Maintaining Your Electric System
Each year many fires break out in homes and commercial buildings due to a failure in the electrical system. While not every electrical fire can be prevented, there are precautions which can be taken to lessen this risk.
Electrical fires can be caused by:
- Broken wires
- Wire insulation drying out
- Loose switches or receptacles
- Overheating caused by dirt an oil
Allstate Insurance company recommends that you have your electrical system checked by a licensed electrician every four years. Having an electrician assess the electrical system will ensure that your home or building is up to code and that any issues are addressed. If you see an appliance that has a broken wire, fix the wire immediately or replace the appliance. While replacement may be costly, it will reduce the chance of a fire. Tighten any switch or plug that appears loose. It is important that switches and plugs are secure. Remember not to overload outlets. If necessary use an electrical adapter with surge protection.
Studies show that faulty wiring is the number 1 cause of electrical fires. Watch for warning signs of faulty wiring:
- Flickering lights
- Breakers that always trip
- Fuses that blow
- A burning smell when appliances are plugged in
- Outlets/switches that spark when plugging in or unplugging an appliance
- Discoloration around outlets
Remember that prevention is the key to safety! Electrical fires spread quickly and can be life threatening and costly. Call your local electrician if you have specific questions or concerns about something in a home of building that you own. Working with electrical work can be very dangerous and it is important to hire an experienced technician to complete any necessary electrical work.
Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning
Flood watch vs flood warning -
We have been hearing on the news a lot lately that there is a "flood watch" or a "flood warning" in effect. It is important to understand the lingo so that we can be prepared for what is ahead of us. Since the beginning of this year, we have gotten record high rain falls. Many areas of New York State have flooded or had possible flood warnings issued. Knowing what to prepare for can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
A flood watch simply means: be aware. The conditions in your area are right for flooding to occur.
Steps you should take are:
Listen to your TV and /or radio to get the latest updates and emergency instructions. Download an app to alert you of possible warnings or instructions to follow if conditions worsen.
Know where to go should you need to seek higher ground.
Check your emergency kit to make sure your ready for anything! Or create one if you don't currently have one. Search the internet for suggestions of what should be included in your emergency kit!
Prepare your house for flooding by moving outdoor furniture inside and moving items to somewhere it won't be damaged should flooding occur in your home.
Disconnect electrical appliances.
A flood warning means: take action! Flooding is either already underway or will be shortly.
Steps you should take are:
Immediately move to higher ground.
Evacuate if instructed. Don't risk putting yourself or others in danger.
Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas. Remember, 6 inches of water can knock you down and 1 ft of water can move your vehicle.
Precautions You Should Take During Flooding
Picture from Syracuse.com
There are certain precautions that should be taken when flooding occurs in order to stay safe. Please consider following these steps to be safe in flooded areas:
Do not walk, drive or ride through flooded areas. You don't know what may be in the water below. It is better to use precaution and not go into the water than to risk drowning, getting hit with a sharp object, fall into an unseen hole or be taken by the fast current. Remember that only 6 inches of water can knock down an adult, less for a child.
When evacuations are necessary, list to local officials and get out while you can. This will save yourself and rescue crews from being put into dangerous situations.
When flash flooding is possible, move to higher ground. It is better to be safe than sorry. It is easier to move to higher ground before the flooding occurs than to get trapped and not be able to get out. Flash floods are the number 1 cause of weather related deaths in the US according to FEMA.
Avoid driving through flooded areas. One foot of water is enough to move a vehicle and leave you unable to control the vehicle's destination.
Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These ares can quickly flood.
If you have notice of possible flooding, but sand bags around your house in areas that might allow water intrusion. You cannot stop all water intrusions, but this step might save your home from possible water damage.
Large Loss Services
Did you know that SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga and Oswego Counties has the capabilities to provide water mitigation, mold restoration and fire restoration for your commercial building quickly and efficiently? Our SERVPRO franchise has approximately 20 employees that will mobilize quickly when you need our services.
Should your commercial building experience a large loss, we can quickly activate more SERVPRO trained teammates from other SERVPRO franchises to help us get your building back in order so that you don’t lose revenue. SERVPRO has mobilization teams that travel across the country as needed to support recovery after large storm or disaster events. These teams are familiar with handling the work that goes into a large loss project and are trained to work as efficiently as possible. In the 24 years our franchise has been in business we have brought the mobilization teams in to help a handful of times. Each time, we have had successful outcomes.
Timely mitigation is the key to controlling damage, downtime and recovery costs. Our crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year. SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga and Oswego Counties is dedicated to providing detailed and consistent communication to make our customers aware of job status and progress toward completion.
Who doesn’t love fireworks in the summer time? While it is so much fun to enjoy fireworks light up the night sky, it is important to be safe! Please read these safety tips to ensure you have a fun, safe night!
-Check to make sure that fireworks are legal in your area before buying and using them.
-Read instructions for proper use of the fireworks thoroughly before use.
-Do not allow young children to play with fireworks unsupervised.
-Do not hover directly over the fireworks at any time when lighting the fuse.
-Do not attempt to re-light fireworks that didn’t ignite on the first try.
-Keep water easily accessible in case of a fire or other accident.
-Do not point fireworks toward another person.
-Do not consume alcohol when using fireworks.
Facts about Fireworks:
-Sparklers are 15X’s hotter than boiling water.
- Approximately 200 people go to the ER everyday from June 17th-July17th with injuries related to fireworks.
-People ages 25-44 make up 40% of injuries reported from fireworks.
- There are 2X’s as many fires on July 4th than reported any other day of the year.
Have fun, but remember to be safe!
Have you ever had water leak into your home through your roof? If so, you understand the ways a roof leak can cause damage in your home. If you haven’t experienced a roof leak- you’re lucky!
It is important to understand the condition of your roof. Knowing that roof maintenance will be needed and what types of maintenance will be required can be helpful! Roof repairs and replacements can be very costly, it helps to know in advance so that you can prepare.
If water starts leaking into your home it can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time.
Damaged shingles is one of the most common sources of roof leaks. Having damaged or missing shingles, it is important to replace them as soon as possible. Missing or damaged shingles will allow a lower layer of the roof to be exposed to nature’s elements and can allow water to seep through the uncovered spaces.
Nails that have backed out due to extreme weather should be hammered back in securely. When the nails are raised or fall out, allows water to seep in.
Flashing that is improperly installed or have been damaged allows water to enter through gaps. Have them inspected to ensure they are properly installed and are well maintained.
Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow onto your roof. This would cause water to possibly intruder into your home through the underside of the roof. If you notice water stains around the perimeters of your home, water maybe backing up into your home from your gutters. Also, gutters that are not pitched properly don’t allow the water to flow the correct direction to the downspouts causing the same damage as a clogged gutter.
Skylights often have leaks if they are not installed properly or have seals that are worn and cracked. Water can seep into the home from the skylight causing damage.
Sometimes water damage from a roof leak goes undiscovered for a long time because of the insulation in the attic or crawl space. It takes a lot of water to seep into the home, soaking the insulation before it reaches the ceiling and walls. In some cases mold forms before water intrusion from the roof is noticed.
If you think your roof needs attention, call a roofer to have them inspect your roof. They can tell you what kind of shape your roof is in, inform you of any repairs that are necessary and give you a quote for the repairs.
Plumbing problems cause a lot of the water damages that we hear about. It is important to ensure that the plumbing in your home is working properly and have any problem areas fixed.
You should check for:
- Signs of leakage. Ex. Water/puddle marks
- Signs of bad pipe connections
- Water pressure. Low water pressure may be caused by a water line problem or sediment build up.
- Any exposed pipes, ceilings and walls that may have pipes in them. If you see water stains or smell a musty odor.
Know where your water supply line valves are. It is important to be able to turn the water off to certain areas or turn off the water completely to your home. In an emergency situation you could completely shut off the water to your home until a skilled plumber can come fix the leak.
Did you know that May is Electrical Safety Month? We would like to give you some electrical safety tips which could help you avoid fire in your home! Between 2007and 2011, 48% of home fires caused by electrical failures were because of distribution errors. This means that the electric usage in the home was at an unsafe level, causing fires to start due to overloading the system.
Items in your home that you should check the wattage of to ensure they are not being overloaded are:
-Bulb wattage- ensure that you are using the correct wattage in lamps and fixtures
- Cords- replace any frayed, cracked or damaged cords as soon as possible
-Extension Cords and Power Strips- Do not over load! Only plug in one high-wattage appliance per power strip
-Outlets- if the outlet feels warm, this is a signal that the wiring is unsafe and should be checked out by a professional
-Appliances- Unplug any unused appliance
-Fuse Box-Make sure the fuses are the correct size for the circuit
-Circuit Breaker Box- Occasionally turn the circuit breakers off and on to make ensure they are in good working condition.
Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact an electrician to check out the electrical situation in your home. They are happy to come out and inspect your home for any improvements that can be made. It is important to make sure your house’s electrical system is up to code for the safety of you and your family.
Getting Rid of Mold
When customers call to set up an appointment for mold remediation, we start by scheduling one of our certified technicians or managers to go out to assess the situation. Our assessor goes out to do a visual assessment and creates an action plan. They are considering both the structural and content items that need mold removal.
Structural items may include (but are not limited to):
trim or molding
doors or windows
framing and studs
cabinets or vanities
bathtub or shower enclosures
Some of these materials would be removed completely during remediation. Other materials may be sanded, or dry ice blasted to remove a thin layer of the material to remediate the mold. Materials like ceramic tile, can usually be wiped clean of mold.
Content items may include (but are not limited to):
curtains or blinds
appliances or electronics
mattresses and furniture
During the remediation process, some items can be cleaned using our SERVPRO branded products. However, some items need to be discarded because of their material. If a material is too fibrous, we would not be able to guarantee that the mold was completely removed. We would recommend the item be thrown out to eliminate that item from contaminating the other structural material or content items. For example, mattresses and upholstered furniture would be recommended to be discarded. These items are cleaned topically and have cushion that would not be cleaned thoroughly enough to ensure the mold spores are no longer present.
Syracuse Breaks 100 Year Old Rainfall Record
Have you noticed the Syracuse area experiencing a large amount of rainfall this year? We have had a record setting amount of rain to date! 0.69 inches fell on May 5th as of 3PM alone.
To the west of us, Buffalo received more than 6 inches of rain in April. As of May 5th, Buffalo had already received 3 inches of rain this month! 3 inches of rain is the typical amount of rain Buffalo normally receives in an entire month.
Many of the local lakes, streams, rivers and canal ways are flooding. Over the weekend, events surrounding the Syracuse Creekwalk were canceled and the Creekwalk has been closed for some time due to high water levels. Parts of the Creekwalk are flooded making it unsafe for people to use that area. Lake Ontario water levels are nearing 2 feet above average and are expected to continue rising.
In Oswego County, a beaver dam burst causing water to pour all over State Route 183. Also in Oswego County, a swamp along Lakeshore Road flooded causing the town to close the road completely.
Onondaga Lake Park, had massive flooding throughout the park. High waters in the park caused some of the park benches to be taken into the lake as water levels began to shrink.
Remember, it is important to watch for flood warnings in your area. There are safety precautions that should be taken for health and safety reasons. Do not walk, drive or ride through flooded waters, because you do not know what is underneath the water that could harm you. If you must travel, find detours that lead around the flooded waters.
Have you had flooding in your area?