Category Archives: Emergency tips

What to do After the Wildfire

As residents of Aneheim Hills, Orange, and the Tustin areas start to make their way back home following Canyon Fire 2, it would be wise to take the time to read over this list of tips for what do after a wildfire. As always, SERVPRO of Tustin is #HereToHelp. Our owners are long time Tustin residents, and most of our staff lives either in or near the affected areas. We are happy that we are able to offer a lending hand to our neighbors during this trying time. If you have any further questions or concerns, our staff is ready to help – give us a call at 714-480-1340

 

After Wildfire Tips

• Do not open your windows or doors once work is started as there is still smoke in the air. Many think that “airing” out their home is helpful, however, there is still soot and fire debris in the air and if winds change direction your house can fill with smoke particles again.

• Do not open your windows or doors once work is started as there is still smoke in the air. Many think that “airing” out their home is helpful, however, there is still soot and fire debris in the air and if winds change direction your house can fill with smoke particles again.

• A slight smell after our cleaning of your home is normal and should dissipate after rain and other natural occurring factors like new plant growth on the burned areas. Ash and soot on the ground and vegetation in the vicinity will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when disturbed by air movement.

• It is important to know that every time you open a door some odor from outside will creep into your home. This is inevitable and does not mean that your needs to be re-cleaned.

• It is against most city and state laws to power wash outdoors and without reclaiming the water. If you hire a contractor to power wash the exterior of your home be sure they comply with city and state laws. It is also suggested to wait until after the first good amount of rain. This will help reduce debris still in the air and it will wash off any settled particles from your roof which could re-soil the sides of your house when it does rain.

Additional Tips from FEMA and the American Red Cross

• Launder or dry clean all clothing. Call us if you would like a recommendation to a dry cleaner who specializes in fire damaged clothing

• Launder or dry clean all clothing. Call us if you would like a recommendation to a dry cleaner who specializes in fire damaged clothing

• Wash, dust or otherwise clean all household items, including knick-knacks. Use a bucket to rinse, a bucket with cleaning solution and then rinse. Replace the rinse water frequently and avoid using contaminated water.

• HEPA Vacuum or clean all carpets, window coverings, upholstered furniture and mattresses.

• Upholstery, fabric window treatments, etc. can be spray-treated with deodorizing products available at most supermarkets. Do not use odor masking products

• Have heating, ventilating and air-conditioning units and all ductwork professionally purge or cleaned to remove soot, ash and smoke residue. Change filters to HEPA filters immediately and then consider replacing them every month until the soot and ash outside has subsided by rain or vegetation regrowth.

• If aerial fire retardant or firefighting foam residue is present on the house and/or automobiles, use a mild detergent and brushes to scrub and dilute the dried residue and flush it from the surfaces; rinse with clean water. A follow-up with pressure washing may be beneficial but will not replace scrubbing to remove the residue. Again, be aware of water run-off laws in your area

• Ash and soot on the ground and vegetation in the vicinity will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when disturbed by air movement.

 

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fire prevention week

It’s Fire Prevention Week! This year the National Fire Protection Association is reiterating the importance of planning at least two ways out when creating your fire escape plan.

About only half of Americans have developed a home fire escape plan – a quarter of those have never even practiced it. Planning (and practicing!) an escape route from your home can be the difference between life and death if there is ever a fire in your home. A regularly practiced fire escape plan can ensure that everyone in the home knows what to do and where to go when there’s a fire.

Home fires can spread very quickly, and that is why it is so important to plan at least two ways out of every room. If the fire spreads and blocks your first path out, you need to be able to react quickly and move on to plan B.

Your home fire escape plan should include working smoke alarms on every level of the home, as well as in every bedroom. There should be two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window. The escape plan should also include a clear path to an outdoor meeting place (like a tree or mailbox) that is a safe distance from the home. Once you’ve created your home escape plan, be sure to practice it at least twice a year with all members of the household, including pets!

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College Campus: Dorm Safety Tips

Dorm Safety Tips

For many college students, living in a dorm during their freshman year of college is the first time they’ve lived away from home and, subsequently, without the supervision of their parents/guardians. Before heading off for their first year of dorm living, new college students should read over this list of safety tips and take a few minutes to make sure that they are living in a fire-safe environment. It’s probably beneficial for returning college students to give this list a read through too; whether living in the dorms or off campus, safety tips should not be overlooked.

 

Learn the building’s evacuation plan.

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Pay attention to signs for emergency exits in campus buildings when you’re acquainting yourself with your new home.

If you’re living on campus, chances are your dorm will have an emergency evacuation plan. Once you’re all settled into your new home, take some time to familiarize yourself with the building and learn the evacuation routes. Practice multiple escape routes in the event that your first option is obstructed during an emergency. Most college campus buildings should have an evacuation plan posted on each floor. If you live off campus, have an escape plan of your own with at least two ways out of each room. Knowing what to do before an emergency happens can help you to protect yourself as well as others.

 

Don’t overload your room’s electrical outlets.

Charred Electrical Outlet

Choose surge protectors or power outlet strips with their own circuit breakers that will cut power when overloaded.

Most electrical outlets in dorms are designed to handle a specific amperage. It’s best not to try to push them to their capacity by using too many multi-plug devices. Your school may also have policies restricting the use/plug-in of certain appliances. These limitations are meant to limit the number of potential electrical and fire hazards in your dorm. If you ever notice any scorched marks or burning odors around an electrical outlet, stop using that outlet and inform someone of the problem right away.

 

Cook with care.

Coffee-maker

College students can be pretty creative when it comes to cooking in the dorms. Make sure you’re abiding by school rules and cooking safely!

Be careful when cooking in your dorm or in the dorm’s community kitchen. Cooking equipment is involved in 86 percent of dormitory fires. If you do not have a kitchen in your dorm, then you should follow the school’s guidelines on what sort of plug-in cooking equipment is permitted for use in the dorms. Always be careful with electric frying pans, toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, etc. Never leave your dorm when cooking appliances are in use.

 

Respect open flame policies.

holding candle

Candles are the most common source of open flame in a dorm room.

Most schools don’t allow you to smoke or burn candles or incense in the dorms. If you do smoke, be sure to do so in the designated areas on campus (most likely away from buildings). If your school does not allow smoking on campus, then you should follow that policy. Avoid burning candles or incense in your dorm room. If you burn them for the smell, try using essential oil diffusers to create a pleasant aroma in the dorm. You can also buy battery operated flame-less candles for the same flickering light/ambiance that a candle provides, but without the fire hazard. If you do still choose to burn candles or incense in your dorm, never leave them unattended and keep them away from flammable materials.

 

Don’t tamper with fire safety features in your dorm.

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Check the batteries for you smoke detectors regularly.

Most dorms should have smoke detectors. It is important that you do not cover them with any decorations in your dorm. Additionally, do not remove the batteries in your dorm’s smoke detector. It will send a signal to Public Safety to investigate the source of the problem. It is also important to have fresh batteries in your smoke detector so that it can properly do its job to keep you safe. If your dorm has a sprinkler system in place, don’t hang any decorations on it. Sprinklers are there to help put out a fire before firefighters can get there. They are especially important if your dorm is on an upper level as it can be more difficult for firefighters to get to the flames.

 

Be mindful of clutter and how you decorate your dorm.

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Any decor or clutter in your dorm could be fuel to a potential fire.

While decorating your dorm is how you can display your personality or bring some of home to school with you, it can also become potential fuel for a fire. Every poster or tapestry you hang on the wall, or piece of decor you hang from the ceiling, can be considered a fire hazard. Some schools may limit the amount of wall space that can be covered in your dorm, or may prohibit hanging things from the ceiling. Even if there are no restrictions, it would be wise to limit the amount of decor you hang in your room as well as to keep clutter to a minimum. Additionally, avoid draping materials over hot items like lamps that could potentially cause ignition. Furniture should also be kept away from the room’s heat source to reduce the risk of fire.

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by | August 17, 2017 · 8:00 am

7 Awesome Apps You Should Download To Make Your Life Easier

Download these apps

Whether it’s managing multiple properties, or taking care of everyone at home, we could all use a little help sometimes; that’s why we LOVE these apps that were designed to make life just a little bit easier. The best part about all of these apps? They’re all available to download for FREE!

  1. Evernote: Dubbing itself “your second brain,”, Evernote is an app that will collect, organize, and share notes from anywhere. You can collect all of your notes in one place and easily search for them in the app. You can also use Evernote’s various features to enhance your notes with tables, links, checklists, etc. It’s a perfect app for de-cluttering. It’s even available on your computer with a Google login.
  2. Habitica: It’s a task manager that turns your tasks into games! Habitica lets you input your habits, daily goals, and your to-do list. You even get to create a custom avatar! You earn points and “level-up” as you check off tasks and eventually earn in game or custom made rewards (like watching an episode of your favorite show) as you complete more tasks.
  3. Venmo: Don’t have cash? That’s ok! Venmo lets you share money instantly and securely with friends via the app. You can also request money from a friend as a way to remind them about any money they owe you. You can connect your contacts and Facebook account to find friends more easily. All you have to do is connect your bank account so that you can send and receive money. An money you are sent in the app is saved in your Venmo account, and you can cash it out to your regular bank any time (if you have money in your Venmo account, then it will pull from that first when you pay someone).
  4. Square Cash: It’s basically the same as Venmo but a different app. Some people prefer Square Cash to Venmo, so it’s good to have both apps so you can connect with all of your friends.
  5. Keelo: We’re all busy, which means it can be difficult to find time to work out. Keelo creates completely custom workouts that are perfect you (no matter what the skilltype), and they’re all under 20 minutes!
  6. Cozi Family Organizer: This app will let you store everyone’s activities and appointments in one place, create and share shopping lists and chores in real time, store recipes and add ingredients to your shopping list, and more! It’s the perfect app for busy families – keeping everyone on the same page.
  7. SERVPRO Ready Plan: Whether you’re an owner or a property manager (commercial or residential), the SERVPRO Ready Plan app allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your home or business. The ERP helps you to prepare for the worst and compiles a list of all your emergency contacts for your home or business. You can also add your favorite local SERVPRO Franchise (SERVPRO of Tustin) so that you can call us with just the push of a button.

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Filed under Emergency tips, Owners, Property Managers, summer, Tech, Tustin Community

The Summer Heat May Be Affecting Your Home’s Appliances

Appliances in the heat

You know those hot summer days when you can feel the sun sucking away your energy? Well, the same thing can happen to your household appliances during the summer too. When the weather gets hot, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect the systems and appliances in your home.

The higher temperatures outside can create a buildup of moisture on your appliances inside. This extra moisture can cause appliances to degrade faster, and can potentially cause electrical shocks. Appliances can also sweat, causing water to settle around cords and wires. It can also flood the interior of the system, which can potentially lead to mold.

You also must be wary of your appliances overheating. Appliances may have higher surface temperatures, and can lose function when overheated, or require more electricity to work properly. Most appliances use more energy during summer months because they have to work even harder to maintain a cool temperature themselves.

AC Units often have to work harder in the summer because in addition to cooling your home, they also work to remove moisture from the air. Consider installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system, or using one in rooms where it gets hottest. The dehumidifier can remove moisture from the air and allow the Air Conditioner to work solely on cooling your home.

You should also maintain regular cleaning/maintenance of your unit’s filters and coils in order to ensure that it is working properly. The same should go for your fridge/freezer. Dirty coils can lead to overheating, which could leave you without an AC unit or a fridge.

Your fridge should also be kept somewhere cool (avoid hot garages). Once you find the right place for your fridge, be sure to give it ample breathing room. The fridge needs enough room to release heat, but you don’t want that heat to become trapped and cause the unit to overheat and stop working.

You should maintain regular upkeep and maintenance of all of your household appliances all year long, but it’s especially important to be mindful of how they can be affected in this summer heat. Should you require emergency services, call SERVPRO of Tustin 24/7 at 714-480-1340

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How To Keep Your Pets Safe When There’s A Fire

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year. Many house fires are caused by pets, especially when left home alone. Read over these tips to help prevent any accidental fire started by your pets and for keeping your pets safe in the event there is a fire in your home. Make sure you include your dog, cat, or other pets in your family’s emergency plan.

Pet-Fire850

Prevent Your Pets From Starting A Fire

    • Beware of candles and other open flames. Dogs are curious creatures and may take interest in a flickering flame. If you do have any open flames in your home at any time, be sure to never leave them unattended and to keep an eye on your pets. If you’re using a fireplace, consider getting a fireplace screen to protect pets when sleeping in front of the fire. Also make sure the fire is completely out before heading out or going to bed. Small sparks and coals can get through a screen and result in a fire.
    • Secure wires and cords. Pets are often tempted to chew on loose wires and cords. Exposed wires can be a fire hazard, so consider securing any electrical objects so that their cords are out of reach.
    • Don’t use glass bowls for your pets’ water. When filtered and heated through glass, the sun’s rays can ignite the wood beneath the bowl and set a deck in flames. Try using a stainless steel or ceramic bowl instead.

 

Keep Your Pets Safe After/During A Fire

    • Place a pet fire sticker on the door or window. In the event of a fire when you’re away, having a pet sticker will help rescuers know how many pets to look for, saving valuable time and hopefully your pets.
    • Use monitored smoke detectors. Pets left home alone can’t escape on their own when there’s a fire. Monitored smoke detectors contact emergency responders when you’re not home and add an extra layer of protection beyond that of battery-operated smoke alarms.
    • Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from home. Keep collars (with ID tags) on your pets at all times and leave leashes by the entrance or somewhere easy to find in an emergency. This will help firefighters to find and rescue your pets when they arrive.
    • Know where your pets’ hiding spots are. It’s important that you can find your pets quickly if there’s a fire. Know where your pets like to sleep and especially where they like to go when they are scared or anxious (under the bed or hidden in a quiet corner of the house somewhere)
    • Have an emergency plan in place and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in the event of a fire. Know who will be in charge of getting your pets outside safely. Have someone in charge of leashes and pet carriers so that they can be safely secured once you’re outside. In the event that you can’t find your pet when exiting, leave doors and windows open on your way out and call to them so that they come out on their own.
    • Practice fire drills with your pets. It is important to include your pets in the family fire drills. Practice finding them and getting out of the house. Also practice the “open access” scenario where you leave an exit open (preferably the one they’re most comfortable with) and call to them to come out of the home. The more you practice, the more likely they are to come out in the event of an actual fire.

Yellow Lab by Fire Place

If you have any questions or require restoration services due to fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Tustin at (714)480-1340. Our crews are available 24/7 for services.

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What You Should Keep In Your Emergency Safety Kit

We’re thrilled to be partnered with the American Red Cross as a Disaster Responder because here at SERVPRO of Tustin, we’re always “Ready for Whatever Happens” and we want you to be too! You never know when a disaster may strike, so it is important to have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go at a moment’s notice to use at home or to take with you in the event you must evacuate.

According to our friends at the American Red Cross, you should, at minimum, have the basic supplies listed below:

    • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
    • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
    • Flashlight
    • Battery powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
    • Extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
    • Multi-purpose tool
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
    • Cell phone with chargers
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Extra cash
    • Emergency blanket
    • Maps of the area

You should also consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit as needed. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
    • Games and activities for children
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
    • Two-way radios
    • Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to consider keeping at your home or in your emergency supply kit:

    • Whistle
    • N95 or surgical masks
    • Matches
    • Rain gear
    • Towels
    • Work gloves
    • Tools/supplies for securing your home
    • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Household liquid bleach
    • Entertainment items
    • Blankets or sleeping bags

You never know when a disaster might arise.

Keep you emergency kit somewhere easily accessible for if and when the time comes that you need it. You should also practice fire drills with your family and plan out multiple evacuation routes should you ever need to evacuate your home. Make sure that everyone knows what to do in case of emergency. Whether it’s the Big One, a house fire, or an unexpected storm, we want you to be “ready for whatever happens!”

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