The first step of a water mitigation is for our technician once onsite is to perform a loss assessment. This is performed to collect the data needed to determine the extent of the loss physical structure and contents. An evaluation is determined and prioritize health and safety precaution for the residence and workers. The technician will determine which category the water loss is which can be a category 1, 2 or 3. The category 1 is a clean water loss that does not pose a substantial harm to humans. An example of clean loss is a broken water supply line, sink or tub overflows that do not have contaminants. A category 2 is called a grey water because the water contains a significant level of contamination as has the possibility to cause discomfort or sickness if exposed or consumed by human. An example of a grey loss is washer machine or dishwasher overflow. If a category 2 remains untreated for longer than 48 hours may change to a category 3. Black water is what a category 3 is referred to. An example of category 3 is a toilet backflow. This type of water loss indicated that structure materials and contents have been containment. It is important for the technician to determine the cause of loss to determine how the water loss is handled.
Contaminated Water Loss
Did you know that contaminated water loss is treated differently than a clean water loss? You might be asking yourself what a clean water loss is and what is a contaminated water loss. A clean water loss (also known as a category 1) is caused by a water that originates from a sanitary waster source. Some examples of a category 1 loss are a sink or bathtub overflow or water supply line. A category 2 water loss (also known as grey water) is when water contains contamination and has the potential to cause sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Some examples of a category 2 water loss are a washer machine overflow or dishwasher backup. Then the last category is class 3 (dirty water) and it is when the water can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. A Category 3 examples are sewage and toilet backup and any ground water that has com in from he outdoors.
Things not to do and to do if you have a category 3 water loss.
- Make sure not to unnecessarily walk on damage or wet areas because that can spread the contaminates.
- HVAC should be turned off to prevent any possibility of spready air contaminates.
- Do not use any household fans to dry the structure because that can spread contaminates.
- If exposed to contaminated area, make sure to use products for personal hygiene to clean yourself. This includes washing your hand thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Avoid any contact with sewage items.
If you happen to experience a water loss please feel free to call SERVPRO Thousand Oaks at (805) 492-2434
Thanksgiving Fire Prevention Tips
As it comes together to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast. Practice safe cooking habits will help prevent any fire emergencies. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while cooking your family feast.
- You should never leave cooking food unattended. Make sure to stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or boiling food. If you need to leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, then the stove should be turned off.
- Make sure to check on food regularly while cooking. Someone should remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Its best to use a timer as a reminder that the stove and oven is on.
- Small children should be kept away from the cooking area. Kids should stay at least three feet away from the stove an oven.
- Flammable items such as potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper r plastic bags, food packaging and towels should be kept away from the stove, oven or any other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat.
- While cooking do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves that can catch fire.
- Cooking surfaces should be cleaned regularly to prevent any grease build-up.
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen year-round just as precaution.
- Before going to bed or leaving the house make sure to check all kitchen appliance are turned off.
SERVPRO of Thousand Oaks wishes you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.
Checking for Moisture
When SERVPRO of Thousand Oaks goes out to a water loss we use several instruments to determine if there is moisture. We will ask the customer what room the water came into. Our crew will inspect those rooms along with any surrounding rooms to make sure they are not affected. To determine moister or crew uses moister meters. The purpose of a moister meter is to display the value of moisture content or level based on electrical variance in materials. Our tech will probe area to find the base moisture content level to indicate the goal that the affected materials should meet. All structure materials have a base moisture level. The drywall can be at 5 point and the affected area will be anything more then that but not larger the 100 points. There are two types of meters non-invasive and invasive. The non-invasive scans the area without damaging the materials. Invasive probes penetrate materials. If you concerned about a water loss that occurred in your home of business, we recommend you getting It probed or moisture.
Storm Safety Tips
There is some pointer for flood safety tips.
- You can check in Fema with the link (FEMA Flood Map Service Center | Welcome!) to know the flood zones in your area.
- Make an emergency plan with your household. This includes any meeting places and contacting information.
- Make sure you keep all your important documents in a waterproof container.
- Listen to the official when they recommend evacuating.
- It’s recommended to listen to the EAS, NOAA radio or local alerting system for any news pertaining to any dangers or recommendations.
- You should never walk, drive, or swim through any flood water. Also, you should avoid any bridges that are on top of fast-moving water.
- If you happen to be trapped inside of a building that is flooring its advised to move to the highest level and signal for help.
- If you’re in your car and water is surrounding, you should go on the roof of your car but if the water is moving fast it recommended to stay in the car.
- It is always recommended to wait until authorities give you the ok to return
- Ba on the look out while cleaning up for hazards such as electrical wire, mold, and animals.
- If using a generator is should be located outside to prevent any carbon monoxide poisoning
Candle Fire Prevention
Although candles are very pretty to look at, they can cause house fires. A candle can easily ignite anything that can burn since it is an open flame. You should never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle. Also keep matches and lighter out of reach from children. Candles should be blown out if you are going to bed or leaving the room. It’s best to avoid having candles where someone might fall asleep. A candle should be at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn. Did you know December is the peak month for candle fires? More then 1/3 of candle fires happen in the bedroom. It is recommended to use flameless candles since it can prevent a fire and you can still enjoy the smell of a real candle. If you ever happen to have a candle fire call SERVPRO of Thousand Oaks to assist your cleanup needs.
There has been an increase of size and intensity to wildfires. In the past years fire season has also lengthened. With the increase of wildfires brings a risk to human health and safety and financial impact.
You might ask yourself what are the primary threats to homes during a wildfire?
Majority of homes ignite in a wildfire by embers and or small flames. A burning piece of airborne wood and/or vegetation are called embers. Embers can be carried more than a mile through the wind and can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris, and other objects.
The methods for homeowners to prepare their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire touching the home or any attachments are listed below.
This is 0-5’ of the homes furthest attached exterior point. It recommended to start with the house first then on to landscaping.
- Clean out any dead leaves, pine needles or debris from roofs and gutters to prevent them from catching embers.
- Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles.
- Installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening on vents that will reduce embers from passing through.
- Clean the debris from the exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to help reduce embers.
- Make sure to repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.
5-30’ from the furthest exterior point of the home. For the landscaping/hardscaping creating breaks that can help influence and decrease fire behavior
- Clearing the vegetation from under a large stationary propane tank.
- Create a fuel break with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks.
- Keep your lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches.
- Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees) so a surface fire cannot reach the crowns. Prune trees up to six to ten feet from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height.
- Space trees to have a minimum of eighteen feet between crowns with the distance increasing with the percentage of slope.
- Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than ten feet to the edge of the structure.
- Tree and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape.
30-100 feet, out to 200 feet. Landscaping – the goal here is not to eliminate fire but to interrupt fire’s path and keep flames smaller and on the ground.
- Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
- Remove any dead plant and tree material.
- Remove small conifers that maybe growing between mature trees.
- Remove any vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
- Trees 30 to 60 feet from the home should have at the least 12 feet between canopy tops.
- Trees 60 to 100 feet from the home should have at the least 6 feet between the canopy tops.
You can find more information about fire prevention at NFPA website.
Fire Loss Structure vs Contents
When having a fire loss, the insurance policy’s separate structure and contents. This helps the restorers to scope out the loss by separating the structure and contents when estimating. You might be asking yourself what is the difference between structure and contents? Structure is anything that is considered permanent to the structure. Some examples included walls, ceiling, floors, cabinets, lighting, and certain appliances (i.e., dishwasher, oven, and stove). The best way to think about structure is anything that was existing before you moved into your residence. The contents are any items that can moved out and taken to another location. Sometimes during a fire loss content will be moved into another area that might not have been structurally damaged. If several rooms have structure damage sometimes the contents are moved into a pod. If there is major structure damage and contents are salvageable storage of contents might be offsite. If you find yourself with a fire claim call SERVPRO of Thousand Oaks at (805) 492-2434.
Have you planed your fire escape
Example of mapped out escape plan.
Did you know that if there is a fire in your home a smoke alarm sound will give you less then two minutes to evacuate safely? It is always best to have an escape plan incase of a fire. You should draw a map of each level of your home, and it should include all doors and windows. Everyone in the household should discuss the map to go over escape plan. There should be two plans to escape each room. Make sure to choose a meeting place in front of your house. Take into consideration any abilities that you might need to escape (i.e. cane, eyeglasses and or hearing aid) and place near your bead while sleeping. All doors and windows should be easily to open and should be inspected periodically. There should be a household fire drill at least twice a year. Once you have gotten out of your home in a fire its best to stay out. Once the fire is extinguished you can call SERVPRO of Thousand Oaks for any of your structure or contents cleaning.
Home Fire Sprinkler System
Did you know with just the installation of fire sprinklers can increase you chance of survival from a fire by more than 82 percent? A home sprinkler is more sensitive to heat then the sprinklers found in businesses. This sensitivity helps for a fire to be detected sooner. By installing a sprinkler system, you have the potential of lowering your insurance rate by meeting code requirements. The installation of a home sprinkler system can be done during construction or during a remodel. The system will require extra piping and labor but will increase the safety of the residence. The home fire sprinklers can be connected to your homes water supply. Home system will require less water than a business system. The cost of a sprinkler is about $1.35 per square foot. You should consider sprinklers as an investment since it can help limit the damage caused by smoke and fire. Also, sprinklers can cause less damage than firefighting hose line. If you find yourself in situation of fire damage or water damage from sprinklers call SERVPRO of Thousand Oaks at (805) 492-2434.