CALL TODAY! (414) 810-3522
From Beginning to End, We Can Handle 100% of the Restoration Process.

Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Fire Safety Tips

What is fire? You often hear that fire is a living breathing entitiy....we recently came across a poem that describes fire and its personality.  There is one line in this poem that packs a punch "You are warned against me, yet you heed me not."  Perhaps after reading this poem, you will fully understand the incredible power that fire wields and will begin to heed it.

 

The Enemy

(Unknown Author)

I am more powerful than the combined armies of the world.  I have destroyed more men, women and children than all the wars of all the nations.  I am more deadly than bullets, and I have wrecked more homes than the mightiest guns.

b2ap3_thumbnail_wall-of-fire.jpg

In the United States alone, I steal over 500 million dollars each year.  I spare no one and I find my victims among the rich and the poor alike, the young and the old, and the strong and the weak.  Widows know me to their everlasting sorrow.  I loom up in such proportions that I cast my shadow over every field of labor.

b2ap3_thumbnail_fire-truck-1351439517ffS.jpg 

I lurk in unseen places and do most of my work silently.  You are warned against me, yet you heed me not.  I am relentless, merciless and cruel.  I am everywhere, in the home, in the schools, in the factory, on land, in the air and on the sea.

b2ap3_thumbnail_fire-298105__180.jpg

I bring sickness, degradation and death, yet few seek me out to destroy me.  I crush, I maim, I devastate- I will give you nothing and rob you of all you have.

b2ap3_thumbnail_rampant-fire.jpg

 

I AM YOUR WORSE ENEMY 

I AM RAMPANT FIRE

 

(Unknown Author)

 

 

From beginning to end, we can handle 100% of the restoration process so you don't have to. This can include content pack-outs, cleaning & storage of personal property, structural drying & mitigation, mold remediation, lead & asbestos abatement, and full re-construction services. We are licensed, bonded, and fully insured. We abide by all state and federal laws, and are certified as a "Lead Safe Renovator" with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and accredited with the IICRC.

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_large.jpg 

 For more information on Emergency Fire & Water Restoration, or the services we provide, give us a call at 414-810-3522, or visit our website at www.emergencyrest.comWe are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Hits: 448
0

One of the questions that comes up repeatedly when we meet with new clients after they have lost their home to a fire is, “Do I have to use the restoration contractor that my insurance company recommends?”

The short answer is NO, no you do not.   One thing to remember is that you will be working with your restoration contractor for many months, so you want to make sure that you hire the company that you feel most comfortable with.

b2ap3_thumbnail_contractor-2.jpg

 

However that is the easy answer…there are some pros and cons on both sides of the issue, and we wanted to take this blog post and go over them with you. Information below is courtesy of The Red Guide to Recovery.

Pros of Using a Preferred Provider

1.    Contractors that are recommended by insurance companies can have a certain level of accountability over them to perform.  The idea here is that the contractor may be getting a lot of business from the insurance company and it would be in the contractor’s best interest to make you a happy customer so they can continue to be recommended.

b2ap3_thumbnail_contractor-6.jpg

2.    In some cases, preferred contractor programs may offer extended warranties for the preferred contractor’s work.  However, a warranty is only good as long as the contractor is in business unless the insurance company agrees in writing to stand behind the contractor’s work even if they go out of business.

b2ap3_thumbnail_contractor-7.jpg

3.    Some preferred contractors may be able to handle the entire scope of the restoration versus only the structural repairs.  Some preferred contractors may be able to handle everything from the emergency services to handling and/or cleaning of personal property, storing personal property, perform structural drying or deodorization, and the structural repairs.

4.    Some preferred contractor programs require their vendors to work with estimating guidelines and approved price lists.  This can help keep the restoration or repair costs more clearly defined and possibly lower.

5.    If the preferred contractor has been doing work for the insurance company for a considerable length of time, this may be an indication of stability and a history of serving their clients well.

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-11_20160802-150935_1.png

 

Cons of Using a Preferred Provider

 

  • ·         Some preferred contractors may be very reluctant to oppose the opinion of an adjuster or stand with a homeowner when it comes to an issue of an item that needs to be replaced versus being cleaned, patched, or repaired.  In this kind of situation, a preferred contractor may fear losing favor with the insurance company and may not be willing to take a stand for what needs to be done regardless of the adjuster’s opinion on the matter

b2ap3_thumbnail_contractor-9.jpg

  • ·         If the preferred contractor is not on a formal approved vendor program but simply a friend or acquaintance of the adjuster, you may not get any real benefit over using another contractor of equal or superior qualifications.  The danger here is that there may be a false sense of security created in the homeowner by the preferred contractor simply because he or she was invited by the adjuster.
  • ·         In most cases, insurance adjusters are required to write their own estimates.   Typically insurance adjusters are not licensed general contractors and do not have the knowledge or hands-on experience building or repairing damaged property. If the adjuster has a preferred contractor with them, they may try and reach an agreed cost or scope of work using that contractor as their “expert” in order to expedite the claim .
  • ·         Just because a contractor may be on a preferred vendor program, you still run some of the same risks using them as any other non-preferred or independent contractor.  This includes the risks of going bankrupt, doing shoddy work, causing construction defects, not showing up, failing to pay sub-contractors and a host of other less-than-favorable issues. 
  • b2ap3_thumbnail_contractor--5.jpg
  • ·          Ultimately it is your choice on who you will have work in your home and if you decide to use a preferred contractor to do the work and they fail to perform you may have no recourse with the adjuster or the insurance company that recommended them.

Regardless of whether you choose to use the company suggested, or choose your own, there are a few things to consider:

·         You want to make certain you work with a restoration contractor and not just a “contractor”.  Why? Because a restoration contractor specializes in restoring water, fire, flood, wind, and other types of property damage.  A restoration company has both the experience as well as the equipment to handle this type of work. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_restoration-company.jpg

·         Also a restoration company will be quite familiar with dealing with insurance companies, adjusters and all the paperwork that is needed to be completed throughout the process of restoring your home or property.

·         Make certain the company is experienced and certified.  We would suggest that you make sure the company has been in business at least 3 years if not longer.   Ask about their certifications as well.  Most legitimate restoration companies will be IICRC Certified (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification).

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_iicrc.png

·         Do their employees go through a background check? Remember that you will have many folks going through your property and you want to make sure you are comfortable with everyone entering your home.

b2ap3_thumbnail_contractor10.jpg

·         Are they knowledgeable about your type of loss? 

 

 What to Look For When Hiring a Fire & Water Restoration Company

  

·         A company that provides 24/7 support so you can get help right away.

b2ap3_thumbnail_24-7.jpg

·         A company with a fast response time and can get to you soon.

·         A company with certified and trained staff.

·         A company with a good reputation.

b2ap3_thumbnail_reputation.jpg

·         A company that is local, who knows about and is involved in your community. For this reason, locally-owned family businesses can typically provide better service over national or franchised businesses.

·         A company with values you can relate to.

 

The bottom line is that the decision on who to hire to restore your home is entirely up to you; you will have to live with the completed project for years to come, which is why you need to choose the right fire and water restoration company at the beginning of your project.

 

From beginning to end, we can handle 100% of the restoration process so you don't have to. This can include content pack-outs, cleaning & storage of personal property, structural drying & mitigation, mold remediation, lead & asbestos abatement, and full re-construction services. We are licensed, bonded, and fully insured. We abide by all state and federal laws, and are certified as a "Lead Safe Renovator" with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and accredited with the IICRC.

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_large.jpg 

 

 

 For more information on Emergency Fire & Water Restoration, or the services we provide, give us a call at 414-810-3522, or visit our website at www.emergencyrest.comWe are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Hits: 356
0

Did you know that 400 Americans die each year from summer heat?  That is a true fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   Additionally,  The National Weather Service states, “Excessive heat is the number one weather related killer, causing more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms and extreme winter cold.”

Well now, that makes you think of this heat advisory we are under a little bit differently, doesn’t it?  One thing we need to consider is that if there is a heat wave going on, then there is a good chance of a power outage.  There are a couple of reasons that this could happen. 

·         Severe storms may knock out power lines.

·         There will be an increased use of air conditioners that may over load the power grid, resulting in a power outage.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-13.jpg

In this post we want to share some general safety tips as well as some fire safety tips to keep you, your family and your home safe in the event of a summer power outage.

General Safety Tips during a Power Outage

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting. 
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-1.jpg

  • Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices.

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-2.jpg

  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.

Food Storage During and After a Power Outage

Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.  The tips below are from USDA. You can visit their site by clicking here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/

·         A full fridge or freezer will keep food longer than a half full or empty one.  In general, if it isn’t opened, a full freezer will keep food frozen for about two days.  If it is half full, the food will only last about one day.  A fridge that is not opened will keep food for about 4 hours.

·         Keep the fridge closed!  The less the door to the fridge or freezer is open, the colder the inside will stay.  If possible eat foods that do not need to be refrigerated (snacks, pasta, rice etc.…) or have in mind exactly what you want before you open the door.  This is no time for a lengthy deliberation between carrots or celery!

·         For safety purposes, the fridge should not go above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while the freezer should be kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  You can use an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to make sure that these temperatures are being maintained.  Also, ice bags and dry ice can be used to cool down the inside.

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-3.jpg

 

Food Preparation Tips before a Power Outage Occurs 

·         Have items on hand that don't require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on the outdoor grill. Shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, water, and canned goods should be part of a planned emergency food supply.

·         Make sure you have ready-to-use baby formula for infants and pet food. Remember to use these items and replace them from time to time. Be sure to keep a hand-held can opener for an emergency.

·         Coolers are a great help for keeping food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours—have a couple on hand along with frozen gel packs. When your freezer is not full, keep items close together—this helps the food stay cold longer.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-4.jpg

·         Consider what you can do ahead of time to store your food safely in an emergency. If you live in a location that could be affected by a flood, plan your food storage on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water.

 

 

Fire Safety Tips during a Power Outage

 

  • Remember that electrically-connected smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-ups. Make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Everyone should know how to get out immediately if there is a fire. Plan and practice your escape plan before emergencies happen. For more information on creating a fire escape plan, click here.

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-5.png

  • Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles or hurricane lamps. If using candles, place them in a secure holder and cover them with a glass chimney, away from children and pets. (See section on candle safety below.)

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-6.jpg

  • Propane and charcoal barbecues are for outdoor use only. Do not bring them inside. EVER….even if it’s raining outside!!!!!
  • Purchase generators with recognized approval labels. Make sure the unit has proper connection receptacles and circuit breakers. (For more information see the generator section below)

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-7.jpg

  • Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home. Allow the generator to cool before refueling. Refuel the generator outside, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Store fuel for the generator in approved containers, outside the home.
  • Make sure electric stove elements and small appliances are OFF or unplugged to prevent fires from occurring when the electricity is restored.
  • Cordless phones will not work when the power is out, so it is recommended to have at least one phone that does not require electricity to operate. (Most of us don’t have landlines, but perhaps an elderly neighbor is still  using one of these phones…please check on them during a power outage.)

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-8.jpg

 

  • Use extreme caution during flood emergencies and power outages. Electrical equipment impacted by flood water can be extremely dangerous. 

Generator Safety

·         Determine the amount of power you will need—how much power do you need to operate equipment and appliances connected to the generator?

·         Portable generators made for household use can provide temporary power to a small number of selected appliances or lights. For example, light bulb wattage indicates the power needed for lighting. Appliance and equipment labels indicate their power requirements. If you can’t determine the amount of power you will need, ask an electrician.

·         Choose the generator’s fuel source—Backup generators are typically powered by either diesel fuel or natural gas, and both have associated advantages and disadvantages. Speak with your utility company or an experienced electrician, engineer, and/or sales consultant who knows exactly what kind of generator may be needed based on your needs.

·         Permanently installed, stationary generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home. Portable generators present a greater risk of becoming overloaded or overheated, which may cause the generator to fail.

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-9-2.jpg

·         Make sure your generator produces more power than will be drawn by the electrical devices you connect to the generator, including the initial surge when it is turned on. Ensure all electrical devices are turned off before you connect them to a generator. Once the generator is running, switch devices on one by one. Shut them down again before switching back to your utility service.

The above information is courtesy of www.ready.gov

Candle Fire Safety

One of the things that most of us do when there is a power outage is immediately head for the stash of candles we put away for just such an occasion.  Did you know that an estimated 20 percent of candle fires that involve a fatality occur during a power outage?

To protect your family and home, the National Candle Association along with the National Association of State Fire Marshals recommend the following precautions, should you decide to use candles during a power outage.

• Pillar candles and container candles are a better choice during a power outage

than taper candles. Broader based candles are less likely to be accidentally

knocked over. When possible, candles should be enclosed within glass globes for

added protection from burns or fire.

b2ap3_thumbnail_candle-safety-1.jpg

• Place candles on a stable surface in a fire resistant holder that is at least 12

inches away from anything flammable, including upholstered furniture and

window drapes. For added safety when the lights go out, a candle in its holder may

be placed on a stable, nonflammable surface, such as a metal cookie sheet, frying pan

or ceramic dinner plate.

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-10.jpg

• Avoid moving a burning candle during a power outage if possible. It is easy to

trip in the dark or brush against something flammable. Container candles may be

too hot to handle, causing you to drop the container, which could start a fire.

• Never leave a burning candle unattended. Try to restrict people and candles to

one room in the house so the location of family members and candle flames always

can be accounted for. Extinguish candles upon leaving a room.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-11.png

 

• Make sure the candles are well out of the reach of children and pets. Young

children are especially apt to bump into things when a room is unfamiliarly dark.

• Don’t use candles to search for something in a closet or small confined space

where clothes, papers or other combustibles could accidentally ignite.

• Extinguish all candles before going to bed. Never use a candle as a nightlight.

• Extinguish candles safely. Extinguish the candle by cupping your hand behind the

candle flame before blowing it out – or, better yet, snuff out the flame with a metal

candle snuffer. A spark or ember, if blown from the candle, could ignite a fire.

(For more information on candle safety, check out our blog post "The Ultimate Guide to Candle Safety" by clicking here.)

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-12.jpg

We hope that we have given you some great ideas on staying safe and surviving a power outage, whether it is due to the summer heat or the winter cold.  In many cases, it is simply a matter of thinking ahead and being prepared!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_power-outage-13.jpg

 

If you like our blogs, and would like to receive them on a regular basis, head to http://emergencyrest.com/index.php/blog where you can directly subscribe to receive our blog posts.

 

From beginning to end, we can handle 100% of the restoration process so you don't have to. This can include content pack-outs, cleaning & storage of personal property, structural drying & mitigation, mold remediation, lead & asbestos abatement, and full re-construction services. We are licensed, bonded, and fully insured. We abide by all state and federal laws, and are certified as a "Lead Safe Renovator" with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and accredited with the IICRC.

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_large.jpg 

 

 For more information on Emergency Fire & Water Restoration, or the services we provide, give us a call at 414-810-3522, or visit our website at www.emergencyrest.comWe are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

 

 

Hits: 500
0