How To Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher
You can use the acronym PASS to help you remember the steps
House fires can happen at the drop of a hat, so it's important to not only have a fire extinguisher in your home in Burton, TX but also to know how to use it properly.
Remember To PASS
You can use the acronym PASS to help you remember the steps to effectively use an extinguisher:
- Pull the pin.
- Aim at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle.
- Sweep the spraying extinguisher from side to side until the fire is out.
It's also important to know how to keep yourself safe while fighting the fire. After all, fire damage can be repaired much more easily than you can.
Leave an Escape Route
Before you start fighting a fire, make sure that you have a clear escape path by moving around so that the fire isn't between you and the door. Avoid blocking the paths of everyone else in the building while you're working to extinguish the fire.
Know When To Quit
Even a small kitchen fire can quickly get out of control, so to protect yourself, you need to be ready to know when to run. The moment you start questioning your ability to extinguish the fire is the moment you need to evacuate, even if you haven't started trying to fight it yet. Similarly, if the fire continues to grow while you're working to put it out or if it is still burning when the extinguisher runs out, it's time to use your pre-planned escape route and leave it to the professionals.
Call the Fire Department
If you can, have someone else call the fire department while you're using the extinguisher, or call as soon as possible. Even if you're able to take care of it yourself, it's still a good idea to have professionals make sure that it's completely out. They also may be able to help you figure out what caused the fire and prevent it from happening again.
Knowing how to properly handle a small house fire is vital to keeping you and your family safe. Make a plan, know how to properly use a fire extinguisher, and be ready to call in the experts if you need to. After all, your lives are worth much more than any amount of fire damage.
How To Keep Your Business From Flooding
Remove debris from your rain gutters
Flood Prevention Measures
If you own a business in Brenham, TX, you can take flood prevention measures to prevent excess water from severe weather like storms and hurricanes from causing the following.
Here are some tips to help you protect your business.
Maintain and Clean Your roof.
Strong winds that deposit debris or pounding hail can cause cracks in your roof that allow stormwater to enter. Periodically inspecting your roof, removing debris or heavy snow, and repairing damages will prevent water from entering your building.
Inspect and Clean Gutters.
Gutters that collect debris won't divert rainwater or melting ice from your roof. Water that cannot flow away can make its way into your building through a roof's unsealed cracks and fissures, or windows.
Install Flood Shields.
The best flood prevention measures keep water from entering your building through existing openings like doors and windows. Installing flood shields around these entry points creates barriers that prevent water from entering and significantly reduce flood cleaning efforts.
Add Temporary Dams
Portable flood barriers are convenient and cost-effective. Standard options inflate using floodwater or air. They create a strong angled wall that prevents water from getting through. These dams can be taken down and stored until they are needed.
Placement of sandbags around your building's foundation or entry points and windows can deflect and absorb water before it enters your business. Although building a wall of sandbags can be labor-intensive, it is a useful option to fall back on during an emergency.
Check Your Drainage.
When rain is light, observe how water flows near your building's foundation. There should be enough of a downward slope of the surrounding land to divert water from the building.
Taking flood prevention measures is not a guarantee of protection from severe weather, but a local storm restoration company in Brenham, TX, can help with the cleanup.
3 Strategies for Avoiding Water Damage During a Business Closure
Drying equipment in Bryan, TX
Actions To Take Before You Close Down Your Business To Prevent Water Damage
Your Bryan, TX, business is probably a major financial and emotional investment that you strive to protect. However, you may be overlooking some common dangers that could damage it if you do not take steps to prevent them, especially when your business is closed for a holiday or a long weekend. One such issue is unexpected flooding. However, there are a few actions you can take before you close down that may prevent water damage and the need for costly water pipe repair.
1. Shut Off the Main Water Valve
Turning off your building’s main water valve can prevent leaks, flooding from a broken pipe and plumbing line malfunctions. If you have a landlord, notify him or her that you are closing the building for a holiday or vacation so he or she is aware the water will be turned off. If your building has in-cabinet plumbing, leave the doors open to expose the pipes to warm air, as this may prevent them from freezing.
2. Have Your Sump Pump Tested
If your building’s basement has a built-in sump pump, it is wise to have it tested before you leave for any length of time. A flooding cleanup and restoration service can help you test your pump and advise you about whether you might require any additional flood protection. This can be especially important if your building sits in a low-lying area and your basement has flooded in the past.
3. Insulate Larger Pipes
If you are unable to shut off your building’s water because you share it with other businesses, you can still protect your section of it by ensuring larger water pipes that run along exterior walls are well insulated in cold weather. This can prevent water from freezing inside the pipes, which may cause them to burst and leave you with an expensive water pipe repair bill after you return from vacation.
Unexpected flooding at your Bryan, TX, business during a closure can result in water damage and other costly problems. However, you can avoid water pipe repair and restoration costs by treating and adjusting your building’s plumbing system before you leave.
How To Handle Category 3 Water
If your commercial building in Burton, TX, is being affected by flooding, one of the most important steps to take is to determine what category of flood water you are dealing with based on the level of contamination. The worst-case scenario when it comes to water damage to your building is to have category 3 water on your hands. Here is some information on how to identify this type of contaminated water and what to do next.
How To Identify Category 3 Water
Category 3 is the most contaminated of the three types of water that can affect your building. Here is the best way to identify what type of flood water you are dealing with:
Category 1: Called “clean water”, this type of water comes from a safe water source such as a burst pipe or leaking faucet.
Category 2: Labeled “gray water”, this is water that is mildly contaminated and can come from sources like dishwashers, washing machines, or a toilet overflow with no feces.
Category 3: Known as “black water”, category 3 water is grossly contaminated with bacteria, chemicals, or other substances that potentially cause harm if ingested or not handled properly. This type of water can come from a sewage backup, toilet overflow, or flooding rivers.
How To Handle Category 3 Water
While both category 1 and category 2 water should be dealt with promptly to avoid damage to your building and to prevent the progression of contaminants, category 3 water requires immediate attention from a water damage restoration specialist. Whether caused by storm damage or plumbing issues, make sure to clear the area of all people and pets and wait for the professionals to arrive.
Dealing with flood water and the damage it can cause is stressful enough, but is also important to consider everyone’s safety during the process. Remember to act immediately and call the professionals when you know you have category 3 water on your hands.
3 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold
Stachybotrys Chartarum also known as black mold
How Can Mold Establish Itself Without Being Detected?
If you have ever been surprised to discover significant mold growth in your Bryan, TX, business, you probably understand how easily mold can establish itself without being detected. Under the right conditions, a problem can develop in as little as one day. The more you understand the processes that enable this to happen, the better you can protect your workplace and employees.
1. What Causes it to Develop?
Mold is actually a type of fungus that is present in virtually every environment. The reproductive units of mold, spores, are airborne. Outdoors, these tiny particles serve to ensure that organic matter decomposes when necessary. In spaces where high humidity coincides with warm temperatures, resting spores can trigger mold growth that will eventually damage vulnerable surfaces, such as wood or drywall.
2. What is Black Mold?
Although the term black mold is commonly used to describe Stachybotrys chartarum, a particularly insidious species of mold, it can also appear as in green or brownish forms. Many species that are black in color are, in fact, not Stachybotrys. Because it can be extremely for an amateur to tell whether an infestation warrants extensive removal based on appearance alone, you should always contact an expert specializing in mold remediation with questions and concerns.
3. How Can I Prevent an Infestation?
Spores can continue further into their life cycle when they have found a moist environment to thrive in. Water damage or any event that creates a buildup of moisture can trigger accelerated growth. The best way to prevent a problem is to ensure that items in your space have properly dried after any moisture event. Continually check areas around showers, windows, or faucets so that you don't leave wetness unattended.
As a business owner, few things can cause as much peripheral stress as the prospect of a potential mold infestation. By educating yourself on its causes and signs, you give yourself the power to protect your workplace proactively.
Time to Call a Restoration Company?
Commercial water damage in College Station, TX
Water damage is the second most common filed insurance claim in the United States, and for good reason. If left unresolved, water damage can pave the way for subsequent issues in your commercial building. A restoration company can easily remediate sewage overflow, pipe burst cleanup and other types of water-related damages. Read on to find out whether it's time to enlist professional assistance for your building in College Station, TX.
Evidence of Water Damage
Water damage can manifest itself in obvious ways. Coming across any of the following could signal that it's time to call the professionals:
Damaged Floors: Leaking water can pool underneath the floors and cause damage. This often comes in the form of loose tiles and peeling linoleum. In extreme cases, water can even pool up from underneath the floor.
Mold Presence: Where there's water, mold is sure to follow. Even if you don't suspect water damage, you should still perform regular mold inspections, just to be safe. Inspect the darker, damper areas in your building and check for musty smells.
Damaged Walls: Water from a broken pipe can build up behind your walls, causing them to swell and bulge. You may also notice peeling or cracking paint as a result of the deformed walls.
Preventing Water Damage
Don't feel shy about calling a water restoration or sewer cleanup company for preventative assistance. Schedule time to inspect the pipes and septic systems in your building regularly and call for professional assistance if you notice any obvious damage. Remediation specialists can replace old, corroded pipes in your building, thus preventing any major accidents before they occur. After all, preventative measures are much more affordable than dealing with pipe burst cleanup, or other major accidents.
Water restoration experts exist to help protect you and your building from serious water damage. Pipe burst cleanup, blocked drains and sewage back flow are just a small handful of issues that they can help you remediate. They can also assist with preventative measures to help keep your building safe. After all, you can't take water damage too seriously.
Keeping Your Home Free of Mold After a Storm
Mold spores thrive on moisture
When a storm rolls through Burton, TX, the effects can be disastrous and long-lasting. In addition to inflicting structural damage to your home, storms cause severe water damage that leads to mold growth and further damage. Through the help of professional removal and remediation services, you can prevent the long-term effects of an infestation. There are also ways to clean-up in the immediate aftermath of a storm to maintain the safety of your home.
The Defining Characteristics of Mold
Mold is hard to detect in its early stages of growth, and its invisibility makes the fungus difficult to understand. Combatting mold growth requires a deeper understanding of its defining characteristics, which include:
- Microscopic spores that can enter any area of your home
- Ability to exist both outdoors and indoors
- Production of a strong and unpleasant odor
- Dependence on moisture to survive
The fungus needs water in order to thrive, so the best way to prevent an infestation is to rid your home of any moisture. Flooding provides the optimal condition for growth: standing water that is prone to bacterial and fungal growth. The small size of the spores means that your home could be infested without even realizing it. With professional assistance to aid in mold removal, you can keep your home dry and also mitigate the effects of an infestation. Immediately Clean the House It takes only 48-72 hours for mold growth to begin. In the immediate aftermath of a flood, it is best to remove wood items that can easily permit fungal growth. Work on cleaning and drying the house in the days after a storm, and make sure to open windows and doors so that you are not exposing yourself to potentially harmful odors. The best way to protect your home is to work on disinfecting the space as soon as possible. Professional removal services can also offer assistance as you restore the house to its former condition.
Choosing the Right Respirator Face Mask for Mold Removal
Mold cleanup in Brenham, TX
All mold cleanup projects require safety equipment, with respirator face masks being key instruments of protection. If you plan on tackling such a job yourself, do you know which option is best for you.
Types of Respirator Masks
Here are some of the best-reviewed respirator masks on the market today, all of which have pros and cons:
- GVS’s SPR456 Elipse P100 Dust Half Mask Respirator – comes with a carrying case and storage bag, but utilizes a confusing sizing system
- 3M’s Mold Removal Respirator – features a four-point harness for extra comfort, but does not come with filters
- RNF’s Supply Disposable Mask Particulate Breathing Respirator – these inexpensive, one-use masks cannot be adjusted
- Zelbuck’s Respirator Mask – can work with other brand filters, but takes some wearing before feeling comfortable
- Gerson’s Mold Remediation Respirator – made of silicone for extra durability and lighter weight, yet has flimsy filter connectors
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list and should only be used to illustrate the variety of choice in respirator face masks available to mold sufferers in Brenham, TX. Whatever you decide upon, the selection you make will have significant impact upon the ease and effectiveness of your mold damage removal productivity.
Selecting a Respirator Mask
Weigh your preferences when considering what type of mask will work best for you. Is a disposable face mask the most cost-effective choice or would a more durable respirator save the maximum amount of money? Also, contemplate how many units you will ultimately need to purchase. How can you know a respirator mask feels comfortable if you are unable to try any on before buying? Most importantly, have you checked the safety rating of the equipment you are thinking about using? An excellent way to avoid confusion altogether is by contacting a mold removal service that can handle the entire task for you.
Use of proper protective equipment is mandatory for any mold eradication project. If ever you feel unsure of which can help you get the job done safely, comfortably and affordably, remove all guesswork and simply hire an expert.
How To Create an Effective Office Fire Escape Plan
A fire escape plan can save lives in an urgent situation
Best Practices for Your Plan
If you manage an office building in College Station, TX, you may have noticed an emergency escape map hanging in the lobby or a main hallway. Would you know how to escape an office fire, without looking at the map? A fire escape plan can save lives in an urgent situation, but only if you and your employees know how to execute it. Here are a few best practices for your plan:
1. Collaborate with others. Including key team members and employees in the preparation process is vital to ensure their support when it’s time to activate your emergency escape plan. You can also delegate leaders to run regular practice drills with all building staff.
2. Evaluate each floor of your space. What potential hazards are in your immediate surroundings? How would a natural disaster or fire affect them? Can you find at least two ways to escape each room you work in? Visualizing uncommon scenarios will help you see and correct blind spots in your fire escape plan.
3. Create an alert system. Think about how you’d alert your staff to an emergency, whether through an alarm system or via personal contact. Are there any people who require special considerations because of a language barrier or disability? Appoint a leader to notify personnel working inside the building and those who are off that day. Then, define the primary and secondary methods of contact and a system to confirm each person’s response.
4. Designate a safe meeting place. Pick a location outside the building (away from other hazards, if possible) to gather and take a headcount. In addition, consider alternative work locations if the building requires smoke damage repair.
By challenging yourself to create and implement a thorough fire escape plan, you’ll be able to navigate a stressful situation with a clear head. For more fire safety ideas and resources, see the Red Cross.
3 Things To Know About Secondary Damage
Secondary damage, such as black mold, is any damage that occurs as a result of the initial damage
Here Are a Few Things You May Want To Know
After a flood or storm at your Bryan, TX, business there may be a chance for some secondary damage such as black mold to develop. This type of damage can cause a number of problems for your business as well, so it’s important to have it repaired as quickly as possible. Here are a few things you may want to know.
1. What It Is
Any damage that occurs as a byproduct of another type of damage can be classified as secondary. In many cases this type of damage can be expected to correspond with the first, meaning that a restoration crew may already be expecting to see these types of damages when they arrive for the restoration process.
2. Where It Comes From
Secondary damage can come for a number of sources. For example, fire suppression efforts may lean to flooding which makes the water damage secondary to the fire. Additionally, high humidity can lead to mold problems which can turn into black mold if not fixed. Other examples can include water soaking into the hope after a flood and causing swollen wood or cracking stone, or a storm leaving a hole in the roof which can lead to flooding. If you have any type of damage to your business property it’s best to contact a local restoration service to have it fixed as quickly as possible.
3. How To Remove It
If there is secondary type damage at your place of business then a local restoration company may be able to help. These professionals are trained to deal with a variety of damage types, and with a little work can soon have your company property looking “Like it never even happened.”
Secondary damage, such as black mold, is any damage that occurs as a result of the initial damage. It can happen if the original damage is left un-repaired, or is repaired incorrectly. Fortunately, a local restoration service can help clean up and repair these types of damages as well.