Summer Grilling Tips
When the weather warms up, everyone heads outside to cook on the grill and unfortunately, the number of grill-caused fires go up. Each year, outdoor grilling causes an average of 10,200 home fires, but there are some easy safety tips you can follow to keep you and your home safe this grilling season.
- Grill Outside and Away From Any Structures – Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outside use only, so keep them outside and away from overhanging tree branches.
- Make Sure Your Grill Is Stable – Only set up your grill on a stable surface and make sure it cannot tip over.
- Keep Your Grill Clean – Remove grease and fat build up from both the grill and the tray below it to decrease the risk of fire.
- Never Leave a Lit Grill Unattended – Just like a stove in your home, always stay near your grill and never let children play near your grill unattended.
By using these easy-to-follow tips from SERVPRO of Vacaville, you and your family should be able to enjoy a safe and fun grilling season.
Summer Power Outages
With summer temperatures inching higher each day, PG&E has announced that it may turn off power to some grids in Northern California in high risk areas in order to mitigate possible fire danger. Here's a few tips to keep you cool and safe in case your home or place of business loses power.
Keep your refrigerator closed. Inside of the refrigerator should stay below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers need to be below zero degrees. Use ice bags or dry ice to keep the inside of the unit cool.
Keep windows and doors closed and block the sun by closing blinds and shades.
Back up your files and install surge protectors. Take the time to back up your files before the hot weather hits and install surge protectors from your local hardware store to protect your electronics if the power surges when it is turned back on.
Using these easy tips will help make any electrical power outage a bit more tolerable.
Standing Water Pitfalls
Summertime brings with it fun activities like squirt gun fights and running through the sprinklers, but what happens if the water from these activities don't drain away and result in pools of standing water? Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and parasites that can be harmful to your health. Mosquitoes commonly breed in shallow pools of standing water and often carry diseases including malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika fever.
Here are a few things to check to make sure you don't have any potential hazards around your home.
- Empty, drain or cover all things that can and may hold standing water
- Change water collection pans for plant pots weekly
- Clean bird baths on a regular basis
- Check your landscaping drainage and ensure that it drains away from your home
Water can provide a lot of fun during the summer months, but it can cause some problems. Use these ideas to keep your home safe from standing water pitfalls.
Paradise High School Seniors Soared
After the devastation of the Camp Fire that ravished their hometown, it would be understandable if the seniors from Paradise High School quietly collected their diplomas without any great fanfare. So much attention has been focused on their community and all that they have lost, it is wonderful to hear that many of those students thrived during their senior year, in spite of all they had to go through in the past seven months.
Of the 980 students at the school, approximately 900 lost their homes. Yet the school recorded the second-highest math scores in the country. The seven valedictorians this year took at least eight college-level classes each and earned A's in all of them. And the school boasts the ONLY National Merit Scholar in Northern California this year.
One of the seniors was quoted as saying, "The fire could burn just about every physical object under the sun, but it couldn't touch the connections we have built. We will always carry the name and spirit of Paradise with us."
SERVPRO of Vacaville was grateful to be offered the opportunity to help in the clean-up of the Paradise area and is continually humbled and impressed by the resilience and strength of its residents.
Stay Out and Stay Alive
With temperatures hitting the 100 mark in the Solano County area recently, any body of water seems like a great place to cool off, but irrigation ditches and canals are ones you should steer clear of. They may look inviting and refreshing, but they are actually extremely dangerous to enter.
Irrigation canals typically have fast underwater currents that can sweep away even the strongest swimmer, leaving them helpless to escape. Additionally, many canals have steep, slippery sides that are nearly impossible to crawl out of.
Irrigation ditches are not as large, but are equally dangerous because they can contain trash and other debris that you cannot see from the surface.
Here's a few tips on keeping you and your family safe near irrigation canals and ditches:
*Never swim in or play around canals or irrigation ditches
*Never walk closely along the edge of a canal or irrigation ditch
*Never jump in to rescue a pet or object. Instead call 911 for help.
We all want to try to beat the heat this summer, but SERVPRO of Vacaville wants to help you stay safe by knowing these tips for irrigation canal safety.
Is Your Hot Water Heater Healthy?
At SERVPRO of Vacaville, we are experts at assessing water damage in your home or business, as well as removing standing water and drying out damaged materials. With an average tank size between 30 and 50 gallons, leaking hot water tanks can be a major source of water damage problems and can flood an entire home and cause significant damage if not detected quickly. But how do you know if your hot water heater is about to fail?
A lack of hot water is the most common sign of a failing hot water heater. Rumbling, creaking or popping noises are another common indicator of an unhealthy water heater. This can mean that sediment is forming on the surface of the water heater or that the unit is on the verge of a crack or leak. Murky or foul-smelling water are also signs of a failing water heater. Additionally, the pressure relief valve opens to release pressure buildup in the water heater and can sometimes fail to function properly. This can have dangerous results and should be inspected by a plumber if you suspect a problem. And finally, pooling water beneath the unit can be a sign of a leaking water tank.
If you see any of these common indicators, contact a plumber immediately to help determine the source of the problem. And if you do experience a water leak or damage of any kind, call SERVPRO of Vacaville at (707) 724-8977 to remediate all of your water problems.
Mold Prevention & Mitigation
Molds are found in every environment, and mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present. Excessive dampness indoors encourages the growth of molds and other organisms, potentially causing health problems.
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. These can be from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When these water issues are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Vacaville handle water damages every day and know that prompt action is required to prevent and eradicate mold growth before it becomes worse.
If you think you have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Vacaville at (707) 724-8977; we will help you restore your home or business to a healthy condition.
In Case of Evacuation, Remember These Important Items
In case of an emergency evacuation, there are certain items you should always remember to take from your home, and there is an easy way to remember what they are because they all start with the letter "P".
*People and Pets - Obviously the most important thing in your home. Secure their exit and safety before you consider removing anything else from your home.
*Papers, Phone Numbers and Important Documents - This information will be helpful if you need to call various businesses and should include your account numbers.
*Prescriptions, Vitamins & Eyeglasses - Extremely important items to maintain your health, and you have to be able to read those labels!
*Pictures - Grab the ones you can't replace.
*Personal computer hard drive and disks - Backup your information regularly to a portable hard drive so you can grab it and go.
*"Plastic" - Bring your credit and ATM cards, driver's license and any cash you have in the house.
Print out this list and keep it in your home office or a prominent place in your home in case you need to reference it in case of emergency.
If your home or business does experience fire or smoke damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Vacaville at (707) 724-8977 and we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."
Have a Fire Plan
With temperatures climbing in Vacaville, the risk of residential and wildfires increases each day. All families should have an evacuation plan in place in case of emergency. Here's a few tips to keep in mind when creating your own evacuation plan.
*Designate an emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. Ideas may be a local fire station or City Hall.
*Plan out several different escape routes from your home or community. Practice these so everyone in your family is familiar with these routes.
*If you have pets or large animals, have a plan in place to move them quickly if necessary.
*Print out a list of all the phone numbers of your family members, in case you get separated from your cell phone, and keep them in your wallet or with you at all times. Many of us rely on our phones to automatically dial our contact list and don't have important family members' and friends' phone numbers memorized.
The most important thing to remember is to be prepared and stay calm in the event of an emergency. Having the plans in place to respond to a fire or evacuation of any kind will help everyone be safely reunited with their loved ones.
Challenges in Paradise
Tristan is hard at work cleaning a home in Paradise.
Cleaning homes in Paradise brought unique challenges for the many different contractors who were working to repair homes after the Camp Fire. SERVPRO of Vacaville had to bring pressure washers with self-contained, extra-large water tanks with them to several properties because some parts of the City were still without a water system six months after the fire. We used this pressure washer to clean soot off the outside of homes and to help get residents whose homes had survived get back living in their homes. It was also necessary to bring generators in order to produce our own power, since some areas of the City were still without power while we were working.
But amazingly, all of the residents SERVPRO of Vacaville has come in contact with share a very positive outlook. They were all extremely grateful for their great fortune in surviving such a devastating fire, and were very appreciative for the work so many people are doing to try to return their homes and the community to the way they were prior to that fateful November day when the Camp Fire ravished their lives.
SERVPRO of Vacaville is grateful to have the opportunity to help these customers and hopes they all are able to return to their homes and community soon.