Focus on Fire Safety this Holiday Season!
Did you know that there is an increased incident of cooking fires on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? While the holidays are time for family, laughter and new memories, they can also be the perfect opportunity for disaster if you aren’t careful. However, the good news is that cooking fires can be avoided by simply being attentive to your cooking materials and equipment, not just your loved ones, and practicing the following tips and tricks:
- Never leave the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling your food. If you have to step away, make sure to turn off the stove.
- If you are baking or roasting something, make sure to set a timer to alert you when your food should be done, check it periodically and never leave your home while the oven is still on.
- Make sure that you are fully alert while cooking. If you are tipsy, tired or under the influence of any medication that causes drowsiness, have someone else take over cooking duties.
- Keep anything that can catch fire, including oven mitts, wooden and plastic utensils, towels or any food packaging away from your stovetop.
- Make sure that any loose or dangling clothing is tucked away so it is not able to come in contact with anything that will cause it to catch fire.
Follow these simple tips and use your best judgment to keep you, your loved ones and your home safe. Remember, SERVPRO of White Plains & New Rochelle is here for you no matter what happens this holiday season, just give us a call at 914-684-1560.
Fireplaces and Our Homes
As the colder months approach, it’s only natural that we’re going to find ourselves trying to stay warm. This means that for many people, fireplaces are going to start being utilized. While they can provide a sense of comfort and bring a great amount of warmth, they do possess the ability to wreak havoc if not used properly. Here are some great tips to stay warm and keep yourself, as well as your home, safe:
- Keep your fireplace clean! Make sure to dispose of any ash and soot before lighting a fire. This allows for a better air flow and cleaner combustion.
- Make sure that you’re using quality wood. Dry wood burns more cleanly than any other wood, so avoid any wet, rotten or diseased wood.
- Make sure you are certain that the damper or flue is completely open before starting a fire. Keeping them open until the fire is out will ensure that smoke is drawn out of the house.
- If possible, keep a window cracked for additional ventilation.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher handy!
- Never, ever, leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure to install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test them every month and change the batteries at least once a year.
Stay warm, stay safe, and remember that SERVPRO of White Plains & New Rochelle is here for you 24/7, 365 days a year. Just give us a call at 914-684-1560.
Autumn has arrived! You know what that means…
Fall is known for being a transitional part of the year. Leaves begin to change colors, the air becomes a little crisper, as a familiar chill surrounds you. However, all of these wonderful things also mean that water damage issues are also in flux. While you might not always think about it, those beautiful, colorful leaves that gracefully fall off their trees, also are a big source of potential damage. Autumn leaves whether we like it or not, clog gutters and downspouts. Now, when substantial rainfall occurs, gutters will then overflow and spill water down exterior walls, which will then penetrate siding and infiltrating wall cavities. Unfortunately, indoor water damage and mold growth can happen as a result of this. That being said, make sure those gutters get cleaned! If you’re not comfortable doing the task yourself, there are plenty of qualified professionals that are willing to take care of it for you. Keeping on top of them can help you avoid a costly and time consuming issue later down the road.
However, if it does happen to slip your mind, SERVPRO of White Plains & New Rochelle is always here to help. Whether it’s water or mold, we’ve got your back! Our SERVPRO professionals will happily conduct a no-cost assessment of the damage. For more information on SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle, please contact us at (914) 684-1560 or (800) 967-6663. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
Disasters and What They Can Teach Us
As you may or may not have known, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month. This simply means that we use the entire month to talk about the importance of everyone, especially business owners, creating a thorough emergency plan for when issues arise, whether it be fire, water, mold or anything in between. Certain disasters bring specific aspects of destruction with them that can require special attention. Business owners need to plan for additional challenges like business interruption and continuation during these challenging times. This is why it is so important to have a plan together that includes not only immediate access to critical data like emergency contacts and insurance information, but also information that pertains to certain disasters and the unique threats that they can pose.
For example, when Tropical Storm Isaias made its way through parts of the US and Canada last month, there was plenty of destruction left in its path, especially in the Northeast. While flooding is often expected and businesses can only do so much to prepare, the more daunting issue Isaias posed was millions of power outages nationwide. While an emergency service plan can help during this time, there is often an extra level of limitation that no electricity can pose. Some businesses are able to invest in backup generators, including stationary or standby generators that will connect to your electricity line, and turn on automatically if you have a power outage. Portable generators are also a less expensive option that some businesses turn to, but they tend to be less powerful and unreliable when it comes to keeping a business up and running. Please note, that if you are able to obtain a generator, always put them outside and away from doors, windows and vents. Using a generator in an enclosed space can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, which can turn very deadly in a short amount of time so it is important to be careful. This will ensure the health and safety of your employees while allowing your business to be up, running and able to serve the community around you.
However, if obtaining a backup generator is not an option, risks include an outage of security systems or fire alarms, two essential systems that are meant to keep both businesses and employees safe. This is why when planning for disaster, make sure your alarm system has a fully charged backup battery that will prevent it from turning off if power is lost. It’s important to note that as technology advances, more security systems relying simply on internet connection are coming onto the market. As a business owner, it is important to think about how these systems go down without internet connection and how this will serve your business during a power outage. While general emergency plans are vital to you and your business, it is equally as vital to think about each different disaster and plan for the unique limitations they can pose to you.
Here at SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle our main goal is to provide you with information that keeps both your business and home running smoothly, even when we’re not needed. Along with that, we would love to be your designated disaster mitigation and restoration provider if that need arrives. Our SERVPRO professionals will happily conduct a no-cost assessment of the damage. We also have access to portable generators which allows us here at SERVPRO to get your business, or home, cleaned up in no time, even without power. For more information on SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle, please contact us at (914) 684-1560 or 800-967-6663.
Get the Facts, not the Flu!
Fall brings the excitement of so many things that we all look forward to every year… leaves changing colors, pumpkins, apple picking, football, Halloween and so much more. However, fall also brings the peak of the dreaded cold and flu season. While this year is a bit different as we are in the midst of a pandemic, the same threat remains from viruses that cause cold and flu illnesses. The CDC recommends taking personal protective measures such as getting up-to-date vaccinations, washing your hands, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home while sick and keeping your distance from others. While these tactics do aid in stopping the spread of these pesky viruses, sometimes it’s just not enough.
Viruses, including influenza, tend to be able to live on surfaces for multiple days. This means if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you’ve just potentially infected yourself! That is the reason why now is the time to start thinking about calling us here at SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle to deep clean your home or business. We don’t just take care of water damages, fires and mold… we do it all. We have been trained in disinfection and sanitation protocols, and strive to create a safe and germ free environment for you and your loved ones during the cold and flu season. Give us a call at 914-684-1560 to get the facts, not the flu!
Shiver me timbers!
Here comes the thunderstorm with flashes of lightning, claps of thunder and damaging high winds. There are a few days coming up in the next week and a half where thunderstorms are in the forecast. The strong winds associated with thunderstorms can wreak havoc on your property with the destruction of trees and structures. Taking an inventory of the trees near your business will help determine what trees need attention and when to remove them. This is the time to manage the trees around your business before they come crashing down during a storm and affect your business even more than it has been affected with recent events.
Do you know what to look for when visually inspecting trees around your business? Here is a list of things to look for:
- Broken branches and tree limbs
- Inspect branches for growth. Make sure leaves are growing on the branches.
- Are the roots firmly planted in the soil? Does it look like the ground has shifted and the roots are lifting? Look for any suspicious areas of raised ground near the tree.
- Look for any areas of the trunk that might be hollowed out. Is it a significant sized area or hole located in the trunk?
If you have a tree or a few trees exhibiting these symptoms, please call a local arborist to come evaluate the tree or trees to help establish a plan of action. The work could be pricey to rectify but having your business completely out of commission for a downed tree would be more costly. Also keeping your customers safety at the forefront is important.
Here at SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle we have the experience and expertise along with training to help you and your business if there is a tree fall. We will be able to get your business secured by boarding up any open areas from the tree fall, until the tree is able to be removed.
Getting back to business
These months of stagnant movement and traffic in places of business has left work spaces stale. Opening back up will entail cleaning, reorganizing, shifting schedules and staggered hours to meet requirements for social distancing. The requirements to establish for social distancing can be time consuming on top of the required cleanings needed to stay within recommendations for a safe community. Customers feeling a sense of security when they patronize businesses will be a priority because without customers there would be no business.
A benefit of having regular cleanings done not only takes care of any pathogens but it also helps keep pollen levels down in your business too. This time of year can be extremely agitating physically and mentally with high levels of pollen in the air. Customers who are comfortable will have a more pleasant experience and will not feel the need to rush out to sneeze , cough, or blow their noses. SERVPRO has established a cleaning protocol to handle in depth and follow up cleanings to help your business follow a cleaning protocol and have your customers feel a sense of safety and security.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Let`s get soaking wet!
Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner. The large gatherings, cookouts, swimming pools opening, firework displays and other communal activities have been scaled back significantly for the health of our community and loved ones. The temperatures will be around 70 degrees as a high and there is rain coming on Saturday...BOOO! The rest of the extended weekend looks sunny to partly cloudy and pleasant.
Whether your celebration includes small fireworks, bonfires or swimming pools, safety is paramount. If you are using small fireworks, make sure there is a bucket of water or sand to extinguish them when done. Sparklers can reach 1200 degrees and can cause severe burns or the sparks coming off of it can cause eye damage. Make sure your children, friends or family are not running with them and put them into the bucket of water and sand when complete.
Having a swimming pool is a major responsibility, from keeping it clean to keeping the pH in a normal range. If you top off your pool with water keep an eye on the hose connections and the level of water. If you leave the water hose running for a couple days to top off the pool it can become disastrous if there is a leak that you are not aware of. Make sure the outside faucet the hose is attached to is not leaking, check the water pipe inside the house that is attached to the faucet outside and make sure there is no leaking. Also check the hose connection and the water line at least one to two times a day. Having a leak go undetected for a day or even a few hours can be disastrous and expensive. Trying to get a contractor over a holiday weekend can bestressful but here at SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle we are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle remembers and honors the military members who gave their lives in service to our country.
Hurricane season is from June 1st to November 30 and will begin in under 2 weeks. Located along the shores of the Long Island Sound our communities have a much greater chance of flooding than our neighbors further inland. Living in flood and hurricane prone areas require an extra level of awareness of the weather, especially during hurricane season. Here are some tips to prepare for a hurricane.
- Build an emergency kit that contains non-perishable canned food for at least three days, a gallon of water for each person in your household for 3 days, fully stocked first aid kit, disinfectant wipes, soap, hand sanitizer, non-prescription medicines for common ailments, prescription eyeglasses, contact lens cleaner, pet food and water, cash, traveler’s checks, important family and household documents, warm blankets for each person, change of clothes, comfortable and sturdy shoes, fire extinguisher, matches, personal hygiene items,paper cups and plates, plastic utensils, paper, pen, pencil, books, puzzles, deck of cards and other games.
- Learn evacuation routes in case the need to leave arises.
- Sign up for emergency alerts in your area.
- Keep gutters and drains clear of leaves and debris to allow water to flow freely and not dam up.
- Cover all your windows. Permanent shutters are the best option but you can also board up your home's windows using at least marine plywood that has been cut and ready to install.
- Make sure your garage door is reinforced because if wind gets into your garage it can cause extensive damage.
- Make sure your generator is serviced and operational.
- Remove any outdoor furniture, lawn ornaments, or decorations that can become deadly projectiles during extreme high winds. Move them to the basement.
- Charge up all cell phones, laptops and portable batteries.
Staying safe and alive during a hurricane is very important. These items will help you before, during and after a storm has passed.
Keep it clean.
As of May 15th Phase One of reopening non-essential businesses has begun in the state of New York. The five types of businesses that can open are Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale trade, Retail (curbside pickup only), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. There are shared requirements for each group of businesses:
- All employees must have masks and they need to be employer provided.
- All workers must practice social distancing and remain 6 feet apart
- Any visitors or customers visiting these places for business need to also wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
- Hand sanitizer must be provided
The retail businesses that will open will need to follow additional guidelines:
- During curbside pickup, employees and purchasers in vehicles must wear a mask; gloves are recommended.
- For in-store pickup, the customer has to order ahead or prearrange orders.
- No more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy
- Patrons in store must wear masks
Even though our area has not begun to open back up, preparations can be made if you are a small business owner in Westchester County. All other areas that did not begin Phase One remain on lock down and will be re-evaluated May 28th. This time also gives small business owners the time needed to get essential supplies and set up protocols to maintain requirements for Phase One. These guidelines also include having spaces cleaned by a professional and qualified company on a regular basis.
SERVPRO of White Plains and New Rochelle can help you with those needs with our experienced and trained technicians. SERVPRO has established a defensive cleaning program that goes beyond janitorial and carpet cleaning. This is a proactive viral pathogen cleaning that helps ensure the cleanliness of the restaurants, businesses and public spaces in the communities we call home.