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Fighting a Pandemic with Proactive Cleaning

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

A graphic illustration of the coronavirus SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield joins the fight against a worldwide pathogen by offering proactive cleaning and disinfecting of homes and businesses.

When the novel coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 disease, took root at a senior care center in Kirkland, Washington, among the workers who went in to clean and disinfect the facility—saving lives and helping to fight this new and deadly threat to us all—were SERVPRO professionals.

As the coronavirus circulates the globe, SERVPRO offers homeowners and business owners the extra reassurance that their homes and facilities are thoroughly clean and disinfected. In response to the coronavirus crisis, SERVPRO offers proactive cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of commercial and residential properties with the goal of minimizing the transmission of emergent viral pathogens, including the coronavirus.

As a corporation, SERVPRO is in a unique position to perform these essential services at a time of urgent need. Americans can rely on the preparedness—the expertise, training, equipment and personnel—of SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield.

Do all you can to keep your family and friends, customers and employees safe from this new and uncertain threat: call on SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield for proactive cleaning of your home or business.

About the Coronavirus and Covid-19

Declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus outbreak has focused the attention of nations, individuals, businesses and organizations on ways to fight the spread of the virus and minimize the impact of the disease.

The coronavirus is believed to spread primarily through personal contact, between people who are within about six feet of one another, through airborne respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible to catch the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

“Social distancing” has become the new watchword and the key to slowing the pandemic. In this rapidly changing situation, Americans are experiencing unprecedented canceling of events and widespread closings of schools, restaurants and workplaces. Along with avoiding large crowds and keeping a six-foot distance from others, the most common advice from experts is to wash hands frequently and avoid touching faces.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website for the latest and most accurate information on the coronavirus and Covid-19. Because this outbreak is unfolding rapidly and unpredictably, we at SERVPRO encourage you to check back with the CDC frequently for updates.

The Importance of Proactive Cleaning

According to the CDC, “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”

Today, when the need is most urgent, SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield is prepared—right now—to clean, sanitize and disinfect your home or business to eradicate traces of coronavirus or other pathogens.

Whether you have no indication of existing contamination, or you are aware that your structure may have been contaminated with coronavirus, SERVPRO’s crews stand ready to provide increased assurance that you, your family, your customers and your employees will not be exposed to coronavirus within your building.

Please be aware, however, that while SERVPRO’s cleaning process can remove existing viral pathogens, including the coronavirus, structures we clean proactively will not be protected from future coronavirus contamination if an infected person subsequently enters the building.

SERVPRO: Uniquely Ready to Provide Proactive Cleaning

We were ready for this. As a corporation, our baseline level of expertise and preparation on a day-to-day basis makes us uniquely ready to provide proactive cleaning of viral pathogens for several reasons.

Our People

A key part of the SERVPRO business model is being fully staffed and prepared for your most difficult job. Our employees are thoroughly trained in the use of all our equipment and cleaning products. We support them with rigorous safety training and procedures.

SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield is always prepared because we can call on the resources of three other top-performing local SERVPRO franchises—SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield, SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield and SERVPRO of West Hartford—that are owned and operated by Ralph and Noemi DiCristofaro. This means we’re ready for just about anything! We can get to your job faster, and we allocate staff and equipment as needed to tackle the really big, urgent jobs. Among these four franchises, we have at our disposal thousands of different pieces of equipment and dozens of trucks and other vehicles.

Our Protective Gear

We have the right personal protective gear for the job. If there is no indication that your facility or home has been contaminated by coronavirus, our crew will wear a mid-grade protective suit, but if contamination is suspected or confirmed, all workers will wear a top-grade suit, which is thicker and features integrated boots and hoods. Our employees wear N-95 masks that are individually fit-tested to ensure complete coverage and protection.

Our Products

To fight the coronavirus, we use hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting products that are safe to use and effective at killing germs. In the midst of a pandemic, these products are difficult, if not impossible, for other vendors to locate. But SERVPRO, with its foresight and purchasing network, is prepared with a substantial supply of coronavirus-fighting cleaners and disinfectants.

Our Methods

We use two different modes of cleaning to attack coronavirus contamination. First, we seal off your home or place of business and fog it using sprayers and misters. This allows our cleaning and disinfecting agents to penetrate deep into crevices that would otherwise remain untouched.

Then our crews get to work, doing hands-on cleaning and disinfecting of every flat surface in your structure, including furniture, fixtures and objects. Our crews let the disinfectant remain in place for the CDC-recommended amount of time necessary to kill disease-causing germs.

Our Coverage

If you are concerned about potential or suspected coronavirus contamination in your home or business, you need not be worried about any additional liability. As a professional damage restoration and cleaning company, part of a network of more than 1,800 franchises across the United States, SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield is fully insured against any hazards we may encounter in our work.

Who Seeks Proactive Cleaning?

Both homeowners and business owners hire SERVPRO for coronavirus proactive cleaning. Whether you want reassurance that your building is free from contamination or you are coping with a suspected contamination situation, rely on SERVPRO to restore your peace of mind, your health and your safety.

Especially when a family member has been diagnosed with Covid-19, our cleaning services for homeowners let you be confident that the other residents of the home will have a lower risk of exposure.

Business owners, too, can protect their employees and customers with our proactive cleaning service. You will know that you are doing everything you can to keep Americans—ones you know and ones you’ve never met—healthy as you slow the spread of coronavirus.

Another benefit of proactive cleaning is to reassure your customers that your place of business is a safe place to be. In the midst of this viral threat, with so many unknowns, people seek reassurance. As many states have already temporarily closed down table service at restaurants and bars and curtailed the hours of nonessential businesses, hiring SERVPRO to thoroughly clean and sanitize your facility says, loudly and clearly, that your business has taken all the precautions it can to protect the health of your customers and the public.

Many types of businesses can benefit from SERVPRO’s proactive cleaning, which targets the coronavirus and other pathogens:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Retail stores
  • Offices, especially medical offices
  • Schools
  • Nursing homes, senior centers and rehabilitation facilities
  • Gyms
  • Hotels, B&Bs and other hospitality sites
  • Libraries
  • Theaters and entertainment venues
  • Apartment buildings
  • Factories and warehouses

What We Clean and Disinfect

Cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining environmental pathogens. SERVPRO meets or exceeds the CDC’s guidelines to clean high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables.

Areas of the home or business we clean include:

Kitchen/food areas

  • tables and chairs
  • countertops
  • cabinets and pulls
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • mats
  • food contact surfaces
  • light switches
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • push doors
  • salt and pepper shakers
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers
  • tabletops

Bathrooms

  • bathroom stalls
  • countertops
  • cabinets/vanities and pulls
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • handrails
  • light switches
  • paper towel/napkin dispenser
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers
  • toilets
  • diaper-changing station

Classrooms

  • book covers and binders
  • carpets
  • chairs
  • computer equipment
  • countertops
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • small hard-surface items
  • light switches
  • mats
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • rugs
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers
  • tabletops/desktops

Offices

  • carpets
  • chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment
  • countertops
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • light switches
  • rugs
  • shared office equipment
  • tabletops/desktops
  • water fountains

Retail space

  • shelving and racking
  • displays
  • mannequins
  • packaged inventory
  • carpets
  • fitting room stalls
  • chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment and registers
  • sales counters
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • light switches
  • rugs
  • tables
  • water fountains

Hallways

  • carpets
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • handrails
  • light switches
  • rugs
  • water fountains

Other

  • fitness equipment
  • lamps
  • storage bins
  • shelves and racking
  • lockers
  • playground equipment
  • stair handrails
  • elevator cars

How We Clean Porous and Non-Porous Surfaces

Cleaning—using a detergent and water to physically remove germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces and objects—does not necessarily kill all germs on porous and non-porous surfaces, but by reducing their numbers, you can greatly reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Some materials cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged. For this reason, paper and paper products cannot be cleaned or disinfected.

Porous materials that are not water-sensitive, like carpet, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies, are wet-cleaned using a hot water extraction or preconditioner and rinse method. Cleaning methods typically used on water-sensitive materials, such as vacuuming or dry sponging, do not remove enough soil and residue to be effective.

We effectively wet-clean non-porous materials, like hard-surface floors, cabinets, countertops, doorknobs and plumbing fixtures, using a variety of SERVPRO hard-surface cleaners (general purpose) and cleaning methods.

How We Disinfect Non-Porous Surfaces

It is important to understand that not all porous surfaces can be disinfected, such as carpet, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies.

We use hospital-grade chemicals to kill germs and disinfect non-porous surfaces or objects, like hard-surface floors, cabinets, countertops, doorknobs and plumbing fixtures. While no disinfectants have yet been tested specifically for the coronavirus, SERVPRO follows CDC recommendations that advise using a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against viruses similar to SARS (CoV-2).

We apply these disinfectants using a spray bottle, pump-up sprayer, electric sprayer or mister. Once thoroughly sprayed, we allow the disinfectant to remain on the surface for ten minutes, sufficient to kill germs.

We follow the CDC’s recommendations to use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. If necessary, we use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the recommended length of contact time.

Safety is Our Priority

SERVPRO puts a premium on the health and safety of our people. Our workers are thoroughly trained and equipped to handle potentially contaminated areas and materials. While working, our employees wear personal protective equipment, including appropriate protective suit with integrated hood and boots, N-95 respirators, nitrile gloves and goggles.

We clean and disinfect our own tools and equipment as we work to avoid spreading any contamination in your home or place of business.

Once we have successfully cleaned your building, our crew bags, removes and disposes of all waste, including used gloves and disposable respirators, and bags and removes cleaning towels to the SERVPRO facility for laundering.

We’re Here for You in a Time of Crisis

In just about any disaster situation, the team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has the training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home or business. In this time of uncertainty and peril, we have the expertise and preparation to reassure you, your family, customers and employees that your safety and health will be protected. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) any time.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, SERVPRO

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

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SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

5 Ways to Prepare for a Storm

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

A flashlight You'll ride out the storm and a subsequent power outage more easily and safely if you are prepared with essential supplies.

A bad storm—wind, rain, snow or ice—can at worst endanger your life and at least make for some challenging hours and days, especially if you lose power. You and your family will weather the storm much more easily and safely if you prepare by having some key supplies on hand well before you need them.

1. Food & Water

Stock up with a two-week supply of food and water. Choose foods that are high in calories and nutrition, and that don’t require refrigeration, water or special preparation, such as canned food, dry mixes and other staples. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends storing at least one gallon of water per day per person. Keep your food and water in a cool, dry and ideally dark place. Periodically, check expiration dates and replace items as necessary. And if you have a pet, keep a two-week supply of that food on hand, too.

2. Lights & Electronics

If your power fails, you’ll want lighting and a way to power your phone or other electronic device. Before the storm, stash away several flashlights and a compact lantern that offers abundant light. Don’t forget to include an ample supply of batteries for the lantern and flashlights and portable radios, too. When a storm is predicted, be sure to fully charge your phone and devices—and if you have one or more power banks, charge them, too.

3. First Aid Kit

Be ready to handle minor injuries on your own, because emergency facilities and personnel may be in great demand during a major storm. Have a first-aid kit on hand that includes bandages, gauze, a cold compress, scissors, tweezers, a seven-day supply of necessary medications and more. Store these essentials in a portable carrying case so you can grab and go if you need to.

4. Documents & Records

After a storm disaster you may need ID to prove who you are. Gather and store (in a portable waterproof, fire-safe security chest) your important identification documents, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage certificates, adoption papers, passports, naturalization documents, wills, living wills, powers of attorney and property deeds/titles. Include important DVDs, portable disks and flash drives, too, if there’s room.

5. Cash & Gas

Make it a habit to keep some spare cash tucked away at home for a real emergency. (If you have the means, you’d be wise to build up a separate supply of easily-accessible funds that you can tap after a storm disaster to cover sudden expenses.) And when a storm is in the forecast, gas up your vehicles so that you can charge up your electronics and run errands—or evacuate if necessary.

If you have suffered damage from a storm or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in storm damage restoration, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial services and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

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SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

If you have suffered damage from a storm or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Is Your Fire Extinguisher Ready to Work?

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher—one that's maintained and one you know how to use—can make all the difference if a fire starts in your home.

Many homeowners wisely own one or more fire extinguishers, small metal canisters that propel a directed spray of flame-retardant chemicals. With an extinguisher at the ready, you can douse a small fire before it gets out of control, or contain a larger blaze long enough for firefighters to arrive. But the extinguisher needs to be the right type and must be maintained in order to do its job in an emergency.

Note: Don’t use your fire extinguisher if you aren’t sure you have the proper type of extinguisher, if you don’t know how to use it or if you are in imminent danger from the fire.

What Type of Extinguisher Do You Have?

No fire extinguisher can be safely and effectively used for every type of fire. Generally, fire extinguishers are categorized based on the type of chemical agents they contain and the types of fires they combat. This information appears on the extinguisher’s label, along with instructions for use.

The types of fires are:

  • A class: ordinary combustibles, such as wood and paper.
  • B class: combustible liquids, such as kerosene, gasoline, oil, and grease.
  • C class: electrical fires that involve circuit breakers, wires, outlets and other electrical devices and equipment.
  • D class: combustible metals, such as sodium, potassium, titanium and magnesium.
  • K class: vegetable oils and animal fats; these fires generally happen in kitchens.

These are few of the most common extinguisher types:

  • Dry chemical: suited for A-B-C or B-C class fires, these common types of extinguishers are found in schools, homes, hospitals, offices, garages, kitchens and laboratories.
  • Carbon dioxide: suited for B-C class fires, these extinguishers are often used in laboratories, computer rooms and other areas with sensitive equipment.
  • Water: most suited for A class fires; cannot be used in B-C-D class fires. These extinguishers are inexpensive and environmentally friendly.
  • Wet chemical: suited for A-K class fires, these devices are often employed in commercial kitchens and restaurants.    

Check Your Extinguisher

At least once a year:

  • Make sure your extinguisher is in a conspicuous and readily accessible place.
  • Make sure the pressure dial reads in the green or “charged” area.
  • Check that the pull pin is securely fastened within the handle and held in place by the tamper seal.
  • Make sure the nozzle is unblocked.
  • Check for visible dents or cracks in the extinguisher body.
  • Review how to use the extinguisher with everyone in your house.

How Long Will a Fire Extinguisher Last?

Fire extinguishers eventually expire for a few different reasons.

  • Over time, the seal on the neck weakens and allows compressed gas to escape. Extinguishers that have lost much of their pressure will not operate. You can check the extinguisher’s pressure with a pressure gauge.
  • A-B-C class extinguishers can fail when the chemical in the canister base solidifies. You can delay this process by periodically shaking the extinguisher.

Unfortunately, you can’t trust an extinguisher’s expiration date and there is no surefire way to know if your extinguisher will still work. Because fires can be extremely destructive and fire extinguishers are relatively low-cost, go ahead and replace or recharge any extinguishers you aren’t sure of.

Source: IICRC

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, water and mold damage, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

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SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Home Heating Fires Can Be Deadly—Prevent One in Your Home

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

A fire burns inside a wood-burning stove. Home heating fires can be deadly! Stay comfortable and safe by following our home heating safety advice.

Each year across our country, there are more than 50,000 home fires caused by heating equipment, accounting for roughly 15% of all reported home fires. Worse, these heating fires cause $1 billion of annual property damage. Worst yet, almost 500 people die from home heating fires each year.

Clearly, a home heating fire can destroy your home and property, and put the lives of your family at grave risk. Stay safe by following our basic safety tips to help prevent heating fires while you and your family stay warm.

General Heating Safety

  • Keep flammable items at least three feet from space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators and candles. (By far, the most common cause of heating fires is combustible material being too close to the heat source.)
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Hire professionals to inspect, clean and maintain your fireplace, wood stove, chimney and furnace every year.

Space Heater Safety

Space heaters are the most common source of home heating fires. They cause 85% of deaths and almost 80% of injuries. Space heaters may be convenient, but please take extra caution when you use them!

  • Keep a three-foot clear area around the space heater at all times. Be vigilant about keeping children and pets away from the heater.
  • Turn the heater off when you leave the room, go to sleep or leave your home.
  • Buy a space heater that senses overheating or tipping and shuts off automatically.
  • Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet rather than an extension cord or power strip.
  • Never run the cord under a carpet.
  • Never operate the heater if the cord, plug or the heater itself is damaged.
  • Place the heater on a stable, level surface and not in a highly-trafficked area, such as a doorway.
  • If you have a fuel-burning space heater, always use the correct kind of fuel.

Fireplace Safety

  • Keep sparks from flying into the room by placing a sturdy metal screen or glass partition in front of your fireplace.
  • Keep a bucket of sand near the fireplace to smother a fire.
  • Put the fire out completely before you go to sleep or leave your home.
  • Let the ashes cool completely (for three or more hours), then shovel them into a metal container with a lid and cover the ashes with water. Bring the container outside and place it at least three feet away from your home or garage.

Wood Stove Safety

  • Place your stove on a level noncombustible, fire-resistant base.
  • Burn dry wood, not paper.
  • Never use flammable fluids to start the fire.
  • Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, water and mold damage, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

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SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Make a Food Plan for the Next Winter Storm Outage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

A supply of non-perishable food items With a supply of non-perishable food on hand and some planning, you will be ready to safely outlast a winter storm power outage.

Snow or ice storms can knock out power quickly, and the outage can last for days or even a week or more. An urgent concern then will be how you will feed your family. You’ll weather the storm more easily and healthfully if you prepare by having a supply of water and nutritious food set aside.

Keep the Staples on Hand

It’s become a joke: those pre-storm shoppers emptying the grocery store of bread and milk. Avoid that last-minute trip by shopping for staples well before the storm hits. Throughout the year, pick up extra non-perishables, and periodically check for freshness, replacing older items as needed. Then, when a storm is in the forecast, check your stocks of food and plan what to eat first.

Healthy shelf-stable options include:

  • canned fish or meat
  • canned beans
  • canned vegetables
  • fruit (packed in fruit juice)
  • pouches of fully cooked whole grains
  • peanut butter
  • nuts
  • whole-wheat crackers
  • snack bars
  • breakfast cereal
  • shelf-stable milk or plant milk (sold in aseptic boxes)
  • bottled water

Will Your Refrigerated Foods Be Safe?

Keep your refrigerator closed and it will maintain a safe temperature—below 40° F—for about 4 hours, according to the Department of Agriculture . A full freezer will stay cold for 48 hours, and a half-full one for 24 hours. (Pro tip: fill your freezer and gain another 24 hours by filling containers with water and freezing them.) 

Some foods often stored in the refrigerator will keep for days at room temperature: bread, butter, fresh fruit and vegetables, jelly and hard cheeses (such as cheddar).

Putting it All Together

Sandwiches will be a go-to during your power outage. For fresh salads, combine canned fish or meats, pouches of precooked grains, vegetables, beans and/or fruits.

Do your best to keep meals balanced and healthy, and make sure everyone is drinking enough fluids. Another pro tip: Include fresh or dried fruits and fresh or canned vegetables in sufficient quantities so that all family members get enough fiber.

If you have school-age children, a power outage can be a great opportunity for them to take over the planning and preparation of meals. Give them guidelines (fruit/vegetable + grain + protein, for example) and let them make the choices.

Who knows: with preparation, that power outage you dreaded could even be the source of some important family memories.

If you have suffered damage from a storm or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in storm damage restoration, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial services and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

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SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

If you have suffered damage from a storm or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Prepare for a Winter Storm Power Outage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

A man clears a sidewalk with a snowblower A little time spent planning and preparing will help you be comfortable and safe if you lose power during a winter storm.

A severe snow or ice storm can be a life-altering event—especially if you lose power to your home for several days or even longer. You can’t stop Old Man Winter, but you can prepare for a power outage by laying in supplies and planning ahead.

Beyond the important tips listed in this article, it’s a good idea to have a fully-fueled vehicle and extra cash on hand when a storm is imminent.

Food and Water

You may need to feed your family for several days or more. Stay energized and healthy with some preparation.

  • Water for three days or more (one gallon per person, per day)
  • Foodfor three days or more (fresh fruits and vegetables, high-energy non-perishable foods)
  • Baby formula and food (if needed)
  • Pet food (if needed)

Heating and Lighting

Plan ahead to avoid the darkness and cold while you wait for your power to return.

  • Flashlights, lanterns, head lamps and extra batteries
  • If you have a generator: 24-hour or more supply of gasoline (run the generator outside only)
  • Wood fireplaces or wood- burning stoves, coal for coal-burning stoves
  • Extra blankets
  • Candles
  • Fire extinguisher

Electronics

Stretch out the life of your electronics by charging up before a potential outage.

  • Fully charged cell phones, tablets, etc.
  • Fully charged power bank
  • Phone chargers to use in your car
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Extra batteries

Medical and Personal Hygiene

Having a family medical kit and extra prescription meds on hand can make a big difference in a protracted outage.

  • Necessary medications (at least a seven-day supply)
  • First aid kit
  • Other necessary medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, etc.)
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Baby diapers and wipes, if needed

Important Information

Take a few minutes ahead of time to locate and set aside essential papers in a safe place.

  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Copies of personal documents, such as passports and Social Security cards
  • Medical information and medical insurance card
  • Phone numbers of your insurance company and agent

Tools for Snow and Ice Removal

While you’re waiting for the power to return, you’ll also need to dig out of the storm.

  • Shovels, ice choppers, roof rake and other tools
  • Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter for icy walkways and steps
  • Fully fueled snow blower

Source: The Hanover Insurance Group

If you have suffered damage from a storm or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in storm damage restoration, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial services and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785.

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SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

If you have suffered damage from a storm or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Space Heater Safety Basics

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

Flames shoot from a space heater in a bedroom Follow our basic safety guidelines to prevent a space heater fire that could destroy your home.

Electric space heaters are handy for taking the chill out of a room and keeping you and your loved ones comfortable in your home. Unfortunately, they also cause about one in three winter house fires and four out of five winter heating fire deaths. Why? Space heaters can easily overload home electrical circuits, they have components that can become very hot and some models are prone to tipping over. 

As with many consumer products, today’s space heaters are safer and more efficient than older models. Particularly in the last decade, renters and homeowners benefit from better technology and more built-in safety features, like a tip-over shutoff switch.  

When Purchasing a Space Heater

Always buy a new space heater, never a used one. When you are researching and making a purchasing decision on a space heater, always look for these features:

  • A safety certification label from an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), ETL/Intertek or CSA International.
  • Automatic shutoff features, like a sensor that shuts off when it detects that the heater has overheated or tipped over.
  • A sturdy electrical cord that’s at least 6 feet long.
  • A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) plug to prevent electric shock is a plus, but if you buy a model that doesn’t have one, don’t use the heater near water.

When Using a Space Heater

When using your electric space heater, follow these guidelines:  

  • Plug your heater directly into an outlet, never an extension cord or power strip, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Keep people, furnishings and objects at least three feet away from the space heater.
  • Be especially vigilant in keeping children and pets away from the space heater.
  • Never use a space heater for cooking, drying clothing or warming linens.
  • Don’t store clothing on or around the heater, and keep it away from curtains and bedding.
  • Don’t use the space heater in high traffic areas, such as doorways—it could become a tripping hazard.
  • Keep the heater away from sources of water, such as the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Never leave the heater running all night or when you are sleeping.
  • Turn off the space heater when you leave the room.
  • Unplug the heater when you’re not using it.

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, water and mold damage, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

Most Chimney Fires Are Preventable

Make a Plan to Escape a House Fire

Own an Older Home? These Fire Risks May Be Lurking

The 5 Most Common Places a House Fire Starts

SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Do You Have a Burst Pipe in Your Home?

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water flows out of a burst pipe You don't always know right away that you have a burst pipe. These are the signs that you may have a damaging leak in your home.

Many burst pipes in the winter are due to freezing, but pipes can leak from other causes, too, such as poor installation or aging. Just a trickle of water from a small hole can, over time, destroy drywall, ruin flooring and cause other damage that costs you hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair.

Stop the leak before it becomes a big, expensive problem by paying attention to these signs of a burst or leaking pipe.

Less Water Pressure

A sudden unexplained drop in pressure when you wash your hands, fill your sink or take a shower—or more clogs in your toilet or sinks—may mean you have a leak. If no water comes out of a faucet at all, you may have a frozen pipe.

Water Marks

A leaking pipe behind one of your walls can leave dampness on the drywall. Pipes that serve upstairs bathrooms or laundry rooms can leak down into the ceiling, leaving clear marks. These spots may tell you exactly where the leak is.

Standing Water

If a leak is big enough or goes on for some time, you may notice puddles, drips or gushing water coming out of the area. Follow the source of the water to determine where the leak is in the pipe. Outside, a break in the water main can cause a sinkhole or puddles in your yard near the source of the leak.

Water Discoloration and Odors

Brownish water may indicate your pipes have rust in them, which can create or result in leaks. Pay attention to a sudden water odor, too—a leak in your plumbing system can prevent sewage from being pushed out of your home, causing a stink.

Odd Sounds

If you notice bubbling and whistling sounds when you turn on a faucet, you might have or may be developing a leak. If you hear a dripping sound within your walls when you run the water, a leak may already have started.

Higher Water Bills

If your water usage hasn't changed, a sudden high bill could indicate a leak. If you notice your water meter seems to be running constantly even when you're not using water, suspect a leak, as well.

Source: Hunker

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here For You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has the people, skills and equipment to help homeowners recover from water damage and eradicate mold. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785 any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

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SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Burst Pipe in Your Home? How To Seek the Leak

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

A water stain on a ceiling Water stains on a wall or ceiling may show you exactly where a leak is, but it's not always that easy. Follow our steps to seek the leak.

Often, if you experience a burst pipe, you’ll know it almost immediately. There may be a puddle or drip, or water stains on the drywall or ceiling. If the pipe freezes before it bursts, you may not have any water flowing through the pipe at all. If the damage happens on an exposed pipe in your basement or elsewhere, you can often spot the hole in addition to the leaking water. But other leaks are hidden behind walls and are not so obvious.

Signs of a Burst Pipe

These are the clues of a burst or leaking pipe in your home:

  • Sudden drop in water pressure
  • Water marks on ceilings or walls
  • Puddles of water
  • Discolored or smelly water
  • Unusual sounds when running water
  • Sudden jump in water bills

Seek the Leak

If you suspect a leak, you’ll need to do some sleuthing. This step-by-step procedure will help you locate the source of your mysterious leak.

Turn off all appliances that use water, and don't use any faucets, toilets or other sources of water during the test. Look at the water meter. After 30 minutes, check it again to see if it moved at all during that time. If it did, you have a leak.

To determine if the leak is inside or outside, shut off the main water valve coming into the home. Watch your water meter; if it stops moving, your leak is likely inside the house. If the meter continues moving, the source is likely a water main leak outside the home.

Once you know you have a leak, look for the visible signs of leaks to figure out where the problem lies. Start with obvious places like toilets, sinks and showers. If you can't find the leak yourself, call a plumber to help you find and fix the problem.

After You Find the Leak

Cleanup from even minor water damage in your home or business should be done by experienced professionals like SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield to remove all the water, ensure that your structure is sound and reduce the risk of developing a stubborn mold problem.

Source: Hunker

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here For You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has the people, skills and equipment to help homeowners recover from water damage and eradicate mold. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785 any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Ways to Avoid Winter Water Damage to Your Home

Winterize Your Plumbing Now

Sump Pumps: Your Last Line of Defense Against Basement Water Damage

Water Shut Off

SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Most Chimney Fires Are Preventable

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Flames shoot out of a home's chimney. Follow our tips step-by-step to prevent a destructive chimney fire from happening in your home.

Chimney fires strike more than 25,000 times each year in the U.S., and they cause more than $125 million in property damage. The most common cause of chimney fires is not having your chimney regularly cleaned and inspected. With chimneys, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure! Protect your home and your family by keeping your chimney clean and in good working condition, always looking out for signs of trouble. This article tells you what a chimney fire is, how it starts and how to stop one from occurring in your home.

Two Types of Chimney Fires

Chimney fires come in two varieties—fast and loud or slow and quiet—but they’re both extremely destructive and can cause your home to go up in flames.

If you suddenly hear cracks and pops as loud as gunshots, followed by a deep, rumbling sound, you’ll know you have a chimney fire. Black, flaming creosote will fall into the firebox, and then, like an explosion, flames will shoot from the top of the chimney and back down into the firebox, pushing smoke into your living space. Finally, the flue may crack and flames can shoot into your walls.

?Slow-burning chimney fires never get enough air or fuel to burst into plain sight, but they can still cause similar damage to the chimney and nearby combustible parts of your home as their louder siblings do.  With a slow fire, though, you may not even know a fire occurred until your next chimney inspection.

Either way, you can’t control a chimney fire by yourself, so call 911 ASAP! Because firefighters have to fight the flames from the top of the chimney, water will flood into your house, causing water damage on top of the fire damage. You’ll need to hire a professional disaster recovery company, like SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield, to completely restore both the fire and water damage to your home.

If You Have a Chimney Fire, Act Fast

If you discover a chimney fire, immediately:

  • get everyone out of the house, including yourself
  • call 911

Take these additional steps to help save your home only if you can do so safely:

  • Place a chimney fire extinguisher or fire suppressant into the fireplace or wood stove to consume oxygen and starve the fire
  • Pour sand or baking soda onto the fire in the firebox (keep a bucket of sand nearby for this purpose)
  • Close the glass doors on a fireplace or the air inlets on a wood stove

While you wait for the fire department outside, try to keep the fire from spreading by hosing down your roof (not the chimney).

Once the chimney fire is completely extinguished, call a fire damage restoration expert like SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield, who will remove damaged material, treat your possessions for smoke and soot contamination and restore your structure and property to pre-fire condition.

What Causes a Chimney Fire?

Fireplace and wood stove chimneys expel the substances produced when wood burns, including smoke, gases, water vapor and unburned wood particles. These by-products of combustion exit the fireplace or wood stove at high temperatures and flow up into the relatively cooler chimney, where they condense onto the chimney walls as a black or brown residue called creosote. Whatever form it takes—crusty and flaky, or sticky and drippy, or shiny and hardened—creosote is extremely combustible. When your chimney’s flue temperature gets high enough, built-up creosote can start a chimney fire, which burns at up to 2,000°F.  

The longer the smoke stays in the flue, the more creosote will form. Creosote is more likely to build up in your chimney if your fireplace or stove:

  • is burning unseasoned wood
  • isn’t pulling in enough air
  • has cooler than normal chimney temperatures

Therefore, the key to preventing a chimney fire is to burn the right kind of fuel, set your wood-burning stove or fireplace up correctly to burn a fast, clean fire—and have your chimney and fireplace or stove cleaned and inspected regularly.

Prevent a Chimney Fire: Clean and Inspect

Every time you use your wood stove or fireplace, more oily, black, sticky creosote condenses onto the inside of your chimney. There it waits, growing thicker and putting your home and family at risk of a fire, until it is removed.

The best way to ensure that you never have a chimney fire is by cleaning and inspecting it regularly. Hire a certified chimney sweep each year before fire burning season starts, in late summer or fall. (If you haven’t done it yet this season, call today before you light another fire!) 

The chimney sweep will remove both creosote and any debris carried into your chimney by animals or wind. In addition, he or she will inspect your chimney to look for:

  • creosote that’s puffy or looks like honeycomb
  • metal in the damper, smoke chamber or chimney that’s been warped by heat
  • cracked, damaged or collapsed flue tiles
  • discolored and/or distorted chimney cap
  • creosote flakes and pieces on the roof or near the house
  • roofing material damaged by hot creosote
  • cracks in exterior masonry
  • soot deposits around mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

In addition to scheduling an annual chimney cleaning, you should make it a habit to regularly check the condition of your chimney and fireplace. Schedule another cleaning when you notice creosote that: 

  • falls into the firebox during a fire
  • resembles a honeycomb on the inside of the chimney
  • is more than 1/4-inch thick

Schedule more frequent cleanings if you burn fires more than a couple of times a week, use lots of artificial logs or burn green or unseasoned firewood.

Prevent a Chimney Fire: Look for Signs of Trouble

Check for these indications that your chimney has been damaged. If you spot any of them, don’t light another fire until you have your fireplace and chimney inspected.

  • Buckled masonry: Look for cracking or settling inside the firebox or on the fireplace’s surround or hearth, because just a tiny opening will allow sparks and high heat to reach the flammable parts of your home.
  • Soot in your firebox: Crumbly black soot falling into your firebox is a sign that creosote is building up. Call for a chimney cleaning.
  • Debris in your firebox: If you notice what looks like broken tiles or pot shards in your firebox, be very concerned. Especially in older homes with terra-cotta chimney liners, these pieces are a sign that the liner has already been damaged by a chimney fire. Don’t use your fireplace until it’s been inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
  • More smell of smoke: If you smell more smoke than usual when you use your fireplace—or smell it outside the room where the fireplace is—extinguish the fire and call 911. Your local fire department will use heat-sensing guns or thermal imaging to check for danger and damage to your chimney.
  • Changes in your walls: If heat has been escaping from cracked masonry, a damaged liner or an improperly installed prefab metal firebox, your home’s wood framing can dry, char and may ignite at a much lower temperature. If you notice pictures falling off the wall or areas of bubbling or peeling paint, call for a chimney inspection.

Prevent a Chimney Fire: Follow Best Burning Practices

Prepare your chimney and fireplace or stove so that it burns efficiently and safely, every time.

  • Install a chimney cap on the crown of the flue to keep debris and critters out of your chimney. A cap will also prevent acidic rainwater from entering and corroding the chimney. 
  • Insulate your chimney’s flue liner (the layer between the flue and chimney walls) to prevent flue temperatures from getting too cool. Wrap a heat-resistant insulation blanket around the liner or pour an insulation mix (such as vermiculite) into the space between the liner and flue.

When you start a fire, you want it to burn hot, fast and clean to create far less smoke, vapor and unburned wood particles, allowing little to no creosote to form in the chimney. This starts with using the right fuel.

  • Always burn seasoned hardwood that has dried for at least six months and has a moisture content of 20 percent or less (you can test this with a wood moisture meter). When you burn green or unseasoned wood, energy is used initially just to evaporate the water trapped in the wood cells. This, in turn, keeps the resulting smoke cooler and more likely to condense in the chimney and form creosote.
  • Use dried twigs or branches for kindling and torn or crumpled newspaper or pine cones for tinder. Avoid cardboard or glossy magazine pages that contain chemicals that can emit toxins when burned.
  • Use the best fire startersfor fuel, kindling and tinder, such as well-seasoned hardwood or CSIA-approved logs. Never use gasoline and kerosene to start a fire—these flammable liquids can quickly create a conflagration. And burn coal only in a coal-burning wood stove, because it can significantly raise the temperature in the flue, increasing the risk of a chimney fire.

Once you have selected the right fuel to burn cleanly, you need to build a fire that will burn hot and fast.

  • Build a clean fire by using the top-down burn method, in which the largest logs are at the bottom of the fire and the smallest pieces at the top, which allows the air to mix well with the fuel. Start by placing the largest pieces of wood in the bottom of the fireplace or wood stove, with the ends at the front and back. Next, stack four to five increasingly smaller levels of wood on top of the first level, placing each layer perpendicular to the one below. Once the stack is about half the height of the firebox, add kindling (the smallest pieces of wood) in smaller and smaller pieces, then top off with wood shavings or crumpled newspaper. Light the material on the top and the fire will gradually burn its way down to the largest logs.
  • Keep the damper open to allow enough air to quickly move heated smoke up the chimney. When using a wood stove, don’t close the stove damper or air inlets too much or too soon.
  • Don’t overload the firebox of a wood stove in an attempt to get a longer burn time—that’ll produce more smoke and creosote.

Lastly, extinguish your fire safely and thoroughly before retiring for the night or leaving your home.

  • Spread out the wood and embers, then shovel ash from the bottom of the fireplace to cover them.
  • Next, completely cover the cooled wood and embers with baking soda to extinguish any remaining embers.
  • After the firebox cools (for a minimum of three hours, but preferably eight), shovel the ashes into a metal container.
  • Fill the metal container with water and store it outside your home and away from other flammable materials until you’re ready to discard them.

Sources: Chimney Safety Institute of America, The Spruce, This Old House, Bob Vila

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

We're Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, water and mold damage, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

Make a Plan to Escape a House Fire

Own an Older Home? These Fire Risks May Be Lurking

Keeping Your Fire Damage Restoration Costs Down

The 5 Most Common Places a House Fire Starts

SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield

Top 50 Franchise Nationally

100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.216.2785 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785