Recent General Posts
Winter Weather Worries in Lawrence, KS
If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create major disasters at your home or property. Frozen pipes often occur when they are exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. Here are a few steps that you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
- When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can become a major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an indicator of an ice dam according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing the ice dam as soon as possible is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to you and your insured’s property, SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka professionals are only a call away 24/7, ready to restore to pre loss condition.
Smoke Alarms: Helping Save Lives in Clinton, KS
Follow these fire escape planning tips and practice fire drills at home so you and your family are better prepared for a fire.
Smoke Alarms save Lives
Smoke Alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement and at the top of the stairs. In office and commercial environments in Lawrence and East Topeka, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.
Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling a low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).
In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).
If you need help installing, testing or changing the batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.
Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in East Topeka, KS
Carbon monoxide poisoning is often called the silent killer, and for good reason. You can’t see or smell it, but at high levels it can kill a person in only a few minutes. Carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely. All people and animals in Lawrence and East Topeka are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups- including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems- being more susceptible on the effects of carbon monoxide
Be aware of these symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning- dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Have fuel burning appliances inspected by a professional every year.
- Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace, never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
- Make sure to have all fuel-burning equipment vented to the outside and keep the venting for exhaust clear.
- Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.
- Make sure the vents for dryers, furnaces, stoves, and fireplaces are clear of snow and other debris.
- Only use grills outside and away from all doors, windows, vents, and other openings.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas.