Recent Posts

Routine Maintenance and Inspection of Fire Sprinklers

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Routine Maintenance and Inspection of Fire Sprinklers

A misfiring fire sprinkler can lead to the need for timely mitigation. While there are fire remediation specialists in the WNY , area that are equipped to handle a fire sprinkler cleanup, routine maintenance may be all that is required to avoid these mechanical mishaps. As regular maintenance and inspection are often needed, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the essential components of your system.

1. Control Valves

In a fire suppression system, control valves guide the water through the system to the affected area, allowing for quick suppression response. These valves should be checked weekly to ensure they are in the open position, are appropriately sealed and free of leaks.

2. Gauges

Fire sprinkler system gauges offer accurate readouts of the pressurized system, making it easy to understand if the system can extinguish an active fire. In pre-action, deluge and dry fire suppressant systems, these gauges should be checked weekly. In a water-based system, you should check the gauges monthly.

3. Sprinkler Heads

As the main component of your fire prevention system, the sprinkler heads allow for the free flow of the fire suppressant. Sprinklers should be checked monthly to ensure that they are free of leaks and debris.

4. Professional Inspection

While it is all right to perform routine inspections on your system on your own, it is advisable and possibly required to have at least annual checks performed by professionals. The same services that can clean up after sprinkler mishaps are typically equipped with the equipment and expertise to perform fire system inspections.

A fire sprinkler system is an incredible and life-saving preventative measure, but if that system is not maintained correctly, then it can become finicky. Controls and specific gauges will need to be checked weekly, while other gauges and sprinkler heads can be checked monthly. Beyond the basic DIY inspections, it is a wise and sometimes mandated choice to have a professional inspect the system for any potential damage.

Flooded Basement

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded basement in WNY

Homeowners' insurance policies cover most accidental damage, even if the cause is not a covered peril. You may increase the chances that your insurance company will cover damage by taking preventative measures and performing regular maintenance. Here are three considerations to help you determine whether you can count on insurance coverage in the event of a basement flood.

What Caused the Basement to Flood?

There are several reasons a basement can flood. Water may originate from

Unless you have proof of recent inspections and regular maintenance, most of these causes are not covered perils. The water damage that results is likely to be covered, unless the cause is flooding, which is only covered by a separate flood insurance policy.

Which Maintenance or Preventative Measures Have You Taken?

In addition to inspections and repairs, you may need to prove you have done everything you can to prevent a basement flood and mitigate the damage in a timely manner. Make sure your sump pump is operational and has a backup power source. Heat your home in freezing weather and allow a faucet to drip to prevent pipes from bursting. Flush and inspect your water heater several times a year. Regardless of the cause, contact your insurance company as soon as water floods your basement.

Have You Done All You Can To Mitigate the Problem?

As long as you take extensive photographic and video evidence of a flooded basement, you can start to mitigate damage before an adjuster arrives. Turn off the water supply if it will slow or stop the flow of water.

Contact your insurance company to schedule a basement flood appointment with a claims adjuster. You can also obtain estimates from a plumber or appliance repair specialist and a home restoration service in WNY

After a Catastrophic Fire, Identify All of the Damage

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

If your business has been affected by a fire, it is important that you identify both fire damage and water damage when getting back on your feet. Determining the losses from both the flames and the fire hose water can save your business time and money when returning to business.

What Did the Fire Affect?

Visible signs of damage can range from soot and charring to smoke stains and discoloration. Make sure to go office by office, room by room and location by location to determine what has been burned as well as what has been otherwise impacted by the blaze. A variety of specific areas will likely require attention:

  • Floors, walls and ceilings that have been burned, charred and stained
  • Areas that have residual smoke odors, such as carpeting, cubicle walls and office furnishings
  • Electrical wires, cables, conduits and plumbing fixtures that could have been destroyed, weakened, melted or suffered other heat-related fire damage
  • Office equipment, computers, telephone systems, server rooms and manufacturing equipment that was directly in the line of fire or affected by smoke, ash and soot
  • Sensors, tools and small appliances that can require recalibration or cleaning

What Did the Fire Hose Affect?

When extinguishing a fire, first responders use a lot of water to put out the flames and embers. When water is introduced to parts of your business that have never been wet, the effects can slow your recovery if you don't analyze everything promptly.

After the firefighters leave, ponding water and puddles are obvious. However, moisture in cabinets, closets and files can be easily missed. If it is left standing or stagnating in a warm area, water damage and subsequent mold and mildew growth can spread quickly. Additionally, wet ceiling tiles that sag are a danger for employees if they become too heavy and start crashing down. Make sure to also check storage tanks to ensure condensation has not contaminated the contents.

When addressing water and fire damage , be sure to find the right commercial building restoration service that can correct all of the damage and get you back in business as quickly as possible.

When You Want A Professional & Speedy Water Restoration Company, Call SERVPRO!

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

What Water Does to Structural Elements of WNY Homes

With loss incidents that occur within your home, you have a finite timeline to correct the situation before irreparable damages occur. With water loss especially, these damages can begin almost instantaneously from the moment of exposure. Finding the right team with the tools to help is not as complicated as it might appear to be.

A primary focus for homeowners contending with substantial water loss incidents in their home is a fast response for water removal services. Our SERVPRO team of professionals have the tools and expertise to make a difference in preserving elements of your home by removing the water from the premises fast. Our 24-hour response team ensures that our highly-trained technicians remain available to any customer that could require our services any time of the day.

Within a few moments from exposure to water, elements like drywall begin to saturate and absorb the liquid. From the baseboards, this moisture wicks up the wall. This continued saturation can bloat and degrade this material after only twenty-four hours. Within a few days, microbial growth and potential biohazardous conditions could result. Taking care of the solution is finding the team, like our SERVPRO professionals, that respond immediately to the emergency.

Part of our effective mitigation approach to preserving the structural elements and the contents of your home is our determination to have advanced technology and equipment to remove water quickly from affected areas. Extraction plays a significant role in our mitigation practices, and tools like our gas-powered pumps and handheld extraction wands can make short work of this excess. We utilize thermal imagery to check the effectiveness of drying the area and to show our SERVPRO technicians where further attention is necessary to remove threatening moisture pockets.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

Restoring your home after a substantial water loss incident requires the right team with the right tools. While there might be many choices you can make when it comes to restoring your property, you can trust that SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is a wise one. Give us a call anytime that you need us at (716) 694-7776

For more on information, click here

Christmas Tree Fire Safety

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

No one wants to spoil the holiday season, but Christmas trees in the home can present a fire safety issue. A primary concern with a Christmas tree is fire danger, often brought on by the combination of electrical malfunctions and, in the case of a real tree, a drying tree.

In the United States, Christmas trees start approximately 210 house fires per year.

According to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report issued in 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 200 home structure fires annually between 2009 and 2013 in which Christmas trees were the first item to catch on fire. Each year, fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage, according to the United States Fire Administration. Sadly, Christmas tree-related fires have a higher incident of fatalities than typical house fires, according to the NFPA report.

Electrical malfunctions are often to blame for Christmas tree fires.

Electrical failures or malfunctions were involved in nearly half of the fires, igniting the tree with sparks or small electrical fires. Decorative lights with live voltage were involved in more than 20 percent of the instances. However, putting trees too close to open fires or heaters caused a significant number of fires as well: nearly a quarter occurred because a heat source was located too close to the tree.

It isn’t just real trees that are a problem. Electrical malfunctions can also ignite plastic artificial trees, and homeowners should take the same precautions in terms of tree placement and decorations as they would with a real tree.

Be careful with how you discard your tree.

You should take care with trees that are left outside as well. The NFPA report revealed that an annual average of 90 outside and other non-structure fires on residential properties occurred because of Christmas trees stored on the property, the report indicates. Two-thirds of these fires occurred in January, with 64 percent of them being set intentionally. This suggests that discarded Christmas trees may be an attractive target for arsonists.

But, arson concerns are not an excuse to leave your tree up after the holidays. According to the NFPA, even a well-watered tree should be taken down within four weeks of being brought into the home. If you decorated your real tree right after Thanksgiving, it should be discarded the week after Christmas, not New Year’s Day. This is because by the end of the holiday season, Christmas trees are extremely dry, and present a heightened fire hazard.

ACTA (The American Christmas Tree Association): http://www.christmastreeassociation.org/christmas-trees-and-fire-safety/

Picture taken from Today.com

Winter Storm Warning

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Winter Storm Watch for Southern Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties from late Monday evening through Wednesday evening.  Heavy snow at times combined with gusty winds will make for low visibility and difficult travel at times.  Over a foot of snow is expected between Monday night and Wednesday evening in most persistent bands.

Rain today with temperatures in the mid-40s. Scattered showers this afternoon and less into the evening before the transition to snow overnight.  Wintry conditions will begin Monday night. Colder air and a cold mainly westerly flow will set up widespread snow showers on the Niagara Frontier and more organized snow and lake snow over the hilly terrain south of the metro area.  Although the heaviest amounts will fall on the hills, it does appear there will be periods of slippery travel to the north as well, especially Tuesday night into Wednesday AM.

A trough of low pressure over the northern Great Lakes may increase snow coverage for a while toward Wednesday, and there may be some slick roads for the AM commute. Seasonably chilly temperatures will remain on Thursday as drier air moves in. A disturbance will bring some rain and wet snow showers across the region on Friday.

We should be dry on Saturday, with a chance of rain and snow showers arriving at night. Current indications point to rain next Sunday, rather than a mix.

MONDAY:

HIGH: 45

LOW: 35

Rain becoming more intermittent and showery in the afternoon.  SE: 15 becoming SW late in the day. Scattered rain and wet snow showers developing overnight, turning to snow by AM. Little/no accum north. As much as 2-4" hills by dawn.

TUESDAY:

HIGH: 35

LOW: 33

Snow showers with more organized elevation-driven snow setting up mainly on the hilly terrain below the Buffalo Southtowns. Significant accumulation is likely in this heavier band with additional totals possibly reaching 4-8" by late Tuesday night.  West winds: 15-30 will cause Blowing Snow and Reduced Visibility, especially in the heavier snow showers. At least a few Slick Roads will develop on the Niagara Frontier as well, even with less accumulation. Accumulation will increase overnight, with a few inches on the Niagara Frontier as well, and additional heavier amounts on hills.

WEDNESDAY:

HIGH: 35

LOW: 30

Breezy and Cold with Snow Showers, heavier on hills. However, enough will fall on the Niagara Frontier at times to produce slick roads to the north, too.

THURSDAY:

HIGH: 35

LOW: 30

Lingering snow showers ending AM, becoming Partly Sunny.

FRIDAY:

HIGH: 37

LOW: 27

A period of rain and snow showers. Little or no accumulation.

SATURDAY:

HIGH: 40

LOW: 28

Sunshine, then increasing clouds. Chance of rain and wet snow showers overnight.

SUNDAY:

HIGH: 47

LOW: 40

Rain showers likely, breezy

https://www.wkbw.com/weather/todays-forecast/7-first-alert-weather-forecast

Thanksgiving Fire Safety

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Tips to Cooking Safely this Thanksgiving! 

Millions of people are starting to get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. It's a great time to spend with family and friends, and is also a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Below are a few tips from our partners at the American Red Cross so you can use to avoid a cooking fire while whipping up Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving by the numbers

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.

COOKING SAFETY Cooks should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while preparing the holiday meal. Never leave the stove unattended – if the cook has to leave the kitchen even for a short time, they should turn off the stove. More cooking safety steps are:

• Check food regularly.
• Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
• Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
• Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
• Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
• Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. 
• Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

From all of us at SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County, we wish you a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

Source: http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Thanksgiving-Safety-Tips
Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis & Research Division

Flood warning in WNY and Storm damage

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Finding flood damage in your home can create quite a bit of stress; after all, no one likes discovering that their living room has been turned into a water recreation facility. As a result, many homeowners are likely to panic and make poor choices in the hours that follow. You can avoid these mistakes by following the flood damage checklist below:

Ensure your safety

Once you see a flood of water in your basement, it may be tempting to go charging right in, but this is generally a bad idea. First, you need to ensure that you're safe. If the power is still on, you could be electrocuted. Additionally, sewage will make you ill, and the water from flood damage can conceal sharp objects to cut yourself on.

Shut off the water source

Now that you know you’re safe, next you need to ensure that the source of the water has been taken care of. Sometimes, this is as simple as turning off a water supply valve. However, more complex problems, like a flooded sewer line, could actually take a few hours. It's a good idea to call the appropriate professional, like a plumber, right away to give them time to start driving out to your flood damaged property.

Call your insurance

Sure, it's tempting to have your first call be to a flood damage clean-up professional, but there's a chance that your insurance doesn't contract out with them. Instead, it's better to have your insurance's claim number programmed into your phone. Call them, report the flood damage, and then call a professional they contract out with.

Call a clean-up crew

Most flood damage clean-up  projects are just too large for you to tackle by yourself. Besides, depending on where you live, you'll likely have mold to clean up afterwards as well. Any money spent on a flood damage clean-up crew will likely be well worth it.

Take pictures and document damage

Your insurance policy will need proof of flood damage if they are going to write you a check. When you're on the phone with your insurance company and the clean-up crew, take photos of the flood damage. Make sure to get detailed photos of valuable items.

If you've planned well, you'll also have pictures of your home in an undamaged state. This lets you prove the state that your house and items were in before the disaster.

Remove what can be saved

Once you've ensured that the area is safe, you have help on the way, and you've thoroughly documented the flood damage, you can begin to remove items out of the area. A word of caution: water is extremely heavy. Any water soaked items will weigh a lot more than you expect. Please, be careful not to injure yourself.

Begin the remediation process

This is where professionals will come in handy. During the remediation process, all excess water will need to be removed, the humidity will need to be brought down to an appropriate level, mold prevention steps will need to be taken, and damaged drywall or flooring will need to be replaced. All of this is a lot of work for one person, so please get professional help.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is locally owned and operated and serves 

We are fully certified water removal staff can perform a complete flood damage assessment to your home of office, and then recommend and follow the industries standards to get your water removal restoration repaired properly available 24 hours a day.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is a 24/7 emergency water removal & flood damage clean up repair service company, Our technicians are highly trained and experienced with every flood damage situation from sewage damage clean up, mold removal, smoke damage repair, fire damage repair, flooded basement, wet carpet, wet walls, carpet water damage, basement water damage, flooded crawl space, sewer backup, sewage removal, mud removal, commercial water damage, restoration, house water damage, building water damage, hotel water damage, flooded building, crawl space water damage, crawl space sewage damage, pump out, dry out, flood water removal, commercial building water removal, building flood damage, hardwood floor water damage, wet hardwood floors, wet carpet drying, sewage restoration, flood cleanup, busted pipe water damage, broken pipe water damage, busted sprinkler water damage, frozen pipe water damage, flood pump out, basement pump out, restoration equipment rental, dehumidifier rental, fan rental, demolition, painting & construction.

Halloween Safety

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Halloween is almost here.  It is a time of fun and festivities for children and adults alike, including decorating the house, dressing up in costumes, going out trick-or-treating, and attending spook-filled parties. But don’t forget about Halloween fire prevention!

Unfortunately, many of the favorite activities associated with Halloween can also be serious fire hazards, especially if precautions aren’t taken. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Halloween fires are responsible for $13 million in property damage every year, in addition to risks of injury and death.

In order to make sure you and your family stay safe, make sure to follow these Halloween fire prevention tips:

Consider Costume Length and Materials.

Dressing up can be one of the most fun activities associated with Halloween.  Unfortunately, some costume can be fire hazards.

Look for costumes that are made of flame-retardant materials. 

Avoid long-trailing costumes or outfits that are oversized and bulky.  

Pay Attention to Decoration Locations.

Jack-o-lanterns and other candlelit decorations are always popular on Halloween. However, if you use real candles for these decorations, it is important to keep them in a safe location.  Make sure they remain at least three feet away from people and things that could accidentally ignite.

Similarly, corn stalks, hay bales, and paper decorations need to remain at least three feet away from any heat source or flame. Flammable decorations that are too close to a light bulb or heater may start a fire.

Make sure no Halloween decorations are blocking your exits. If you need to escape quickly, you will want all paths out the house to be clear and easily accessible.

Choose an Alternative Light Source.

One of the best ways to keep safe on Halloween is to use battery operated lights or glow sticks instead of open flames.

If you and your family are going out trick-or-treating, be sure to carry a flashlight.  Make sure it is bright enough so that you can see any potential fire hazards and so that others can see you and the full extent of your costumes.

Practice “Stop, Drop, and Roll”.

Advise young children to keep far enough away from any decorations that may have candles.  And make sure they know to “stop, drop, and roll” if their costumes should catch on fire.

Check Your Fire Alarms.

October is Fire Prevention Month, so make sure to double check that your fire alarms are working properly, just in case.

Fire Extinguisher

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Most commercial owners have a fire extinguisher around.

In fact, most will have more than one in several areas to be safe. The garage, fireplace and kitchen are the most common areas to keep an extinguisher in case of a fire emergency. Even if you own one, you may not know how to use one. Here are the dos and don’ts that fire restoration services want you to know.

1. Do Not Keep a Broken Extinguisher

Always make sure that your extinguisher is up to date. Check for any cracks to the base or hose. You can also lift it up to see if it’s heavy. It should be full of the extinguishing agent and, hence, heavy to the touch. Lastly, a pressure gauge should tell you if the extinguisher is at an operable range.

2. Do Read the Instructions

Keep in mind that every fire extinguisher should have directions printed on it. It should explain the proper way to pull the safety pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger and sweep from side to side to put out the blaze. In a hurry, remember those steps. However, if you have time, you should always read the instructions.

3. Do Not Continue if Fire Grows

In the chance that the fire continues to spread, it’s vital that you know when to stop. The longer you wait as the flames spread through your business, the less chance you have of being able to escape unscathed. You don’t want your route to be cut off by a kitchen fire.

When it comes to using your fire extinguisher, you have to know what you’re doing. Having an extinguisher handy can help you avoid severe fire damage in your home. As long as you use it properly, you can feel a little safer.