First Responders Face Unknown Hazards
First Responders Face Unknown Hazards
When it comes to floods and other disasters, a first responder is like the pioneers in days of old. The pioneers blazed trails through new territory and made possible the Westward expansion. They explored the unknown reaches of our country, often at significant personal risk.
The first responders of today have a similar role. The difference is that they already know their destination. What they don’t know is the extent of the damage they will encounter. They don’t know what hazards they will face. They don’t even know if they can reach the problem areas. They may face many risks:
- Diseases brought by the flood
- Injury from debris, damaged buildings, live electric wires and gas leaks
- Animal encounters
First Responders Work Together as Teams
Teamwork is an essential part of a flood response strategy. When necessary, a first responder can summon additional support. Together, they remove obstructions, eliminate hazards and make the area safe. Once this is complete, homeowners may return to their homes.
Immunizations Are an Important Part of Personal Safety
Flooded areas are breeding zones for diseases. Because first responders are on the front lines of the flood recovery, they are the most susceptible to water-borne and insect-borne illnesses. They are also at higher risk from the inevitable cuts and scrapes that occur in the performance of their duties.
Immunizations are the best way to avoid these diseases. Emergency workers require protection from tetanus and hepatitis B. Individual response units and agencies may require their members to get protection from additional diseases such as typhoid or cholera.
It’s Time To Return to Your Home
Don’t forget to thank every first responder you encounter. They make it possible for you to return home and start the restoration. It’s helpful to know that there are disaster recovery specialists located in the Gordonsville, TN, area ready to help restore your home. They are just a phone call away. When it’s over, it will be “Like it never even happened.”
Flooding and Unforeseen Secondary Damage
Hardwood water damage after pipe break in a Smithville,TN home
Flood and water damage cleanup in Smithville, TN, is both time-consuming and labor-intensive, but not completing the job properly can lead to problems later on. Secondary damage like black mold and drywall issues will eventually rear their head, and can be even more dangerous than the initial flooding.
Primary vs. Secondary
When you’ve experienced a flood or burst pipe, it may be easy to spot the initial damage to your property. Things get wet and need to be dried out, while water needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Secondary damage occurs over time and can have a variety of causes, including the following:
- Improper initial cleanup
- Unseen damage
- High humidity preventing evaporation
- Poor airflow through the site
- Hidden standing water
- Weakened pipes that burst at a later date
This continuous and slowly-evaporating moisture can lead to mold and other problems that can be more difficult to repair.
Hardwood flooring is especially susceptible to poor drying times. Water seeps into small micro-fissures in the wood grain and can lead to cracking and even warped floorboards. These pieces will need to be replaced, which is a costly venture when trying to match board color and width.
Other furniture can suffer from poor drying as well, including countertops forced out of shape thanks to rotting or warping supports. Without proper ventilation to allow moisture to evaporate effectively, there are many components that will need to be replaced.
The greatest danger exacerbated by lingering moisture is black mold. This toxic substance will grow in the darkest spots of your home before you even realize it’s there. Often times drywall is the culprit, since it absorbs wetness easily but can hide it within walls, well out of sight.
In Smithville, TN, humidity is going to be a problem whenever you attempt to keep things dry. Invest in a dehumidifier to lessen its intensity. Whenever you have water damage from flooding or burst pipes, take the time to adequately air out your home to make sure water evaporated effectively, stopping the spread of black mold in its tracks!
Advice for Protecting Your Building From a Flood
Floods can come from hurricanes
Until it happens to you, the thought of becoming a victim of a flood seems remote. In reality, though, floods are among the most common disasters to strike a business, and the threat is only growing. Flood damage is a devastating situation for a company to deal with, but professionals in Carthage, TN, can help you through the process. Aside from having proper flood insurance in place, partnering with a flood remediation team is one of the best ways to protect your company from rising waters. The team should operate on the principle Faster to any size disaster because speed is an important factor when it comes to minimizing the damage.
The Increasing Threat of Floods
With rising temperatures comes the threat of heavier rain events and the greater likelihood that a company will experience storm damage at some point. Floods can come in many levels of severity and from the following events:
- Torrential downpours
- Consistent rains over several days
- Saturated ground
- High tides coupled with higher sea levels
- High winds near lakes and oceans
The fact is, FEMA recently redrew the floodplain maps to reflect the greater threat of flooding. It might be a good idea to check to see if the floodplain map has changed in Carthage, TN.
The Best Protection
Flood damage is nothing to mess around with. It requires a fast response by professionals. The quicker a team arrives with powerful equipment the sooner it can begin the remediation process. It all begins with an inspection and an assessment of the problem, and then moves on to water removal. From there, the team can work on drying out the building to lessen the chance of mold gaining a foothold. Dry-cleaning may be used to clean and dry clothes, and then cleaning and sanitizing will take place.
Other techniques such as a tear out of damaged material may be needed. In the end, though, with the right remediation team, flood damage will look Like it never even happened.
Smoke Damage and Your Company: Talking to Your Insurance
Call a professional for help
Tips To Keep In Mind When Talking To Your Insurance Agent
If your Cookeville, TN, business has been through a fire, it may contain some smoke damage. In many cases you may believe that your insurance policy should cover this. However, the process of filing a claim can seem tricky. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when talking to your insurance agent.
1. Create Records of the Damage
Before your insurance agent arrives on the scene you can begin documenting any fire or soot damage you may find. You will want to date everything and note locations and type of damage, the estimated value of the original item, and when possible take photographs. This will help your agent begin the claim process when they arrive.
2. Know What Your Policy Contains
It is also your responsibility to know what your insurance policy contains before any smoke damage occurs. This way you can know what is covered and what is not, and purchase any additional policies you may desire to fill in any coverage gaps.
3. Call a Professional for Help
In many cases your insurance agent may have a professional restoration service they recommend to help with any repair and smoke cleaning. These services already have the tools and knowledge needed to safely restore the property to working condition. They may also have tools in place that can help your insurance agent check up-to-date information, as well as streamline parts of the claim filing process.
When discussing your claim with your insurance agent, it's important to have documented everything. You may even want to include photographs where possible. You should also know what your policy contains as well as any additional insurance coverage you may have purchased for your company. This may include smoke damage as well as damages caused by the fire itself. It's also a good idea to ask your agent if they recommend a professional service, as some of these already have tools in place to help make the documentation and claim filing easier.
3 Ways to Find a Mold Growth in Your Building
Check your air ducts
Ways To Confirm You Have Mold In Your Building
Mold is a common problem in many buildings. It grows easily in moist environments and can spread quickly, so you can sometimes develop a problem overnight. In some cases, you may need to hire an indoor environmental specialist. If you believe that you have mold in your Silver Point, TN, building, here are a few ways to confirm your suspicions.
1. Look for Visible Signs
Perhaps the easiest way to spot a mold is simply to look for one. This fungus comes in many colors and usually has a fuzzy appearance. The first places that you should check are those with excessive moisture, such as air ducts, plumbing fixtures and any leaky or water damaged areas. While some mold will be easy to find, some may be hidden, so you should not rely solely on this method.
2. Check for Unpleasant Odors
In cases of hidden mold, there is another technique that you can use to determine its presence. This fungus often gives off a musty odor, so you might be able to smell it before you can see it. If you notice a mildewy scent in the building but are unable to locate the source, chances are you have hidden mold that will likely require you to hire an indoor environmental specialist.
3. Hire a Professional
If you believe that you have mold growing in your building but haven’t been able to find it on your own, then it’s time to hire a professional. A trained specialist can perform a mold test to determine if there is excessive growth. Once they have done so, they can inform you of the best way to move forward.
Sometimes the presence of mold is obvious, but if you are uncertain, it is best to hire an indoor environmental specialist to perform the test for you. Attempting to do so on your own will likely result in inaccurate findings. If there is a growth, a mold remediation company can remove it and help keep it from returning.
Flood Hazards for First Responders
If suffering from storm damage follow these tips to stay safe
When a flood hits Cookeville, TN, a first responder is the hero of the day as he or she works to protect lives, property and the environment. It is important for these trained professionals to look after themselves as well, and this work comes with its own set of potential risks. Rather than put yourself or others at risk, follow these simple steps to stay safe.
3 Steps You Should Follow to Stay Safe.
Flood response has its own set of hazards. Prior to heading out to help others, take time to review personal safety procedures.
- Immunizations for Hepatitis B and tetanus must be up-to-date.
- Protective clothing should include chemical-resistant outer clothing, goggles, boots and plastic or rubber gloves.
- Layer latex gloves over puncture-resistant gloves and discard them after use.
After cleaning, don’t wear contaminated clothes in your personal vehicle. Remember to shower and change into uncontaminated clothes when your shift as a first responder ends. Wear a disposable N95 mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold. Clean wet surfaces with clean water and disinfectant. Properly vent portable generators and avoid the risk of electrocution.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially when working near traffic. Watch for sinkholes and areas where the terrain has sustained damage. Seek medical care if you are exposed to raw sewage or chemicals. Frequently wash your hands in soap and clean water or with alcohol-based gel, especially before meals and after handling potentially contaminated materials.
The major cause of loss of life in floods is being trapped in a vehicle. It takes only a foot of water to float many cars and trucks, and once the wheels are off the road, rolling, flipping, or colliding with anything downstream can happen quickly.
A first responder is a welcome sight to flood victims and is the person who will lead the way to recovery and damage remediation. Though staying dry may be impossible, staying safe doesn’t have to be.
What Types of Assistance Can You Expect From FEMA?
Federal Emergency Management Agency
What Types of Assistance Can You Expect From FEMA?
When you're affected by heavy storm damage, you can get emergency help from the government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Financial assistance can be used to help you get back on your feet. Before getting into the services FEMA provides, take a look at who qualifies:
- Was your home damage a direct result of the storm?
- Is your home uninhabitable?
- Did you need to stay in a hotel because of power or water loss?
- Have you checked with your insurance provider?
- Do you live within a mandatory evacuation zone?
If your insurance company covers your losses, the agency won't pay for any covered costs for repairs or hotel bills.
Structural Repairs to Your Home
The grants from FEMA are intended to pay for minimal repairs that make it safe for you to live in your home. The financial assistance should go to the structural repairs your home needs. These repairs may include the foundation, walls, doors, cabinetry, and roof of your home, for example. If you aren't sure how much money you'll need, get an estimate from flood damage repair and recovery experts.
Sometimes, such as during Hurricane Harvey, it's not safe to remain in your home. Whether the dangers are related to power and water outages or structural damages, you may get help paying for a hotel room. If your insurance provides this type of cover during the flood, the agency won't cover the costs. If you do qualify, you'll need to find a hotel participating in the government's transitional housing program.
When you require a generator for medical devices, the government agency may reimburse you for the cost. To get this reimbursement, you must save your receipt and get a letter from your doctor. With this information, follow the registration process and wait to be contacted.
FEMA offers several services to help you out when flooding and other emergencies have made it impossible to remain in your Algood, TN, home. Determine whether you qualify and then take the appropriate registration steps for financial assistance, loans, and reimbursement.
How To Prevent a Dryer Fire
Clean the lint after every load
Many appliances in your home that you use on a daily basis can result in a home fire in Baxter, TN, if broken or not maintained correctly, including your clothes dryer. While a fire damage cleanup company can help if this situation does arise, there are several important steps for preventing a lint fire in your home.
Have Your Dryer Professionally Installed and Maintained
Having a professional technician install your dryer and service it at least twice a year is a great start to making sure your dryer is set up to perform optimally. There are many areas of your dryer where lint can cause dangerous blockages, and a technician can check if any repairs are necessary.
Fully Remove Lint
Many people know that they are supposed to clean the lint filter after they do a load, but not everyone is aware they should also clean out their vent pipes regularly to prevent a lint fire. Make sure to never neglect cleaning the lint filter before starting a new load and clean the inside your dryer from any remaining lint. If you feel your dryer is getting too hot or there is no air escaping from the dryer vent, clean the air exhaust vent pipe from all lint and debris.
Practice Good Habits
When doing laundry, be aware of potential fire hazards that can result in a dryer fire. Keep flammable objects off the surface of the appliance and avoid overloading your dryer. It is also a good idea to never do laundry when you’re asleep or away so you can address an issue right away.
While you might assume that your dryer will always work as it should, a lint fire can happen with improper maintenance. Make sure to get the help of a professional when needed and try to remove as much lint as possible from your dryer in between cleanings.
Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System
Maintain, test, and inspect your sprinkler system
Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System
As a commercial business owner or property manager, you’ve made long-term investments for both yourself and your employees. Keeping those assets safe from the real possibility of fire requires taking the time and effort to inspect and maintain the mechanics of your business’s fire sprinkler system. NFPA 25 is the Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, and it should be referred to, along with Monterey, TN, codes and regulations. Additionally, you should keep in mind the following items.
1. Keep Maintenance Dates Handy
When your sprinkler system is installed, a tag is attached displaying in detail the inspection, test and maintenance service performed. A new tag will be attached each time a service has been completed. Although the tag confirms dates of service, have a calendar within reach to remind you of the scheduling of future inspections and tests. Having a backup means fewer chances of receiving violations and costly penalty charges for forgetting to maintain your sprinklers.
2. Be Aware of Hazards
Always keep an eye out for all possible fire hazards, in addition to whatever objects could prevent the fire sprinkler system from working properly. Avoid placing tall objects beneath sprinklers to ensure water is distributed evenly throughout the space. A room packed to capacity could impede the sprinkler head and essentially cause more fire damage.
3. Enlist Professionals To Clean Up After Sprinkler Use
It’s a given that a sprinkler system is used to put out fires, but the system itself could cause water damage to the premises, not only to furniture, fabrics, and equipment, but also beneath the surface if left untreated. A water damage restoration specialist can help to clean up the aftermath if your system is ever engaged.
The state fire marshal’s office, local fire departments, and certified fire sprinkler contractors are available to answer any questions you might have concerning the maintenance and use of your sprinkler or fire suppression system. Be proactive. Maintain, test, and inspect your sprinkler system according to the codes and standards as directed.
Dealing With Leaky Pipes at Your Commercial Property
Commercial water damage cleanup in Woodbury,TN
When it comes to running your commercial building in Woodbury, TN, you probably know that time is money. Being forced to close in order to orchestrate a pipe burst cleanup isn't ideal for your business. It's a good idea to have a plan in place to make the process as efficient as possible.
Spot Sources of Water Damage
If your commercial real estate is old or hasn't been properly maintained, your plumbing might not be in the best shape. Something like your supply line leaking or a sewer backup can cause serious water damage. Water damage can compromise the structural safety of the building. There are common signs to keep an eye out for, including:
- Pooling water in the kitchen or bathroom areas
- Consistent dripping from a particular spot in your ceiling
- Overflowing toilets
- Backed up drains
Mitigate Water Damage
If you find evidence of potential water damage, it's best to turn off your water completely. Clean up what you can and call in the professionals, to avoid causing further damage. Certified commercial water restoration technicians follow strict protocols to ensure the area is properly cleaned, dried and restored- especially when it comes to a pipe burst cleanup. They also know how to specifically handle upholstery and odor control.
Prevent Water Damage
To keep another big water cleanup from happening again, you may want to organize a maintenance schedule for all of your water-related systems. That way you can catch issues early and replace what you need to before the mess. You don't need to keep track of all of this yourself, there are plenty of companies out there that provide support for commercial buildings.
Managing commercial property can be a lot of work, especially when encountering seemingly inevitable obstacles like a pipe burst cleanup. If you know what to look for and have a plan prepared, you can make it easier for your future self.