Recent General Posts
Keep Cozy and Secure All Winter Long | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County
The winter season is upon us, and you’re sure to feel the freeze here in Winston-Salem as temperatures start to plummet. As the weather turns colder, you may be eager to reach for your thermostat or space heater remote, but before you do, it’s a good idea to be aware of all the ways heating your home could result in deadly flames.
The arctic cold front has already brought snow, sleet and ice our way this year, so you’d better cozy up! Use this guide to heat your home safely without the risk of flames.Furnace Basics
Most houses come with a furnace and an HVAC system, which aid in distributing warmth throughout the house. To keep your furnace running in the winter, you’ll need to maintain it on a regular basis. Some vital chores include checking your furnace for any problems and giving it a good scrub to ensure it runs smoothly and doesn’t come across too much dust or debris.
As you complete these tasks, go ahead and change your HVAC system’s air filter. Remind yourself to switch out the filter every 90 days or at the beginning of a new season to help keep clean air circulating throughout your home.
Consistent maintenance is the key to keeping your HVAC system and furnace in great working condition without the risk of flames.Fireplace Safety
If your Winston-Salem home is decorated with a fireplace, you likely know how simple it is to keep your whole home warm and toasty. Wood-burning and artificial fireplaces can be a decorative way to stay warm in the winter, but if you fail to maintain them, you may start a fire that isn’t in the fireplace!
Checking your fireplace for issues and keeping it clean will help you prevent flames.
If your home uses a wood-burning fireplace, remove ash accumulation, check to make sure your chimney is clear and clean off soot or smoke marks on the nearby bricks. If you fire up an artificial fireplace, take off the cover and clean it inside and outside to clear away dust accumulation.Portable Heaters
There’s a good chance you fire up a space heater in your Winston-Salem home when winter rolls around. This equipment is simple to use and can heat up any space in minutes, but don’t be misled by its ease of use! Space heaters can quickly turn into a fire hazard when used without caution.
The good news is that you can use your space heater without fear of flames as long as you take precautions, such as keeping it three feet away from anything flammable. Avoid accidental flames by supervising it when it’s on and shutting it off when you’re done.
Keep your space heater plugged directly into a wall outlet and place it on a flat surface to prevent tipping it over. With a few small safety measures, you can stay cozy this winter and protect your home from fatal fires.
If you experience fire damage this season, give us a call at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County for immediate assistance. We’re here 24⁄7 when you need us! 336-946-1131
Defend Your Property From the Dangers of Winter | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County
Winter is set to officially arrive on Dec. 21 this year, and depending on where you live, it can bring a variety of unique dangers. While some places, like Winston-Salem, have occasional snowfall and a dip in temperature, other places get a robust start to winter with snow and ice storms that last all season.
Winter presents several challenges regardless of where you reside, like substantial damage to your home, which can make walking in a Winter Wonderland a headache.
However, by understanding all of the possible hazards winter creates, you can adequately safeguard your property and protect the ones you love.Winter Around the Nation
Chilly, damp, wet and icy are all terms that have been used to characterize winter, and the accuracy of each term all depends on which side of the map you are on.
Winter temperatures can plunge to exceptionally low levels in some areas of the Midwest and East Coast, and heavy snowfall is typically expected for most of the season. The West Coast experiences milder temperatures and rain becomes a much bigger issue than snowfall.
While these projections will depend entirely on where you live, you should be ready for the unexpected to keep winter-related damage to a minimum.Winter Around Winston-Salem
Winter in Winston-Salem tends to be a mixed bag, and while conditions like freezing temperatures are always anticipated, elements like ice and snow can be unpredictable.
One of the many challenges winter presents to our community is a fun snow day that turns dangerous the next morning when the snow melts and leaves a layer of ice on our roadways and sidewalks.
Plummeting temperatures, sleet, ice and snow are just a few of the hazards that may leave your home vulnerable to destruction. Luckily for you, there’s plenty of time to prepare your property for whatever winter throws our way.Get Prepared
One of the first steps you should take when getting ready for winter weather is understanding the many types of winter storms. Then, you should ensure you have two ways to receive weather updates. Make sure to include a method that is accessible without power, so you can stay informed even if there’s an outage.
An emergency kit is another great way to prepare for whatever the season brings. Fill your kit with all the necessities, and don’t forget to include anything that can come in handy if a winter weather emergency arises!
Regardless of how harsh this winter is, weatherproofing your windows and doors is an essential task that can prevent water damage and save you some money on your electric bill. Other tasks like addressing roof damage, cutting branches that overhang your home, filling any cracks near your windows and doors and adding insulation to your attic are greatly beneficial when winterizing your home.
Winter can be a wonderful time of year, and knowing you’ll be safe this season will make all of your preparations worthwhile. Safeguard your home and make sure to keep SERVPRO of West Forsyth's number handy. We are available around the clock to restore any winter-related damage your property has suffered this season.
If you experience damage in a winter storm, call us at 336-946-1131. We have the experience and equipment to get your home back to normal.
Vacation Planning? Prepare your home!
Your all packed but did you prepare your home to be away?
Vacation time is either here or approaching. Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your house is secure before you leave for your trip. Be SERVPRO ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home provided by SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact
- Choose a close friend or neighbor you trust as your emergency contact and provide them with all of your itinerary information in case they need to contact you.
- Have them check on the house to ensure it is not to cold, check on water sources.
- A timer on lights will give the impression someone is home.
- Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
- Make sure your mail is collected; burglars often look for homes with overflowing mail.
- The Post office can suspend your mail and deliver the day you get back. Here is a link to the US Post Office
Take plumbing and electric precautions
- Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off water at the meter, supply tank or appliances.
- Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
- Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
- Turn Gas off unless it’s a winter vacation that could lead to freezing pipes.
- Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
- Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter 55-60, in the summer 75-80 should help control usage.
Right before you leave
- Notify your security company that you are leaving town.
- Take out the kitchen trash and other trash that could get smelly.
- Go on one last walk through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.
Bon Voyage !!
If you come back from vacation and encounter water, fire or mold damage within your home, call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131. We clean up mold, fire or water damage to your home or business in the Winston Salem and surrounding areas.
Be prepared is like creating your own good luck
SERVPRO Urges Winston-Salem Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2017
Local cleanup and restoration specialist shares no-cost emergency planning tools that enable fast and effective disaster response and recovery
New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but it is not too late to think about making just one more resolutions, according to Jeff Meadows, owner of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, Meadows says the single most important resolution both business and home owners can make for 2017 is to “Resolve to be Ready.”
“Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together,” says Meadows. “Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.”
Meadows encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost and easy emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (https://www.ready.gov/publications), as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com).
- FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.
- SERVPRO offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.
For business owners:
- FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
- For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.
“The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and the location of fuse boxes, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency,” says Meadows. “Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.”
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, or the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, contact Ed Dean at (336) 946-1131 you can also visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com .
Are you Prepared for a power outage?
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.
Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:
1. Flashlights for each family member
2. Battery-operated radio and clock
3. Extra batteries
4. Containers of bottled water
5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
6. Non-electric can opener
7. List of important phone numbers
8. First-aid kit
Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.
•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
•Choose foods your family will eat.
•Remember any special dietary needs.
•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
•Protein or fruit bars
•Dry cereal or granola
•Non-perishable pasteurized milk
•High energy foods
•Food for infants
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a winter storm http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather When winter weather strikes the Winston Salem area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of West Forsyth County arrives will make a difference. Call us directly at 336-946-1131