Recent General Posts

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that - when concentrated - is extremely toxic to humans and other mammals. When suffering from the effects of CO poisoning, symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion, but no fever. Prolonged exposure will cause sickness, coma and death. Needless to say, carbon monoxide is not something to be taken lightly.

In Maine, nearly 75 percent of all reported cases of carbon monoxide poisoning occur between November and March. Most of these poisonings are caused by home heating appliances that are either not functioning properly or have blocked vents. Anything that burns fuel - such as oil or propane boilers, wood stoves and gasoline-powered engines - produces carbon monoxide. When these appliances are not properly maintained or vented, carbon monoxide can quickly build up without warning.

Many Maine residents use portable, gas-powered generators during power outages. Unfortunately, these devices can also lead to severe carbon monoxide poisoning and deaths when not properly used; when run in a basement or garage, a generator is up to 300 times more likely to cause CO poisoning. Anyone with a portable generator should have an extension cord long enough to make sure the generator can be run outside and kept at least 15 feet from windows or doors. Additionally, a plan for keeping the generator protected from the elements should be in place prior to utilizing the generator. Forming a plan now can help help avoid the temptation to run a generator inside a basement, garage or cellar during a storm.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, health officials recommend the following:

• Service your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil or coal burning appliances every year.

• Make sure appliance and heating exhaust vents are not blocked by snow after storms.

• Use your generator outdoors in the fresh air. Make a plan so that you can run your generator at least 15 feet from windows or doors and keep it protected from rain, ice, and snow.

• Make sure you have a CO detector that runs on your home’s power and has a battery back up. It is advisable to have one on every floor, especially near where people sleep. 

• Do not leave vehicles or any other gas-powered motors running inside a garage, barn, or shed, even if you leave the windows and doors open.

• Do not use a charcoal grill, camp stove or other gas or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement or garage or near a window or door.

• Don't try to heat your home with a gas oven.

If you suspect you or a loved one are experiencing CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseous or if your CO alarm goes off, immediately leave the house, call 911 and seek medical attention.

For more information, please visit the Maine Department of Environmental Health.

IICRC Certified Firm

12/19/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is an IICRC certified firm.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.