Baking Safety in December
Thanksgiving may be over but it’s the most wonderful time of year and the festivities around the kitchen are still in full gear. As the holiday season continues, many may find themselves baking up a batch of Christmas cookies to spread some Christmas cheer! But if not careful, kitchen fires may occur and that’s the last thing anyone wants during the happiest season of all. So to prevent house fires to occur while cooking, follow some of these safety tips:
Stay in the kitchen while cooking or baking; fires occur because food is left unattended
Keep cooking space clear
Do not wear lose article of clothing while cooking
Make sure smoke alarms are installed, connected and working. Smoke alarms are here to help.
Unplug appliances that are not currently being used; this not only saves energy BUT it also prevents potential fires
Keep a fire extinguisher around in case of an emergency.
Christmas Tree Safety
The holiday season is upon us; whoop-de-do! During this holiday season, many of us have a beautifully decorated Christmas tree as part of the tradition to the season. It is important that the tree is carefully decorated to ensure a safer holiday season. Over the years, fires have been responsible for property damage. Most resulted from electrical malfunctions from Christmas trees such as faulty wiring, plugs, or even being placed too close to a candle or fire place. To help avoid any fire damages follow these simple steps:
- Ensure trees are secured and sturdy in the tree stand to prevent them from tipping over
- Use tested and approved lighting when decorating trees or other holiday decorations
- Carefully check light strands for frayed, faulty or exposed wiring, broken bulbs or loose bulb connections
- Make sure to water live trees daily; dried out trees increases fire risk
- Ensure artificial trees are fire resistant
- Set up trees at least three feet away from heat sources (lamp, fire places, candles or radiators)
- Make sure tree is not blocking an exit
Your safety is important to us during the holiday season here at SERVPRO of Victoria. If you experience any type of fire damage do not hesitate to call our team (361) 573-6000. Our team is here to help you when disaster strikes.
Thanksgiving Day Safety in Victoria, Texas
Thanksgiving around the corner and most of America starts to prepare for one of the most important meals of the year! Typically, the most common dishes found on a Thanksgiving table are a turkey. Most people prepare turkeys for the big occasion. But did you know that there can be some dangers with preparing a turkey in your own home? Cooking is the leading cause of house fires according to Ready.gov. Be extra careful with turkey fryers. There are a few house fires that take place on Thanksgiving due to the fact that some safety precautions were not being considered. SERVPRO of Victoria has provided some helpful tips to use while preparing a turkey to prevent any mishaps from happening. Below are a few key messages to follow to help ensure the safety of your home:
- Only use turkey fryers outdoors; away from home or building and any flammable materials.
- Keep children and pets a safe distance away from the fryer when in use and for several hours after cooking.
- Do not leave the fryer unattended; temperature should also be monitored closely.
- If any smoke, at all, comes from the heating pot of oil, turn the burner off immediately as oil may be overheating.
- Cover any skin that is exposed; it is encouraged to use a pair of gloves that is designed for high heat.
- Follow the manufacture's recommendation for the amount of oil to add. Do not over fill the fryer.
- Be prepared - consider purchasing a fire extinguisher for safety precautions.
SERVPRO of Northeast San Antonio wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Halloween Safety In Victoria
Halloween is here which means high volume of foot traffic out on the streets in neighborhoods. Don’t let the fun be spoiled use these helpful tips to help protect your home and ensure the safety of your fellow trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure that walkways and yards are clear of debris leading up to the home that can cause children any harmful trips or falls.
- Be sure to check exterior lighting and replace bulbs if necessary, leaving the lights on all night may also discourage vandalism.
- Keep pets indoor to prevent inadvertent biting or other accidents that may become threatening.
- Use flashlights or other battery-powered lights in a jack-o-lantern and other decoration instead of a candle to prevent the risk of fire.
- Place vehicles inside a garage and lock the doors and make sure alarm is on.
SERVPRO of Victoria wishes everyone a fun and safe night. Happy Halloween!
Breast Cancer Awareness
One of the most common cancers among women worldwide is breast cancer. Here at SERVPRO of Victoria, spreading awareness about breast cancer hits close to home for our team. Owner, Natalie Hart's mother-in-law, Joan Fuller, is a breast cancer survivor. “The power of faith is a very powerful thing”, as Joan practiced while she fought during her road to recovery. She has been cancer free for a couple of years now.
SERVPRO of Victoria takes the time to recognize that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Because of the welcome amount of the awareness, millions are now surviving the battle of breast cancer thanks to the early detection and advanced therapeutic technology. It is highly encouraged to get a check-up! The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of different groups promoting breast cancer awareness, sharing information on the disease, and providing greater access to services. To learn more about this foundation, click here.
A Word from our Owners
To say that the effects from Harvey have been a tragic nightmare would be an understatement. Whether you've been directly affected or helping friends and family, it has been the worst disaster our city has ever seen for most of us.
As the water recedes and our neighbors, friends and family are left with the aftermath, I want to be helpful and share some tips on what to do and what not to do. I am sending this out, not as a plug for our company, but to try and be helpful to all that need help, or have or will have questions. Mark and I have been inundated with calls, texts and FB messages and we can't keep up with them all as it is probably the same for you. So, please read and I hope you will find it helpful. Please feel free to share this post.
Those of you who know me, know that my husband, Mark Hart, & I own a few SERVPRO franchises in Texas; Sugar Land, Victoria and NE San Antonio. Two of the three locations of our franchises are in the communities directly impacted by Harvey. Our business is helping with the clean up after water, fire and mold damage. SERVPRO is a national franchise system and in devastation such as this, deploys hundreds of teams to help our communities. If you have confirmed flood or wind driven rain causing water damage, and would like our help, please call our office and ask to be put on our Storm Response Team list; we can have your friend, family or neighbor added to the Storm Response Team to get in line for the cleanup that will have to happen. Our number is 281-313-1338.
The advantages of getting on our list are these:
1. SERVPRO has over 1700 franchises in the country and there will probably be hundreds of SERVPRO teams coming in to help. Getting on our Storm Team Response list will help expedite your getting the help you need as lists will be divided up among the participating SERVPRO franchises.
2. SERVPRO helps manage all jobs through their Storm Teams. If you run into any problems with the franchise that is doing your work, they take action to help resolve it.
3. Standard Industry pricing is used by all SERVPRO's for mitigation services. We have a National reputation to uphold so they monitor this closely.
Having said that, I'm sure you can understand that everyone in our industry is overwhelmed with calls for help. Please understand that a lot of our own employees have been affected and crews traveling from out of town are trickling into Houston (and Victoria) as they are able. There are still areas around town that are not accessible and in danger of more flooding due to rivers cresting and levees failing. (I, myself, am confined to my house as my small neighborhood street is flooded - there is only one way in or out).
Please be understanding to the companies and their staff of people that are trying to help you. Our crews and administrators will be working long days and nights for probably months.
There are a lot of other good companies out there and there are a few things to watch for. BEWARE of fly by night companies that are in it to make a quick buck and leave town. There are some bad apples out there that give our industry a bad wrap.
Things to know:
1. Final billing should be provided once work is completed and is usually put into a line item estimating software program called, Xactimate. This is the industries standard price list used by most Insurance companies.
2. You will be paying out of pocket for the clean up services as rising water is not covered on your normal property insurance policy. In most cases, you will be asked to pay 50% to get started and 50% upon completion. DO NOT PAY 100% UP FRONT.
3. If you have flood insurance, they likely will not cover the entire cost for the cleanup and repairs. Get a copy of your final line item bill (an Xactimate) estimate and submit to your insurance for the maximum reimbursement amount they will cover.
4. Check your policy for wind driven rain coverage, if your home suffered that kind of damage as well.
5. Apply for help from FEMA. I understand they are covering hotel expenses up to 30 days and other essentials.
If you choose to start your own cleanup, keep this in mind; You are dealing contaminated water that has now contaminated your home. The following are some tips to consider:
1. Porous materials must be discarded. All flooring, drywall, cabinets, insulation need to be removed at least up to 12" above the water line. However, industry standard is up to two feet above the affected area as a lot of times you cannot always see how far up the water may have traveled. Wet wicks to dry - I highly recommend removing 2' above the water line.
2. Removal should be taken down to the studs, disinfected, then dried with professional drying equipment.
3. Any fabric material, such as rugs, couches, chairs, etc. should be replaced. DON'T TRY TO SAVE THEM as they are contaminated with bacteria from the rising water.
4. Furniture legs can be replaced. If you are sure that the fabric part of it is not affected, you could save your furniture pieces by just replacing the legs.
5. Watch out for electrical and plumbing if you do your own demo. Your power and water should be shut down while performing demolition. Be careful not to cut electrical or plumbing lines - you don't want to add on to the expense of your repairs.
MOLD IS LIKELY TO GROW IN THESE CONDITIONS. TEXAS law requires that companies are licensed to do any MOLD REMEDIATION. However, sometimes in a disaster situation, the State could decide to relax their requirements. Refer to the TEXAS DEPARTMENT of STATE HEALTH SERVICES; www.dshs.texas.gov.There is some good additional information on there about flood water damage.
We are praying for our entire community during this mess. I hope this is helpful information for all of you. If you have questions, feel free to call our office, 281-313-1338.
Love to all,
Natalie & Mark Hart
Harvey Strengthens to a Hurricane
STORM ALERT: Tropical storm Harvey is now a hurricane. It is forecast to be a category 3 when it hits land fall. Take action and be prepared! Know what to do in case of an emergency, create a kit, construct an emergency plan for you and your family and be sure to stay informed. Below is a list of basic supplies just in case disaster may strike:
- One gallon of water per person
- Food, at least a three day supply of non-perishable foods
- First Aid Kit
- Flash Light
- Whistle to signal for help
- Battery operated radio
- Cell phones
Additional emergency supplies:
- Prescription medicine
- Pet food
- Local maps
- Important documents
- Emergency references
- Blankets and/or sleeping bags
Our team of professionals is "ready for whatever happens". Give SERVPRO of Victoria a call (361) 573-6000 if you experience flooding or storm related damages.
Vacation Getaway Safety
Summer break is almost over but there is still time left for everyone to take a vacation! Summertime is prime time to travel and a survey shows about one-third of American families are taking the opportunity this summer to go on a summer vacation. But in case of an unexpected disaster, be sure to have your home prepared. Below are a list of things to do to make sure your home is secure when you're off spending time with your family on vacation.
Make arrangements with an Emergency Contact:
- Close friend or neighbor
- Provide emergency contact
- Turn on porch lights
- Collect mail - burglars looks for home with overflowing mail
Protecting your Home:
- Consider getting motion sensor lights, this way, if anyone gets too close to your home, lights will automatically turn on.
- Purchasing an electric timer may be helpful for your home. This allows you to save energy and keep your electricity bill cost lower.
- Keep watch, use the emergency contact above to keep an eye on your home and check it each day to make sure everything is okay.
- Security system is one of the best ways to protect your home while on vacation
Taking Additional Precautions:
- Shut off gas and water at the meter, supply tank or appliance
- Turn off all water valves to any the appliance with waterline
- Unplug all electronics to prevent any electrical shortages
- Make sure smoke detectors working properly before leaving
- Adjust your thermostats to 75-82 degrees, this will help control air usage.
- Be careful what you say. Leaving for vacation is exciting but saying too much may create your home as a target for invasion. Resist the temptation to broadcast your vacation on social media - tell your friends after you return.
- Tell your alarm company- alert the company you will be out of town, especially on an extended trip.
- Lock everything down and secure valuables.
Don't let your summer vacation turn into a water staycation. If an unexpected water event or disaster happens, you know who to call. Give a ring to SERVPRO of Victoria at (361) 573-6000. We're always ready for whatever happens!
The summer heat is setting in and July 4th is upon us. As Independence Day approaches, people are preparing for the entertainment and celebration. Communities fill their towns with red, white and blue decorations. Parades occupy the streets and the night skies are filled with glittery, sparkling fireworks! While fireworks are the most iconic ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, they can cause quite a bit of damage if not used carefully. Fireworks have been responsible for many injuries and fires. Enjoy the use of fireworks around the holidays by being responsible. If you are planning to use fireworks to celebrate your holiday festivities, first, be sure to check if fireworks are legal around your area. Safety first; follow the following tips if you plan to use fireworks to celebrate:
- Use fireworks outdoor only
- Ensure local weather conditions permits the use of fireworks
- Obey local laws regarding the use of fireworks
- Read the directions and warning labels on fireworks before using them
- Be aware of your surroundings, including powerlines and trees
- Always have a bucket of water, hose and/or extinguisher nearby.
- Never aim fireworks towards people, animals, or objects
For more firework safety tips visit www.fireworkssafety.com. SERVPRO of Victoria is wishing you a happy a safe holiday. If disaster strikes give us a call at (361) 573-6000
- Alcohol and fireworks do NOT mix
Get an Emergency Ready Profile with SERVPRO of Victoria
Do you own a small business? Disasters can happen when you least expect them and preventing them is a challenge too. However, you can always be prepared. Let SERVPRO of Victoria help you stay in business by helping you be prepared for unplanned disasters. By planning ahead, this can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By creating a Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) with SERVPRO of Victoria you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. The Emergency Ready Profile provides critical details of your facility along with immediate contact information that provides a guide to help get you back into your building after a disaster. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is key to a timely mitigation. This will help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Be ready and get a free Emergency Ready Profile with SERVPRO of Victoria, give our office a call at (361) 573-6000. Making sure "Like it never even happened."