Choosing and Using a Home Fire Extinguisher
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand to keep your home safe from flames.
Fire Safety Equipment
To keep your home safe from fires, make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. While any number of things can cause a home fire in Harbor Island, WA, from faulty wiring to smoking in bed, many of the most common causes are concentrated in the kitchen. Electrical appliances, cooking grease and pots and pans forgotten on the stove, can all result in a kitchen fire that causes extensive fire damage. Follow the guidelines below to select and operate this vital piece of fire safety equipment.
Choosing an Extinguisher
From aerosol spray cans to fire blankets, there are a lot of options on the market for home fire safety. However, opting for a fire extinguisher usually give you the most versatility and protection when it comes to stopping blazes.
Different extinguishers are made to fight different kinds of fires and every extinguisher has a label telling you what types of fires it puts out. Fires are classified as A, B, C, D and K.
• A – Solid materials like wood, paper, plastic or fabric
• B – Flammable liquid or gas like kerosene, paint, or natural gas
• C – Electrical fires
• D – Combustible metals like magnesium or aluminum (almost never an issue in the home)
• K – Liquids used in food preparation like grease and cooking oils
Choosing an extinguisher that covers, A, B, C and K fires is an option, though it will likely be less effective for some types than others. Another option is to keep both a K and an ABC extinguisher in your kitchen.
Using an Extinguisher
Local fire departments in and around Harbor Island, WA, may offer home fire safety training where you can get hands-on training on how to use a fire extinguisher. If not, remember the acronym PASS.
• P – Pull the pin out of the top of the extinguisher
• A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire where the fuel for it is located
• S – Squeeze the handle to begin spraying the water, powder or foam inside the extinguisher
• S – Sweep the spray from side to side to cover the whole base of the fire
Are Environmental Hygienists Really Necessary?
Mold remediation services in Mercer Island, WA.
Is the Need for Environmental Hygienists Really Necessary?
When you can see (and smell) mold growing up the walls and on the surfaces of your Mercer Island, WA home, do you really need a certified environmental hygienist to tell you that you have a problem and you need a proper mold cleaning? In short, the answer is yes. While you can find the mold that’s visible with the naked eye, an environmental hygienist can do so much more. The resources available to most homeowners only allow you to scratch the surface of mold identification and remediation.
So What Can an Environmental Hygienist Do That I Can’t Do?
Environmental hygienists are trained and certified in mold identification, mold cleaning, mold remediation, and more. Understanding mold infestations in the home is a complex science. Environmental hygienists can:
• Use complex instrumentation to detect mold in hidden places
• Identify the types of mold and the dangers they may pose to your home
• Ensure proper use of protective safety equipment when dealing with mold on surfaces and throughout your home
• Counsel on appropriate mold remediation methods
• Effectively address the source of the mold to prevent future outbreaks, including identifying leaks or humidity issues
What an environmental hygienist’s certification promises are safety. Environmental hygienists are certified to ensure they handle any mold contamination or infestation as safely as possible without further spreading the outbreak or causing additional issues that might damage your home.
Can’t I Just Use a Home Test?
Home tests aren’t as reliable as you think, and can often either lead you down the wrong path or cause greater frustration. You’re constantly surrounded by mold spores in your natural environment, so a mold test will always return false positives without pointing you to the source of a real infestation. An environmental hygienist’s equipment and knowledge can provide laser-sharp accuracy in pinpointing the actual source of a mold outbreak, and recommending mold cleaning and remediation solutions.
Key Steps You Should Complete During Sprinkler System Maintenance
Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty.
Depending on the nature of your Seattle, WA, business, your sprinkler system may be a vital component of your success. Because it’s idle during winter, it’s important to ensure that this system is functioning properly before you restart it at the beginning of the growing season. To accomplish this, you should complete routine irrigation maintenance.
An irrigation system evaluation enables you to identify any existing issues that may interfere with optimal performance, such as broken sprinkler heads, clogs, and water leaks. It also ensures your system is ready to go when you need it to perform, helping to minimize potentially harmful irrigation delays.
Before you turn your system’s water on, you may want to remove sprinkler heads. This may help clear debris near valves, reducing the risk of obstructions.
When you’re ready to initiate water flow, increase pressure slowly. If you immediately turn the water on full strength, the intense initial pressure may cause some components to crack or burst.
Once the water is turned on, you can evaluate how individual components are functioning. To complete an efficient irrigation maintenance review, you should take the following steps:
• Ensure the system has adequate water pressure
• Confirm that each valve has the proper orientation
• Verify the rotation of heads and adjust as needed
• Clean filters, if necessary
• Inspect and clean sensors
It’s also important to check your system’s controller. You may need to reprogram this component to set up automatic watering. You may also need to replace backup batteries.
Avoid Sprinkler Flooding
Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty. Completing annual irrigation maintenance can help minimize the risk of performance issues as well as potentially destructive sprinkler flooding. Flooding can be costly, especially if it flows into your building and necessitates the need for extensive cleanup efforts. In short, an annual irrigation system evaluation helps to ensure optimal performance as well as protect your property and financial interests.
After a Flood: What Not To Do
Flood water in your home is a situation that calls for smart action.
If your home in Seattle, WA, is plagued by floodwater, you will undoubtedly get a lot of advice about what to do to make the recovery process smoother. Avoiding unnecessary or harmful behavior, however, is just as important, if not more so, than taking positive steps. Here are five actions to avoid so that you don't make a situation that's potentially dangerous worse for you and your family.
1. Don't Stay.
Step one of dealing with a flooded home is getting out of it. Don't try to stay in your house, especially if you have significant damage or if evacuation is recommended or mandated. You could be putting your family's safety at risk.
2. Don't Wade.
A number of problems could arise from standing floodwater. It could be charged with electricity, hiding sharp or dangerous items or filled with bacteria. At any rate, you don't want this water to touch your skin or be anywhere near you.
3. Don't Play.
If you are waiting to be rescued or waiting on an adjuster to arrive, you may feel bored. Fight the urge to play games on your phone or use it in any way that depletes the charge. You may need it for emergency reasons, and you may not have any place to recharge it.
4. Don't Buy.
Purchasing new furniture or replacing destroyed items is the very last item on the restoration to-do list. Buying these things before you have a clean, restored place to put them is inadvisable.
5. Don't Hesitate.
You may see widespread water damage all around you, but don't assume that your insurance company and flood restoration specialists won't have time to come and assess your property. Go ahead and give them a call to report the damage to your home. The sooner you call, the sooner they can help.
Flood water in your home is a situation that calls for smart action. Take the steps you need to take, and avoid the things that work against you.
What Is Mold? Your Guide To Understanding This Fungus Among Us
It can be disheartening to find black mold or mold of any kind in one's home.
Mold is one of those dreaded problems that most homeowners are forced to deal with at least once or twice in their lifetimes. However, just because it is a common problem does not make it any easier to remediate—or understand. If you want to better understand black mold, its causes, and how you can prevent it, contact your Seattle, WA, mold remediation team to discuss your concerns and find answers to your most pressing questions.
What Are the Types?
If you want to know how to prevent mold and, when it's present, how to get rid of it, you need to first understand the different varieties and which may be present in your home. There are four main types:
Your mold cleanup team can help you identify the type present in your home and advise you on the best way to deal with it. If it is black mold, the team can act swiftly to prevent further contamination and prevent unwanted side effects.
Where Is It Found?
Mold can grow in just about any environment and all year round. However, its growth is typically encouraged by high humidity levels and warm conditions. Outdoors, you may be able to find it in moist, shady areas where leaves or other vegetation are decomposing. Indoors, you may be able to find it where humidity levels are high.
How Can You Prevent Exposure?
Preventing mold exposure does not have to be hard, and in fact, many proven prevention measures are things you likely do already. For instance, if you notice a moisture problem, you fix it. If your roof has a leak, you patch it. If the air in your home feels wet, you invest in a dehumidifier. In short, the key to preventing mold is moisture control.
It can be disheartening to find black mold or mold of any kind in one's home. If you discover the fungi in your home, reach out to Seattle, WA, mold remediation experts to correct the issue and prevent further problems.
Should You Prepare for a Flood?
Don't drive through flood water.
Is It Necessary to Prepare for a Flood?
Sometimes you live in an area where flood water is known to cause a problem, but sometimes the disaster is something you never expected. Living in Harbor Island, WA, you should prepare your family for a flood just as you would prepare for a house fire. Here are some ways you can get ready for a flood:
• Know your property's flood risk. Check FEMA's Flood Map Service Center for the likelihood of a flood in your area.
• Keep important documents safe and ready. You'll need a waterproof container or digital copies of your most important family documents.
• Sign up for emergency alerts. Receive warnings for flood water by signing up for alerts with FEMA, your local government, or one of the major weather broadcasting apps.
• Have an evacuation plan. Know evacuation routes and designated shelters for your area. Have a "go bag" prepared that includes medications, food, water, and batteries.
• Have an emergency communication plan. Designate a contact that lives far from your area to be a relay point for communication during a major disaster.
• Consider a flood insurance policy. Most home insurance policies don't cover water damage from floods.
• Place valuable property up high. In the case of a flooded building, put your more valuable personal items in a high place in your home.
• Protect your property. Help prevent water damage by making sure water flows away from your home. Clean gutters, use drains and landscaping elements, and consider a sump pump for a basement or crawl space.
If officials evacuate the area, be sure to leave on time. Leave your home and go to the predetermined location from your evacuation plan. Don't drive through flood water and don't cross bridges with fast water raging below. If you have water damage in your home, trained specialists are available to assist you with cleanup helping you know what to remove and what to restore.
How To Detect Mold in Your Air Ducts
Mold damage in Mercer Island, WA.
Three Ways To Know You Have Mold
Mold is a fungus that lives everywhere. Outside, it can help organic material break down and release nutrients back into the ecosystem. Inside, however, it can make a smelly mess in your commercial property in Mercer Island, WA, and, if allowed to grow, can break down the materials that make up the building's structure. If you suspect there is mold growth in your air ducts, it may require professional HVAC cleaning by remediation specialists. There are three ways to know if you have mold for sure.
If you see mold, that is a clear sign that you have a problem. Mold spores from the air can attach to the dust in your ducts. If there is any moisture around at all, growth is likely to occur. Mold in your air ducts can be a variety of colors, such as brown or green, and it often has a fuzzy texture. When you're cleaning vents, you may see spots in and around the HVAC opening. If so, call on the specialists to take care of the problem by doing a thorough HVAC cleaning.
Another telltale sign of mold is a musty odor. If your building has a funky smell that you can't track down, it is possible that it is coming from a mold problem in your air ducts. Because the HVAC system moves air throughout the area it cools or heats, the smell is likely to permeate the entire building. If you have an odor that you can't eliminate or trace, call the experts to investigate.
Even if you can't see or smell mold, that doesn't mean it's not there. Remediation professionals can test your system for mold so that you know for sure. Because they are certified to read and interpret the results of the test, professional testing is more accurate than home testing.
If you need HVAC cleaning in Mercer Island, WA, to take care of a mold problem, call in the experts rather than do it yourself. They can test before and after to make sure the problem is fully resolved.
4 Ways To Protect Your Pets From Fire
Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans.
How To Protect Your Pets From Fire
A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to keeping your pets safe in the event of a fire emergency. Here are a few pet preparation steps to add to your fire safety plan.
1. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Your family's fire evacuation strategy should account for pets. Plan how to get pets out of the house if possible. Keep in mind that pets may be frightened and keep carriers or leashes in a convenient location for making a quick exit.
2. Avoid open flames. This preventative step can help to reduce the risk of your pet sustaining minor burns as well as a full-scale fire emergency. Never light open-flame candles at low levels or near the edges of a table where a pet can knock these candles over or end up with a singed tail.
3. Make sure pets cannot turn on the stove. Some dogs are tall enough to turn the knobs of a stove. This can result in dangerous consequences that range from gas leaks to fires. Consider using a pet safety gate or other method for keeping pets out of the kitchen while you are not at home.
4. Gather pet ownership and vaccination records in a fire box. In the event of a fire, it is best to have all of the important papers for your home, family, and pets ready to go in a fire box. Make sure your evacuation plan accounts for the location of this box.
Taking these four steps toward pet safety can pay off in the event of a fire emergency. You can also reduce the likelihood that your pet will cause a fire that may endanger every resident of your home and damage your property. If you experience a fire at your home, contact residential damage restoration experts located in Seatac,WA.
The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage
Water damage is caused by broken pipes.
List of Don’ts of Water Damage
A broken pipe creates many concerns for homeowners, and while it is instinctual to protect your belongings, that instinct can lead to injury or further damage. The list of don’ts below may help you minimize health risks while mitigating concerns over your belongings.
1. Do Not Use Electronics
While most people are preoccupied with the immediate risks to property, they may ignore the dangers of submerged outlets and water-soaked wiring. Plugging in or trying to use electrical appliances and tools may come with the threat of shock and electrocution. If you are uncertain of the safety of your home, you can seek help from a disaster specialist in the Tukwila, WA, area who can assess your property for any potential hazards.
2. Do Not Ignore Damp Fabrics
While a broken pipe can be overwhelming, you shouldn’t let it distract you from other threats to your property. Ignoring damp fabrics, for instance, can lead to mold growth, and it may also cause irreversible damage to hardwood floors and other surfaces. It is essential to remove wet materials and hang them somewhere to dry.
3. Do Not Leave Wet Dyed Items on Floors
Items like books and magazines may also stain and distress floors, countertops, and furniture. Their colorful bindings and pictures can bleed deep into porous surfaces if left to soak and dry on their own. Also, as paper is a porous substance, it can be a source of mold and mildew growth.
4. Do Not Handle Items without Protection
The buildup of water in a home can also lead to contamination, depending on the origin of the pipes. For instance, flooding from sewer lines can fill a house with black water, which is water conducive to bacteria growth. Unless you know the water classification, assume that water is contaminated and that you must wear protective clothing to handle any affected items.
A broken pipe presents many potential hazards for homeowners, and while it is easy to know what you should do, like removing excess water, it is less obvious what you should avoid. The above list of don’ts may help you avoid risks while mitigating your home repair.
Creating an Office Fire Escape Strategy: 3 Factors To Consider
Create a fire escape plan for your Seatac, WA business
Creating a Fire Escape Plan
Imagining the possibility of a fire breaking out at your Seatac, WA, business is not very pleasant. However, preparing for such an emergency can reduce the risk of injury to your employees and customers, and one way to do so is to create a fire escape plan. Before you draw up your map, there are a few factors to consider that can make it more efficient and reduce the time it takes for everyone to evacuate the building.
1. What Are the Fire Risk Factors?
Understanding your office building’s fire risks can help you create a viable escape plan. For example, if your company occupies one floor and there are others either above or below you, consider where a fire might be most likely to start. Restaurants and manufacturing businesses both carry a considerable fire risk, so it is a good idea to keep the environment in mind when creating your evacuation plan.
2. How Many Exits Are There?
During a fire, the route to the main exit may be blocked by smoke or flames. To ensure everyone can leave the building by an alternate route, note all the available exits when you draw up an emergency escape plan and detail how they can be reached during a fire. Have smoke and fire damage cleanup service technicians tour the building with you and ask whether there are enough exits to accommodate the building’s maximum occupancy.
3. What Kind of Protocol Can Be Used?
When you create a fire escape plan, consider how to put it into action if a blaze should break out. For instance, if you have employees on different floors, then invest in fire protocol training across the board to ensure all employees knows how to react if the fire alarm goes off and that they know how to reach the nearest exit.
Remember to give yourself plenty of time to creating a viable fire escape plan for your Seatac, WA, business. Careful planning can reduce chaos and panic during such an emergency.