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Fire Pit Safety

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Pit Safety

It is the time of year that many families begin using their fire pits again. But before you schedule your first party, review these ways on how to keep the occasion safe for everyone in attendance:

  • Make sure your fire pit is at least 10 feet away from any structure, or other items that could catch on fire easily. It should also be kept at least 25 feet away from muti-residence buildings, such as apartments.
  • Make sure seating is far enough away to ensure gusts will be safe and comfortable.
  • Check wind direction before lighting any type of flame, and do not light a flame if the wind is very strong.
  • Do not use flammable liquids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight the flame. This can cause small explosions if used improperly.
  • The safest way to start a fire is by using a lighter to ignite a few pieces of paper and small pile of sticks. After these have caught on fire, you can add larger pieces of wood and logs to build up the size.
  • Do not wear loose or flammable clothing while around the fire.
  • Always have someone in charge of tending the fire, and make sure children and pets being watched at all times while the fire is lit.  
  • Keep water or an extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Make sure that the ashes are completely put out at the end of the night, and there are no more embers remaining.

Home and Business Fire Prevention

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

Throughout the winter months, SERVPRO of Butler, Hopkins, Ohio, Muhlenberg and Edmonson Counties receive a larger than normal volume of calls regarding fire and smoke clean up. Prevent this from being you by identifying hazards that may be around your own home:  

  • Your Kitchen-

This is the highest risk room in your home with all the appliances. To prevent any issues from arising, make it a habit of never leaving the stove or oven unattended. There are many items in the kitchen that could catch on fire, or cause something else to catch on fire.

  • Smaller Appliances-

Besides your stove and microwave, many kitchens have other smaller appliances that are at times left plugged in, but it is important to remember to unplug them after each use.  

  • Candles-

No candle should be left unattended while it is lit. To prevent accidently leaving one, it is best practice to blow them out when you leave the room or think you may be going to sleep.

  • Matches and Lighters –

Store these items in a safe place, where children cannot reach.

  • Fireplace Wood-

Inside your home, only burn dry, seasoned wood. Burning trash can cause smoke damage, and large surges of fire.

This winter season give the professionals a call at 270-875-4883 if you have any questions about what we can do for smoke or fire cleanup. We also provide free quotes on fire cleanup!

October is National Church Safety & Security Month

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

October is National Church Safety and Security Month for 2020! Here are some quick tips on what to do in your church to go ahead and prevent anything from happening:

  • Review and post cooking safety tips in any kitchen areas
  • Review candle safety, and check to make sure any candles in the church are safe
  • Make sure that there are clear paths to all exits in the building(s)

SERVPRO of Butler, Hopkins, Ohio, Muhlenberg and Edmonson Counties also offers a service for all local churches and businesses to help prevent any type of damage from happening. Signing up for this program is completely free, and includes a trained professional coming to work with a church representative to find and record any information that would be necessary during an emergency. Our representative will then compile the information in a concise document to deliver it at a later date. The information will then also be put on an app that can be shared with however many members the church needs it to be shared with. When sharing through our safe app, the info can even be accessed remotely.

Give us a call at 270-875-4883 for more information and to schedule a time during #NationalChurchSafetyMonth!

October Theme of the Month – 2020

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

October Theme of the Month – 2020

SERVPRO of Butler, Hopkins, Ohio, Muhlenberg and Edmonson Counties are focusing their marketing theme of the month on fall home maintenance! There are a lot of things you can do in early fall that will prevent damage from happening during the winter months, several which can help prevent water damage from happening!

  • Clean or Replace Gutters – Nonfunctioning gutters can cause water leaks in your home
  • Check for Window Drafts – Having tight seals around doors and windows prevents warm air from escaping
  • Drain and Store Outdoor Hoses – Putting away hoses during the winter season ensures there will not be water trapped that could freeze and expand, causing a water loss or leak
  • Store Outdoor Furniture for Winter – This can include putting it inside, or using covers to protect it from the harsh conditions
  • Fix Any Cracks in the Driveway – Small cracks can quickly grow when small amounts of water freeze and expand. Filling in the cracks now can prevent a lot of headache later!
  • Change Your Air Filters – If you have not been changing your filters regularly, this is a great time to start. The less debris in your filters, the better your system can run, minimizing the strain put on the system!
  • Fertilize Your Lawn – This is a great time to get a jump on next year, and go ahead and fertilize. This gives the seeds all winter to work their way deep into the ground.
  • Check Winter Equipment – Make sure you have a good snow shovel or snow blower, and that each vehicle has ice scrapers or anything else they may need. Taking care of these needs early may really come in handy later!
  • Check Fire and Carbon Monoxide Device Batteries – This should be done at least twice a year, but fall is a great time to start building the habit!

Taking the time now to run through this “To Do” list can save you a lot of headache later!

September 2020 #NationalPreparednessMonth – Wrap Up

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

September 2020 #NationalPreparednessMonth – Wrap Up

Throughout the month, we have focused on encouraging families to follow the Ready.gov recommendations on how to prepare for disasters. Each full week of the month, there was a different goal and set of tasks. The four weeks tasks were to make a plan, build an emergency kit, educate yourself about disasters and emergencies, and teach youth about preparedness.

We would like to give a big thank you to everyone who followed along with us throughout the month and completed all of the tasks. It was a lot of work, but now that it is completed, and you should feel great about what you accomplished!

If you missed the week by week tasks, you can still work through them on your own time. The 2020 motto of #NationalPreparednessMonth is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today” and it is so true. It is never the wrong time to work on keeping your family safe!

September: National Preparedness Month – 2020, Week #4

9/20/2020 (Permalink)

September: National Preparedness Month – 2020, Week #4

Week #4 – September 20th-26th, Goal: Teach Youth About Preparedness

When there are children in the home, it is very important to include them in your plans when thinking about disasters. While it is important, they are also likely to be a little scared of the thought of what could come. One of the best and easiest ways to help ease their nerves is to make sure they are educated on what to do. This way, no matter what happens, they know where to find you and how to keep themselves safe. With them also being a part of the planning process, it also helps avoid them freezing up during an emergency. Being comfortable, and able to think is the main goal of this week!

This week talk to each child in your household about their nerves and try to help sooth them. Using www.ready.gov/kids is a great resource to do this. This program has activities for all ages, from young children to teenagers. For younger kids, there are games they can play to learn and become comfortable. For teenagers, it talks about what they can do to be involved with the community and be prepared.

There are also resources on www.ready.gov/kids for families on what you can do to prepare together. There are also links for teachers that they can use to help their students be more prepared at home and at school.

This concludes this year’s National Preparedness Months activities! Remember to update your plans, and always be proactive. Join us again next year!

Hurricane Laura

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

With Hurricane Season being June – November, there is a large gap in the year where the coast has to be on high alert for any developing storms. On August 27th, 2020 the strongest storm of 2020 made landfall: Hurricane Laura. Hurricane Laura developed over several days and caused major damage not only in the United States, but also multiple smaller countries. While many states and areas of the coast got heavy rain and storms, Louisiana and Texas were hit the worst by the storm here in the US.

While Laura caused a lot of destruction while moving through the area, the one positive thing was that residents had several days warning she was going to hit. This gave local residents time to make plans and/or evacuate the areas that they believed would be hit the worst.

Now that the water has receded, families are now seeing the damage to their homes and businesses firsthand and beginning to put their lives back together.

While most areas in the county have local franchise locations, in an event like this, they are often overrun with calls and cannot handle the enormous workload a disaster causes. This is when the franchise aspect of SERVPRO really comes in handy for the local franchise, and also the customers. If there is too many calls coming in for the local franchise to handle, the local franchise then reaches out to corporate for help.

SERVPRO of Butler, Hopkins, Ohio, Muhlenberg and Edmonson Counties was asked by corporate to send teams to Louisiana to assist with the influx of calls coming in. We were glad to accept an invitation to help, and we have had boots on the ground for over two weeks.  

September: National Preparedness Month – 2020, Week #3

9/13/2020 (Permalink)

September: National Preparedness Month – 2020

Week #3 – September 13th-19th, Goal: Educate Yourself About Disasters and Emergencies

Every area of the county has different threats when it comes to disasters. For this week of National Preparedness Month, take the list of natural disasters you made in week #1, and visit www.ready.gov/be-informed to learn more about each one. Take time to also go over non-natural disasters that you could face. Each of these emergencies are covered in depth: active shooter, attacks in public places, avalanches, bioterrorism, chemical emergencies, cybersecurity, drought, earthquakes, explosions, extreme heat, floods, hazardous materials incidents, home fires, household chemical emergencies, hurricanes, landslides & debris flow, nuclear power plants, pandemic, power outages, radiological dispersion device, severe weather, snowstorms & extreme cold, space weather, thunderstorms & lightning, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and wildfires.

There is also information to utilize about what you can do to recover from the disasters. Some of the topics covered are: what you can do to get involved with the community, volunteering, joining the local citizens corps, your local community emergency response team, getting involved with your neighborhood/neighbors and their plans, researching what organizations you can call during a disaster, and check out the “5 Simple Steps That May Save A Life.”

Other Resources:

Business Owners: www.ready.gov/business.

Parents of Young Children: www.ready.gov/kids

September: National Preparedness Month - 2020, Week #2

9/6/2020 (Permalink)

September: National Preparedness Month - 2020

Week #2 – September 6th-12th, Goal: Build A Kit

Now, it’s time to prepare your family with supplies to last at least 3 days! Last week we looked at the specific supplies you will need for each member of your family. This week, we want to add to that list, and begin to build your kit.

Basic Kit Items:

  • Water (for each person)
  • Food (for each person)
  • Battery operated radio and/or weather radio
  • Flashlights
  • Wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Wrench & pliers (for cutting off emergency lines)
  • Hand crank can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone chargers & a backup, portable battery
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Dust masks & cloth masks
  • Plastic sheeting & duct tape
  • Extra batteries

Additional items to consider including:

  • If you have a child in the family: formula, bottles, diapers, wipes & diaper rash cream
  • If applicable: pet food & water
  • Sleeping bag or blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing for each person (including shoes)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches (make sure to store in a waterproof container!)
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Disposable paper products
  • Activities for any children
  • Soap & hand sanitizer
  • Prescription & over the counter medication
  • Contact lens solution (if applicable)
  • Cash
  • Copies of important family documents. This includes: ID cards, bank account records, and insurance policies.

Maintaining Your Home Kit:

Now that your kit is stocked and ready to go, you cannot simply forget about it until an emergency hits. You now need to make sure your kit is kept in a cool, dry place. Your food items should be stored in tightly closed plastic or metal containers. Items are checked for expired dates. Your families changing needs should also always be reflected in your kit. Example: if an infant no longer needs bottles, remove those items from the kit to save room.

Other Kits:

Now that you are on a roll, consider making smaller kits for your work, and vehicle. These kits should be much smaller, and a lot easier to create.

Your Work Kit should be packed and prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. It is also important to have a comfortable pair of walking shoes in this kit, as you may not be wearing comfortable shoes at work when an emergency takes place.

Your Car Kit should always be in your car. This includes jumper cables, flares or reflective triangles, ice scraper, cell phone charger, blanket, map and cat litter or sand (to help you gain traction if stuck).

Check back on the 13th for the next set of preparedness tasks!  

September Theme of the Month – 2020

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

September Theme of the Month – 2020

Throughout the month of September, our marketing team is focused on the fact that September is National Preparedness Month! With hurricane season being at its peak this time of year, it is a great time to be proactive about you and your family’s safety.

Throughout the month, check back for each weeks tasks to make your families safety a priority! To kick us off, Week #1 – September 1st-5th, Goal: Make A Plan. This can be done in 4 simple steps.

Step #1- Put a Plan Together

Depending on where your located will help you decide what disasters you need to prepare for. Looking at the area and the typical natural weather patterns will help with this. Once you have your list, this will help you prioritize and remember each one of the different types of disasters. After you have your list, ask yourself these questions:

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation plan?
  • What is my household communication plan?
  • Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

Asking yourself these questions will also help identify any areas of weakness you may want to look at throughout building your plan.

Step #2- Consider Specific Needs in Your Household

There are plenty of lists of items to have on hand in case of an emergency online, but this step makes your supplies list specific to your family’s needs themselves. Make a list of any specific needs of each family member. This can include how each member communicates, the daily care of infants/small children, elderly family members, pets, or anyone with specialized medical equipment or medicine.

Step #3- Fill Out a Family Emergency Plan

You may find that building your own plan is easier for your, but here is a great resource for an emergency plan: https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/create-your-family-emergency-communication-plan.pdf

Step #4- Practice Your Plan with Your Family/Household

Practicing and running over this plan thoroughly will help you identify any other holes in your plan. It will also help all family members feel safe and comfortable. This is a hard topic to discuss, especially with small children. Making sure they feel prepared is a great way to put their minds at ease!  

For more information, visit: https://www.ready.gov/plan