Spring Yard Work Safety
Spring is more or less in full-swing, which means it's time to hit the yard and start the post-winter cleanup and repairs. Before you head outside, it's important to keep safety in mind.
Here are a few tips to help keep you and your family safe during your Spring clean-up.
1) Know your equipment. Before operating your lawn equipment, read the owner’s manual and all of the safety information. Be sure to check with the manufacturers for any safety recalls, as well.
2) Practice Ladder Safety. Always ensure sure your ladder is firmly set on a level surface. Never set ladders on boxes or other objects to make the ladder reach higher areas. Lock or barricade any doors that may open toward ladders. Never stand on the top rung or step of a ladder.
3) Protect your body. Always wear protective gear; lawnmowers hit rocks, sticks and other items which can be turned into flying projectiles. Wear long pants to protect your legs from flying objects and wear non-slip, closed-toe shoes. Sunglasses will protect you from sun and earplugs can eliminate loud noises from machinery.
4) Properly tools and materials. Stepping on, landing on or being hit with garden tools like shovels, rakes, and trowels can cause a number of potentially severe injuries. Do not use these tools when in close proximity to children. When not in use, store them in safe, enclosed areas. If you have small children or pets, weed killer or lawn fertilizer can be deadly. Seal bags and store at heights where small children cannot get in to potentially harmful materials.
5) Be aware of electricity. Don’t leave electrical tools plugged in while not in use. When ready to use a tool, make sure equipment is in the off position before you plug it in. And, as is obvious, always turn equipment off and unplug it from an outlet before you attempt to fix the machinery.
Fire Extinguishers: Using them Safely in the Workplace
According to OSHA, one of the most common emergencies small businesses must plan for is a fire. Fire extinguishers can be invaluable tools to help fight smaller fires in the workplace or to protect evacuation routes in the event of a larger one. It is, however, important to know how to properly and safely utilize one.
OSHA requires employers to thoroughly train workers not only how to use an extinguisher properly, but also how to accurately assess a situation and determine when evacuation is the safest course of action. OSHA requires employees to be trained in fire extinguisher use annually, at a minimum.
An easy to remember fire extinguisher training technique to use with employees is the PASS method:
- Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
- Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.
Knowing how to correctly operate the extinguisher is not the end of training. Employees responding to a fire also should be trained to adhere to the following protocol:
- Sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.
- Before approaching the fire, determine an evacuation route safe of flames, excessive heat and smoke. Do not allow this evacuation route to become blocked.
- Use the PASS technique for discharging an extinguisher and back away from the area if the fire flares up again.
- If the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate immediately.
- If the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled, evacuate immediately.
Fire extinguishers are designed to handle small fires. If a fire becomes too large or the environment becomes too dangerous, employees should know when and how to evacuate the area. If any of the following conditions are present, workers should follow evacuation procedures immediately and should not attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher:
The fire is too large. The fire involves flammable solvents, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, cannot be reached from a standing position, or covers more than 60 square feet in area.
The air is unsafe to breathe. Levels of smoke make the fire impossible to fight without some form of respiratory protection.
The environment is too hot or smoky. Radiated heat is easily felt, making it hard to approach a fire within adequate range of using the extinguisher (about 10-15 feet). It is necessary to crawl on the floor to avoid heat or smoke. Visibility is poor.
Evacuation paths are impaired. The fire is not contained and heat, smoke or flames block potential evacuation routes.
In the event of a fire emergency at your business, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO is Ready for Storms in Bangor!
SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit the Greater Bangor area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,600 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (207)947-0400
Maine Flood Safety
Typically, when seasonal flooding occurs in Maine, we usually have some advance notice and the National Weather Service issues flood watches and warnings. It gives us time to prepare and, if necessary, evacuate an affected area.
Flash floods, however, are quite a bit different; they can happen whenever we get too much rain in a small period of time, at any point during a year. Warnings are issued, but there may be little or no advance notice and flood waters can rapidly move into an area.
- A car or small truck will float in as little as two feet of water. If your vehicle begins to float, you lose control over the vehicle. If your vehicle stalls in a flooded roadway, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. The water may sweep the vehicle and its occupants away.
- Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related.
Flood Fatalities in Maine
- In 1996, heavy rain caused serious flooding in New Hampshire and western Maine. A Scarborough, Maine man drowned when he drove his car into a flooded roadway where the road had washed away.
- In 2004, a man died in Gardiner when attempting to kayak in a swollen stream. Rushing flood water may look exciting to the amateur canoeist or boater, but it has incredible power and may be carrying hidden debris.
- In 2007, a woman and her little granddaughter in Limerick were swept away when they tried to walk through flood water.
- In 2012, a Milo man was killed when he drove into a washed-out section of road.
- Never drive a car into a flooded roadway as the road underneath may be washed out.
- Stay clear of streams during heavy rainfall events. Swiftly moving water is extremely powerful and can easily overpower a person.
- Do not attempt recreational boating in flood water. The current can be powerful and there may be heavy debris swept along in the water, making it extremely dangerous.
- Keep children and pets inside and away from flooded streets, culverts, and streams.
- Report flooding to the appropriate authorities.
- Obey road blocks and barriers, even if the flooding has receded. Flood waters may have undercut the road surface or left dangerous debris in the roadway.
- If you live in a flood prone area, have a plan in case the water starts rising quickly.
- Know your evacuation route and if advised to evacuate do so immediately.
Although we can't stop the flood waters, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after the waters have receded. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!
Mold: Hiding Where You Least Expect It
Where Does Mold Hide?
Everyone wants to think their home is pristine. You do your best to maintain a clean environment and try to be thorough with your chores. There's no way mold can be infesting your sanctuary...right? Unfortunately, there are man instances where mold may be hiding within your residence, despite your best efforts.
Mold problems can occur in any home or business as long as conditions are ideal for growth. No amount of vacuuming or dusting will prevent mold growth as long as warmth, moisture and a nutrient source are present.
Here are some common "hot spots" to keep an eye on:
The kitchen is a location that may have moisture issues which can contribute to mold growth.
- Check under your sink. A small pipe leak may go unnoticed, letting the moisture and water damage sit untreated. Leaks combined with dark spaces are the perfect environment for mold.
- The sponge dish may have a mold problem. You use your sponge to wash dishes every day, but when you put it back in its dish, moisture may begin to collect and mold begin to form.
- Under your fridge isn’t safe either. Yes, even your refrigerator may have moisture issues. The refrigerator can leak without you knowing. There is a drip pan under your refrigerator that can collect excess water, but if left untreated, mold can form.
Your washing machine can be a hot spot for mold. Check the door of the washing machine, inside the gasket. Dark, warm, moist areas are ideal for mold growth. Make sure to wipe under the door gasket after each wash to prevent mold growth. Also leave the door open to air-out the washing machine.
Your shower or tub may be hiding mold without your knowledge.
- Check under lids and bottoms of shower products. You may forget to pick these products up and clean underneath. Moisture can become trapped under the lids or under the products and mold can form.
- Bath toys may be fun for kids, but they may also be housing mold. Water may get inside the toys and be unable to get out. This is a difficult location to discover mold. You may need to open up one of the toys to see if mold is growing inside, and if there is mold, replace all of the toys, as there most-likely will be mold within them as well.
Mold does not discriminate and may develop in any property as long as ideal conditions are met. Mold can cause health issues with excess exposure, so it is important to remove any mold you discover. If you suspect mold may be in your property, contact a professional home inspector. A home inspector will be able to conduct mold tests which will be able to identify moldy areas within your home. Once mold is officially discovered, contact a qualified mold remediation company, such as SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth, to remediate the mold and restore your home to the haven you work so hard to maintain.
If you have mold issues in your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400 to arrange for a mold inspection today!
Water Damage: What Should You Do Until Help Arrives?
What you can do until help arrives
Water in unwanted places can easily cause a lot of damage. Not only can it ruin your belongings and mementos, but also damage the house in which they are kept. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. The professionals at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. We'll closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.
As with any emergency, the most important thing is safety. When it comes to water damage, it is important to consider the following:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Water damage can be extremely stressful, so it is always important to keep a level head. The last thing you'll want to do is put yourself into harm's way!
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Have A Water Damage Emergency?
Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400
Fire Safety in the Workplace
Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace
No matter type of business you conduct at your workplace, fire safety should always be the main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.
- Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire.
- Check on your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.
- Don't overload your circuits.
- Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
- Keep heat-producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.
In the Event of a Fire
- Upon finding a fire, call 911 immediately and don't hand up with the emergency responder until told to do so.
- Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
- Never use elevators during an evacuation.
- Follow the escape plan and meet at a pre-determined place outside of your building and away from danger. Conduct a headcount to ensure all of your staff has evacuated.
The best way to ensure the safety of your staff is through fire prevention and preparation. Talk with your staff about fire safety in the workplace today.
Should your business suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Content Restoration: An Important Aspect of Any Restoration Job
Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions and houses those you love the most. Your business is your livelihood. The team at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth understands just how trying, disruptive and traumatic major losses - such as a fire - can be.
As part of our fire restoration service, we don't just pay attention to the structure; we'll also help take care of the contents of your home or business, as well. Some of our contents services include:
Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technician can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.
Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.
Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technicians begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate; we provide both wet or dry cleaning methods. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible; this includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more.
When a fire takes control of your life, we help you take control back. Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today: (207)947-0400
What To Do When Your Windows Leak
The natural elements can wear down the integrity of any home. Over time, the homeowner may notice leakage around a window, which can possibly result in wood rot, mold and water damage. The longer the leak is left unaddressed, the more the repairs will cost.
Locate the Problem
Even a slow drip can mean that more water is sitting inside of the wall. Once a homeowner notices moisture trickling from a window when it rains, the first step is to carefully look at the wall around the area to find the source of the leak. However, thanks to gravity, appearances can be deceiving; liquid may pool in one place, but that place is not always the leak's origin.
Two common problem areas are the edge and the rubber seal. The gap between the edge and the surrounding wall is usually sealed with caulk. Eventually, the caulk dries out and begins to peel and chip. Like caulk, the rubber seal situated between the panes and frame can ultimately dry out, creating rips in the rubber.
Gauge the Severity of Damage
Depending on the severity of the damage, the window may need to be replaced. A replacement is usually warranted when decaying or softness is found on nearby surfaces. However, even if the surrounding surfaces seem to be structurally sound, the homeowner should not just re-caulk the gaps without getting an expert's opinion on the full extent of the damage.
SERVPRO Can Help
The specialists at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can determine whether any ceiling tiles or drywall have sustained damage. After we assess the situation, the restoration technician will give the homeowner the best remediation option to make the damage disappear. By acting quickly, the homeowner can prevent expensive repairs in the future. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is always ready to help the Great Bangor Area residents solve their water damage problems.
Do you have leaky windows or other water issues? Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today! (207)947-0400
Biohazard Clean-Up: A Necessary Service
While SERVPRO is the #1 leader in the restoration industry, we're equipped to handle much more than just fire or water damage! Disasters come in all shapes and sizes; whether it is an act of vandalism or a full on crime scene, SERVPRO Technicians are trained to cleanup and restore messes of all degrees:
SERVPRO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the scene.
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.
Arson and Vandalism
SERVPRO Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. Your professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.
Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting and deodorizing as they clean.
No one should have to sit in a house or work in a business contaminated with anything listed above, so make sure you call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)948-0400. One phone call to us will begin the process of making it "Like it never even happened."