Recent Posts

SERVPRO Adopts Xactware Job Management Tools

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/ Xactware's Restoration Manager aligns with SERVPRO's WorkCenter tools to deliver best-in-class job management solution. 

SERVPRO(R) has announced a sweeping, company-wide adoption of Xactware's Restoration Manager(R). Xactware is a Verisk VRSK, +0.30% business. This announcement marks another chapter in SERVPRO's long history of providing innovative, best-in-class job oversight and project management capabilities to more than 1,700 franchisees nationwide.

"With this integration, SERVPRO continues to deliver its franchisees important solutions that help them efficiently and effectively manage their businesses," said Xactware's president, Mike Fulton. "Most importantly, it helps SERVPRO Franchise Professionals continue to provide exceptional service and value to homeowners that have suffered the effects of disaster."

This new alliance ensures that SERVPRO and its franchisees can leverage Restoration Manager's job costing, budgeting, scheduling, communication, and reporting capabilities.

"We believe the deep commitment we feel toward our customers is best served by using leading-edge technology to deliver highly customized and professional restoration experiences," said Jeff Fields, SERVPRO's chief information officer. "Our alliance with Xactware has been longstanding, and this new level of engagement will translate into additional time and resource savings for all parties involved in cleanup and restoration."

Moving forward, SERVPRO and its franchisees will have the ability to better control paperwork, schedules, and project plans by using the checks and balances, task features, and notifications inherent to Restoration Manager.

"We're excited about the expanded relationship with SERVPRO," said Dan Long, president of Xactware's Service Software division. "Restoration Manager is aligned to enable the most efficient transfer of information from claims ecosystem staples like Xactimate(R) and XactAnalysis(R) to reduce duplicate entry, streamline operations, and expedite inspections and repairs."

About XactwareXactware specializes in technologies for the property insurance, remodeling, restoration, and mortgage and lending industries. Xactware's tools provide claims estimating, contents replacement, claims management, and property maintenance solutions for desktop, mobile, and online platforms. Xactware's services include repair cost research and reports, aerial imagery, and real-time business intelligence. Xactware has been providing cloud services for customers since 1995. Xactware is a Verisk VRSK, +0.30% business. For more information about Xactware's solutions, contact Xactware at 1-800-424-9228 or Xactware.com.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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UNDERSTANDING WATER TYPES

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.  There are three types of water.

Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.

The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.

Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining. 
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner. 
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items. 
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take These Steps for Your Home

Many people prefer to remain indoors during winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

Winterize your home.

  • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
  • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
  • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.

Check your heating systems.

  • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
  • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
  • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
  • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
    • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
    • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

n’t Forget to Prepare Your Car

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.

  • Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
  • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
    • cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
    • blankets;
    • food and water;
    • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
    • compass and maps;
    • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit; and
    • plastic bags (for sanitation).

Equip in Advance for Emergencies

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
    • Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
    • extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
    • baby items; and
    • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
  • Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
    • Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
    • Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
    • Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.

ake These Precautions Outdoors

Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
    • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
    • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
    • Carry a cell phone.

Do This When You Plan to Travel

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
  • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
    • Make your car visible to rescuers. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna, raise the hood of the car (if it is not snowing), and turn on the inside overhead lights (when your engine is running).
    • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area. Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away.
    • Keep your body warm. Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers. Huddle with other people if you can.
    • Stay awake and stay moving. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve circulation and stay warmer.
    • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Above all, be ready to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

12/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Facts:

  • 7 People die every day from a home fire.
  • 36 People suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day.
  • $7 Billion in property damage occurs every year.

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your  local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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SERVPRO Announces Long-term Partnership With Blackstone

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Source: Blackstone.com

SERVPRO and Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have recapitalized SERVPRO, a leading franchisor of residential and commercial property damage restoration services. Blackstone is acquiring a majority stake in SERVPRO as part of Blackstone’s Core Private Equity strategy, which is designed to hold investments for longer periods of time than traditional private equity. The Isaacson family will be re-investing alongside Blackstone and will continue to be significant shareholders in the business going forward.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1967 by the Isaacson family, SERVPRO is a leading national franchisor, providing services in both residential and commercial property mitigation, restoration and reconstruction following damage related to water, fire, mold or storm activity. Since its founding, SERVPRO has now grown to over 1,700 franchisees in the United States and Canada. 

Rick Isaacson, SERVPRO CEO, said, “We are thrilled about this long-term investment from Blackstone and the strategic benefits its global platform can provide the company, our franchisees, and our customers. SERVPRO was founded over 50 years ago with the vision of becoming the premier cleaning and restoration company, and we believe this partnership with Blackstone is a vital next step towards this goal.”

Peter Wallace, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “We are excited to make this investment and join together with the Isaacsons and the SERVPRO team as long-term growth partners. We believe the additional capital and extensive network of relationships that Blackstone can bring to bear will benefit not only SERVPRO, but its more than 1,700 franchisees and its customers.”

David Kestnbaum, Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “SERVPRO is a high-quality company with a strong management team and great long-term prospects. We look forward to working with SERVPRO and its franchisees to help fuel the business’ next phase of growth.  As one of the largest owners of residential, office, retail, hotel, and industrial real estate in the world, Blackstone has unique expertise and insights into a broad array of properties that are relevant to SERVPRO.”

Harris Williams is acting as financial advisor to SERVPRO with respect to the transaction and Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is acting as SERVPRO’s legal counsel. Jefferies, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank Securities provided debt financing for the transaction and served as financial advisors to Blackstone. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is acting as Blackstone’s legal counsel. 

About SERVPRO®
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the world's leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with $472 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Winter Weather Preparedness

12/15/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.wunderground.com

While the danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives. Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

One of the primary concerns is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region.

The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the "Deceptive Killers" because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

Watches and Warnings

Winter Storm Watch

This product is issued by the National Weather Service when there is a potential for heavy snow or significant ice accumulations, usually at least 24 to 36 hours in advance. The criteria for this watch can vary from place to place.

Winter Storm Warning

This product is issued by the National Weather Service when a winter storm is producing or is forecast to produce heavy snow or significant ice accumulations. The criteria for this warning can vary from place to place.

Blizzard Warning

Issued for winter storms with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher with considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to 1/4 of a mile or less. These conditions are expected to prevail for a minimum of 3 hours.

Winter Storms Home Preparedness Checklist

  • Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
    • Sand to improve traction
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
    • Sufficient heating fuel, like dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm
  • Make a family emergency plan — Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS) and be alert to changing weather conditions
  • Minimize travel, but keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather
  • Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water

During the Winter Storm

  • Stay indoors during the storm
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow; overexertion can bring on a heart attack — a major cause of death in the winter
  • If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside
  • Keep dry and change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat (wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly)
  • Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day, don't travel alone, keep others informed of your schedule, stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts
  • Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate)
  • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes
  • Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects
  • Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55°F

Winterize Your Home

Winter storms can range from a brief period of extreme cold temperatures, to days of snow, blowing wind and white-out conditions. Preparing in advance helps you tackle winter weather before it even begins. Two of the biggest safety issues as the winter season approaches is knowing how to deal with power outages in cold weather and understanding how to drive (or when not to drive) in snowy conditions. 

Get Your Home Winter Ready

  • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment
  • Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing; Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts)
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors
  • The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide
  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door
  • Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM FREEZE FAILURES

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://county-fire.com

A Sprinkler Freeze Failure Scenario

Sprinkler systems can malfunction when temperatures drop. When any portion of a sprinkler system is exposed to freezing temperatures, water in the piping can turn to ice, expand in volume, and produce thousands of pounds of pressure. The pressure can force sprinklers to operate and break fittings. As a result, water leaks or is discharged from the system when the ice thaws. Normally sprinkler system failures, due to freezing, aren’t discovered until after the water starts to cause damage because it is discharging.

After a water discharge from a sprinkler system, building owners face property damage, business interruption, and irate tenants and customers. Most fire sprinkler contractors have the ability to eliminate the chances of a freeze failure with proper installation, but to make sure it never happens, building owners also need to be involved.

Wet System Freeze Failures

Most sprinkler systems are wet pipe systems, meaning that the piping is normally filled with water. A wet system freeze failure has two primary causes:

  1. The system lacked adequate heating
  2. The system lacked adequate insulation

Installation standards define how and where wet piping systems are supposed to be installed, but part of the responsibility rests with building owners and operators. According to NFPA 25, paragraph 4.1.1.1, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems:

“The building owner shall ensure that all areas of the building containing water-filled piping shall be maintained at a minimum temperature of 40°F (4.4°C) and not exposed to freezing conditions.”

A wet system freeze failure can occur in an area where a building used to be heated, but is now left cold or where a piece of insulation is disrupted, leaving piping exposed. In either scenario, the building owner has the ability to prevent the freeze failure with regular maintenance and inspection.

Dry System Freeze Failures

Dry sprinkler systems can also have failures due to freezing in cold conditions. A dry pipe sprinkler system is a specialized type of fire sprinkler system that is typically installed in areas of a building that is exposed to freezing temperatures. The pipes are normally dry and charged with compressed air. The compressed air holds the dry valve closed and prevents water from entering the system. When a sprinkler activates, the compressed air leaks out, the valve opens, and the system piping is filled with water. If the dry system is properly installed, the water will drain, but that doesn’t always happen.

In addition, if a dry system’s pipes are not sloped back towards the source or an auxiliary drain, the water will pool within the piping. When winter comes around, the uninsulated piping freezes, creating problems just like a wet system freeze failure. In buildings where there is a low quality of construction, this is a common scenario. Residential buildings, where construction is fast and lacks proper oversight, are particularly prone to dry system freeze failures.

How To Prevent Fire Sprinkler Freeze Failures

Ideally, all sprinkler systems would be properly designed and installed for their environment. Dry sprinkler systems would properly slope in order to drain and wet systems would be properly insulated in areas that drop below 40°F. Unfortunately, the ideal situation isn’t always a reality and you can’t just turn off a fire protection system every time it gets cold to prevent potential freezing problems.

Every year, we find dry pipe systems that are improperly installed and do not drain as a result. Building owners don’t have much control over the slope of their dry pipe systems, but they can make sure the systems are otherwise properly drained before freezing weather arrives. In a wet system, building owners and operators can ensure the pipes remain heated and insulated enough to not freeze.

To prevent a pipe freezing scenario, building owners and operators should take preparations before cold weather, routine actions during cold weather, and special precautions when a building might be unattended for an extended period of time.

What To Do Before Cold Weather

In wet sprinkler systems:

  1. Annual servicing of your heating systems will help to ensure dependability when the temperature drops. As it becomes colder, heating systems play an important role in preventing wet system freeze failures.
  2. Check all piping to verify insulation is intact.
  3. Make sure there are no major leaks or blocks (like broken ventilation) in building openings.
  4. Verify system performance and monitoring.

In dry sprinkler systems:

  1. Check air sources/air pressure.
  2. Check and operate low point drains to ensure there is no residual water in the system piping.
  3. Test low temperature and system air pressure monitoring devices.

County Fire Protection strongly recommends that all work on fire sprinkler systems be performed by trained, experienced individuals who are employed by a professional fire protection company.

What To Do During Cold Weather

Freezing of water-based fire protection systems is avoidable. Many sprinkler freeze failures occur due to inadequate building heat. Building owners who actively monitor and maintain building heat will help to reduce many fire system freeze failure impairments.

In cold building spaces where wet sprinkler systems are located, like above the ceiling, you can install thermometers that can be checked remotely. If a wet system freezing is a major concern, you should consider replacing it with a dry system. A dry system is less likely to freeze, but they still require monitoring and maintenance.

During extended periods of cold weather or vacancy, building owners should safely increase heat in all building spaces and turn off energy savings settings. Extended idle periods occur when building occupants leave for a long weekend or holiday. During these periods, building owners need to make sure suitable means of heat loss detection are maintained. Where building temperatures are detected at or below 40°F, prompt action by the building owner is needed. Every sprinkler system has a control valve. Building operators should know where the sprinkler valves are in order to turn them off in the event of a system failure.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Snowstorms & Extreme Cold

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.ready.gov

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. A winter storm can:

  • Last a few hours or several days;
  • Knock out heat, power, and communication services; and
  • Place older adults, young children, and sick individuals at greater risk.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING, FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WINTER STORM THREATENS:

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
  • Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.

Survive DURING

  • Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away.
  • Check on neighbors. Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.

RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND

  • Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes.
    • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.
  • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
    • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, or drowsiness
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Emergency Fire Damage Tips

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Use Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can save your life.

FIRE FACTS

  • 7 People die every day from a home fire.
  • 36 People suffer injury as a result of a home fire every day.
  • $7 Billion in property damage occurs every year.

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County arrives. Follow these DO's and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery,walls and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

  • Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.

Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all
codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms
were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency
Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

Like Us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter, or Instagram and follow the tips, tricks and advice we share with our community.

Workplace Fire Prevention

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can happen anywhere and anytime. Every business MUST be prepared, for the safety of their employees.

Here are some tips on things we can do to help prevent a fire in the common workplace.

  1. Accessibility
    Always ensure accessibility to electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels would hinder the shutdown of power in an emergency. Also, never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits and observe clearances when stacking materials.
  2. Good Housekeeping
    Clutter not only provides fuel for fires, but also prevents access to exits and emergency equipment. Keep your workplace as clutter-free as possible.
  3. Proper Waste Disposal
    Discard fire hazards like oily rags by placing them in a covered metal container and emptying it on a regular basis.
  4. Maintenance
    Make sure the machines in your workplace are properly maintained to prevent overheating and friction sparks.
  5. Report Electrical Hazards
    Unless you are qualified and authorized, you should never attempt electrical repairs. Faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment are key contributors to workplace fires.
  6. Safe Chemical Use & Storage
    Always read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to assess flammability and other fire hazards of a substance. When using and storing chemical materials, always do so in an area with adequate ventilation.
  7. Precautions In Explosive Atmospheres
    Follow all recommended and required precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres, such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. These precautions include non-sparking tools and proper static electricity control.
  8. Maximum Building Security
    To help prevent arson fires, always lock up as instructed, report suspicious persons or behavior and never leave combustible garbage outside near your building..
  9. Smoke Areas
    Always ensure that there is a smoke area available and that all workers who smoke on the job are using it. Proper extinguishing of smoking materials should always be enforced.
  10. Fully Charged Fire Extinguishers
    Check fire extinguishers often by looking at the gauges and making sure they're fully charged and ready for use. If they're not fully charged or if the attached tag indicates that the last inspection occurred more than a month ago, call for maintenance. Also, encourage all workers to learn how to use a fire extinguisher.
  11. Emergency Numbers
    Emergency phone numbers, as well as your company address, should be posted by the phone station for quick access.

11.5 OSHA Guidelines
Adherence to OSHA's fire safety guidelines is crucial for fire prevention. Read through these regulations and make sure your workplace is in compliance.

Making sure your workers return home safely is our mission and passion. Take these 11.5 tips to your workplace and practice true fire safety, which begins before the fire even ignites.

When fire or water damage strikes, you need professional help to get your property back to preloss condition.  SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster.  Our highly trained technicians can respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency.??

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

Like Us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter, or Instagram and follow the tips, tricks and advice we share with our community.