Thanksgiving Day: Tips for a Safe Feast
When celebrating a holiday that focuses on food - such as Thanksgiving - its important to practice good food safety!
No one wants to think about accidents or mishaps during the festivities of the holiday season; they're supposed to be happy, enjoyable days shared with family and friends! With that being said, it's important to remain mindful to ensure everyone is able to share in the holiday cheer together!
Turkey safety— the turkey is the biggest star. Make sure he evokes a round of applause—not a round of visits to the bathroom or, worse, the hospital.
- Buy carefully.
- Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys; buy your turkey at least 1-2 days before you cook it, and keep it in the fridge; keep it in the freezer if you’ve bought it earlier.
- Defrost properly.
- Thaw in the refrigerator (every 4-5 lbs. needs one day to thaw).
- Submerge the turkey (wrapped in leak-proof packaging) in cold water (every 1 lb. needs 30 minutes to thaw) that should be changed every half hour.
- Microwave in a microwave-safe pan, removing any packaging and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Cook immediately after thawing.
- Avoid slow cooking or partially cooking the turkey.
- At 165 degrees F at least.
- Opt to cook the stuffing separately.
- Use a thermometer on the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as the thickest portion of the breast, to ensure that the turkey is well cooked.
- Don’t carve at once; give the juices time (20 min.) to settle.
- Keep Clean!
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
- Keep all surfaces and utensils clean.
- Never handle cooked and raw food together, in order to avoid cross-contamination.
- Keep raw meat away from vegetables or other uncooked food.
Thanksgiving is a social dinner; while talking, joking, and laughing, choking is a very dangerous possibility.
- Call 911 if the person can’t cough, breathe, or speak.
- Give the victim five sharp blows on the back with the heel of your hand.
- If unsuccessful, wrap your hands around the victim’s abdomen and give five quick upward thrusts.
Store leftovers properly to eliminate food poisoning.
- When serving, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly, no more than two hours after food has been served.
- Leftovers are most safely eaten within 3 days, or should otherwise be moved to the freezer.
- Store food in shallow containers.
- Reheated leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees F; gravy should be boiled.
After the Fire: Smoke and Soot Damage
Fire damage can extend well beyond what was burned; smoke and soot can spread throughout a house.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400
Autumn Safety Tips
Stay safe during the upcoming holiday season!
While the holidays are a great time to gather with friends and family, they can also be create a number of hazards along the way. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fire happen each Thanksgiving Day, usually in the kitchen!
- Never leave your food unattended while frying or grilling.
- Use a timer and routinely check whatever you’re cooking.
- If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, and free from moisture.
- Never use a glass casserole or lid on the stove or burner, as it may explode from the heat.
- Ensure that pot holders and food wrappers are a safe distance— at least 3 feet!—from warmed surfaces (i.e. the stove). Position those handles so that they face inward.
- Avoid dangling accessories or loose clothes around kitchen fires.
- If using candles or the fireplace, keep these sources of fire shuttered or isolated, and never leave them unattended.
- Never douse a grease fire with water, as the fire can thus spread. Turn off the burner, smother the flames with a lid (wearing an oven mitt!), or douse with baking soda or a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, and know how to use it.
- Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working.
- Better safe than sorry. You can call the pros at 1888-674-6854 (USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline) with any cooking questions!
- Unplug appliances that are small and unnecessary; it’s a smart way to save energy and eliminate potential dangers if something is accidently turned on.
- After the party, walk around the home and ensure candles and fireplaces are extinguished, unnecessary appliances are turned off, and no potential hazards (leftovers, sharp/flammable objects) are in reach of your kids or pets.
Should you suffer fire damage during the holidays, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween can be great fun for kids of all ages...but, it's always important to keep things safe!
Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to child safety. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury.
On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
- Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. Visibility is key.
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
- When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
- Plan a route in advance. Trick-or-treating could take you several streets away from your house, so try to avoid long paths by mapping out a route before leaving the house. Stick to paths that you and your child are familiar with to avoid getting lost.
- Check your child's candy. When sorting through candy at the end of the night, be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened.
Managing Mold Issues in Your Bangor-Area Home
Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours. When left unchecked, it can become a significant problem
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
When left unchecked, moisture and mold can become a severe, serious problem.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (207)947-0400
Brush Burning Safety Tips
When burning brush or lawn debris, always maintain a safe environment to prevent it from going out of control.
In Maine, one of the standard methods of disposing of brush and lawn debris is to gather it into a pile and burn it. Although this is may be considered to be a time-honored tradition by many throughout the state, it also comes with its fair share of safety hazards.
Consider chipping or composting brush or grass before burning. If you must burn, make sure you know the rules and follow these tips to ensure you burn grass and woody debris safely.
Choose a safe time
- Burn during the coolest, dampest and calmest time of the day: 2 hours before sunset, or later
- Fires are more likely to get out of control on a hot, dry or windy day
- Extinguish fires two hours after sunrise, or earlier.
Keep your fire small
- Small fires can be controlled by 1 person using hand tools and water
- Keep your pile of wood, brush, or wood by-products to be burned less than six feet in diameter and less than six feet high
- An area of grass or leaves can be burned if the area is less than 2.5 acres and the length of the flaming edge is kept to less than 30 metres (100 feet)
Choose a safe site
- Keep burning piles at least six feet from other flammable material so the fire doesn’t escape by running along the ground away from the pile or burn area
- If burning an area of grass or leaves, make sure the area is surrounded by a fire-proof boundary, such as a road or a wet ditch.
Stay with your fire
- If you start a fire outdoors, you must tend the fire, keep it under control, and extinguish it before leaving the site
- A responsible person must be present to tend the fire at all times, even if it is contained in an incinerator
- Keep adequate tools and water on hand to control the fire if it begins to spread
Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Protect Your Pipes: Pipe Winterization Tips
No one wants to come home to a broken pipe. Follow these handy tips to help prevent this sort of damage in your home!
It may not quite be Fall just yet, but it's never too early to prep your home for the impending Winter. Colder temperatures can be extremely damaging to your home if you're not prepared.
Contrary to popular belief, pipes don't typically burst at the point where water freezes, but somewhere between the freeze and a closed faucet. When the pressure builds due to ice blockage, it has nowhere to go but through the pipe walls, which can quickly lead to extensive water damage. Winterize your home plumbing, stop frozen pipes before they happen and prevent expensive water damage by properly insulating the plumbing pipes in your home.
1. Pipe insulation
Your pipes are more susceptible to freezing damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Pipe insulation provides you with a first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes. For pipe winterization, add a thicker layer of insulation around your pipes.
Insulate the pipes in all unheated areas, as they are most likely to freeze. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Measure the outside diameter of your pipes to make sure you purchase the correct size of tube. Wrapping pipes in heat-tape prior to insulating adds an extra layer of protection, but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage.
2. Keep a dripping faucet
On nights when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing, turn on faucets along the exterior walls to create a small, steady drip; doing so will allow the water to move and flow, helping to keep it from freezing. This also eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and an ice blockage, so even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst.
3. Open cabinets
You can stop frozen pipes by introducing more heat. Open all sink-based cabinet doors along exterior walls to allow more heat to reach the pipes.
4. Fix exterior cracks
Note any cracks or holes along the outside walls and foundation of your home. Filling holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can help stop the cold air from coming into contact with your water pipes during extremely cold weather. No matter how many preventative measures you take, disasters will still unfortunately strike. When you do find yourself in the middle of a water damage, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth!
Fall Fire Safety Tips
Fireplaces are a great way to heat a room when the temperatures outside begin to dip...but, they can also be extremely dangerous fire hazards.
September is already here...which means Fall is just around the corner. Soon, temperatures will begin to cool - especially at night - which means it will be time to fire up the fireplaces, turn on the furnace, and get that space heater out of storage. These are all great ways to keep homes toasty and warm, but they also increase the risk of residential fires. Be sure to follow the safety tips below when preparing to heat your home as we head into the Fall and Winter months:
- Inspect your chimney regularly for cracks and obstructions.
- Don't let creosote build up in your chimney, as it could set off a roof fire.
- Don't "over build" your fire using too much paper. You could ignite the soot in your chimney.
- Never burn charcoal in your fireplace. It gives off deadly carbon monoxide.
- Keep your damper open if there are hot ashes in your fireplace. Closing the damper could enable hot ashes to heat up and cause a damaging fire.
- Let ashes cool in a sealed metal container.
- Before you turn on your furnace, have it inspected by a qualified professional.
- Make sure to check the condition of the automatic controls and emergency shutoffs.
- If the walls and ceiling around your furnace feel too, add insulation or additional clearance space.
- Keep all trash and combustibles away from the furnace.
- Check your chimney for cracks or loose bricks.
- Seal all unused flue openings with solid masonry.
- Make sure your space heater has a working safety light, alarm, automatic shut-off switch, and a cut-off device to prevent overheating.
- Keep all objects, people and pets at least three feet away from the heater.
- Never use a space heater in your bathroom. Water and electric appliances don't mix.
Heating your home is extremely important, but it's equally as important to do so safely.
Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Smoke Odor: Removal Can Be Difficult
Although a cooking-related fire may not cause extensive fire damage, the smoke and odor damage can still be quite extensive!
Cooktops and ovens account for over 166,000 home fires in the US each and every year. The reasons behind these fires vary and they may not always cause extensive damage to the home, but there are still plenty of related issues.
Although many smaller fires don't result in major damage to the home, they can still create a mess through smoke, ash and fire extinguisher residue. Small fires, especially in the kitchen, can coat an entire room in smoke and ash even if they only burn for a few minutes. As a result, multiple treatment techniques and avenues must be considered and used. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the experience to assess the situation and develop a restoration plan, as well as the equipment and expertise to ensure the odor is properly taken care of.
Even “contained” fires often require a sizable cleanup job. Ash and smoke tend to coat nearby surfaces and common household cleaning supplies typically are not capable of removing this residue. Protein fires – caused by meat that catches fire – can be extremely problematic; the odors from these sorts of fires tend to be especially strong and difficult to remove. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has access to effective, specialized cleaning supplies that make short work of visible staining, streaking, and odors caused by cooking-related fires.
Once the visible damage and been cleaned, the scent of smoke can still linger in a room. Unfortunately, odor particles become embedded in ceilings, walls, and objects; it can be extremely difficult for a homeowner to remove the smell. Without the proper tools and equipment, eliminating the smell of smoke is virtually impossible. Just cleaning the carpet is not enough. We will often utilize use a thermal fogging machine to flush out the odors from a room, removing even the deepest smoke smells.
Smoke damage isn’t simply limited to the room; objects and belongings typically suffer fire damage, as well. Carpets, rugs and other fabrics are excellent traps for ash and smoke particles. Important documents, electronics, furniture and other valuables may need restoration, as well.
Should you suffer fire damage this Summer, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
The most common reasons to board up your home or business are severe rainstorms, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hailstorms, and of course, torn
Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through-especially if it is your property that has been damaged.
Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.
SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it "Like it never even happened."
Call us today - (207)947-0400