www.SERVPROedmonds.com .