Turkey Fryer Safety
With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching I’m sure that there are many people beginning to plan their Thanksgiving menu. In the South we like to fry turkeys to enjoy with our families during Thanksgiving dinner. Here at SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties we want you to be able to attend your Thanksgiving dinner and provide a beautiful fried turkey in the process. We have listed some tips below to ensure that you are frying your turkey safely.
Turkey Frying Safety Tips:
- Keep outdoor fryers off of decks, away from houses and vegetation and out of garages.
- Watch the weather. You never want to operate your fryer in the rain or snow.
- Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed. When ice mixes with hot oil it causes combustion and will create a large flame.
- Ensure that the fryer is placed on a solid surface.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Leave at least 2 feet between the tank and burner when using a propane powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly fill the fryer with the correct amount of oil. Overfilling can cause the oil to ignite.
- Choose a smaller bird for frying. An 8-10 lb. turkey is best.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, watch the oil temperature carefully. If the fryer becomes too hot it will smoke and can catch fire at a certain point.
- Wear googles to protect your eyes, gloves to protect your hands and keep a hose nearby in case of a fire.
- Skip the stuffing when deep frying a turkey and avoid water based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner. Let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil to cook the turkey.
What Can Affect Repair Cost After a Water Damage?
Whether you have water damage from a storm or a faulty appliance, mitigating that damage and starting repairs in a timely manner is important. Depending on the cause and severity of damage the cost can range significantly to mitigate and complete repairs. Below are some factors that could affect the cost of repairs.
-The Areas Size-
As one might think, the larger the area of damage the larger the area of repairs. The larger the damage the more labor and material it takes to repair it correctly. Although, there are instances in which a smaller area of damage could result in more repair cost. Such as, working within a confined space or having to purchase more material than needed for the area due to the way in which it is sold.
-Whether the Water is Still Present-
Make sure that you have hired a reputable company to mitigate the water damage and ensure that the structure is completely dry before beginning repairs. You should not attempt to begin repairs until all of the structure has been dried thoroughly and all equipment removed.
If your home or business has costly materials and upgrades within then your repairs will be more costly. For instance, if you have sand and finish hardwood that was removed and needs to be replaced it will cost more than that of carpet for the same area. This is a big reason why it is a good idea to review your policy as well. If you have completed a lot of upgrades and done remodeling to your home over the years you want to ensure that you have the proper amount of coverage to cover any damages that might occur.
Different areas have a different cost of living. The cost of living in California is much different than that of Kentucky or Tennessee. Make sure that you are hiring a trained professional from the area that you live or need the repairs to be completed.
It is important that you begin mitigation to your damage as soon as you have discovered the damage. The longer you wait to mitigate the damage that occurred the more likely you are to have secondary damage occur that will result in a higher mitigation cost and therefore a higher repair cost.
If you find yourself in need of mitigation from water damage, fire damage, mold damage or storm damage call our office to schedule a free inspection today.
Which Washer Hose Is Right For You?
Most homeowners are not particularly picky when it comes to washing machine hook up. Is it hooked up? Does it work? Okay great! Unfortunately, the components that you choose to hook your washer up can impact your home and family more than you would like to think.
There are three different kinds of washing machine hoses that you can choose from.
These are the hoses that people are most familiar with. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. They are made of a polyester mesh that makes the rubber stronger and less likely to burst.
If your machine is located inside of your home these hoses are not recommended as they can burst. If your machine is located outside of the home these are a good solution for you.
A stainless steel hose is the minimum hose style recommended for indoor use. They are not the cheapest that you can find as far as hoses are concerned, but the added safety is worth the extra money. A stainless steel braided hose is better than the basic rubber hose and meets a minimum standard when your washing machine is located inside.
For a few more dollars you can have additional peace of mind using auto-shutoff hoses. These hoses have an auto shut off at one end as an added safety feature. These hoses provide the best safety features for added peace of mind.
Here are some helpful tips on hose installation and maintenance to help avoid hose failure.
-Ensure that you have the proper length hose. Do not force the hose to fit.
-Always allow ample space between the washing machine and the wall to avoid kinks.
-Inspect your hose regularly. At minimum you want to inspect your hose once yearly. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your hose when you inspect your smoke detectors at Daylight Savings Time.
-Shut water off when you are on vacation or away from the home for an extended period of time.
-Replace your washing machine hoses regularly. The manufacturer of your hose will state the average life expectancy and recommend when the hoses should be replaced.
I you find that your machine has been leaking over time when checking your hoses. Call our office to have an inspection of the damage.
Wildfires happen quickly and are unpredictable at the very least. Here are some tips to help if wildfires become a threat in your area.
Measures to Prevent Wildfires In and Around Your Home
-Clear leaves and debris from around your home and your gutters.
-Screen in or create a barrier underneath decks and porches to aid in preventing combustible materials to accumulate.
-Remove dead vegetation from around your home or structure.
-Keep your lawn maintained and well hydrated. Cut any dead grass down as low as possible.
-Ensure that your trees are maintained, pruned and topped.
-Dispose of any debris or lawn clippings as quickly as you can after they accumulate.
-Inspect shingles and/or roof tiles and make any necessary repairs.
-Create an emergency supply kit and keep it in a safe place. Remember to include any important documents, medication lists, phone numbers, etc.
-Plan two separate routes out of your neighborhood and choose a designated meeting place for your family.
-Create an emergency evacuation plan and practice that plan with your family to ensure that everyone is aware of what it includes.
-Contact your local city offices to check if your home is located in a high risk area.
-If you are a part of a homeowners association make sure to go over a plan to assist with shut ins or families with disabilities. Any assistance that friends and neighbors can provide is crucial to ensure everyone’s safety.
-Speak with your local fire department and ask them what their plan is in case of wildfires.
If you have any questions, would like more information or need assistance with fire/smoke damage in your home call our office today.
Customer Service Through Disaster
If you have ever suffered through a storm that created wide spread damage in your area then you more than likely understand what it is like to feel helpless. Our office provides support to our storm teams within the SERVPRO® franchise system and travels to affected areas to offer help and support to the many victims that are affected by the storms. Our office are constantly watching weather patterns and are put on alert or stand by when major storms are about to make landfall. By watching the weather patterns and having our own meteorologist on staff we are able to prepare to travel to the areas affected when we are called.
We send our teams and technicians to your areas to begin the process of mitigation. We know that the longer these damages sit the more likely there is to be secondary damage. Unfortunately, most storm damage is widespread and therefore it is difficult to assist everyone with the damages to their homes. Our offices and on the ground teams attempt to help as many people in one day as possible. Many days they are out at calls from sun up to sun down and if there is electricity, no curfew being enforced and we have the homeowners permission we have stayed until 10PM – 11PM.
Our office staff is trained to obtain certain information regarding the damage to your home, but also additional information such as accessibility and power. We know that when you have a damage such as this you emotions are heightened and you are ready to begin the mitigation and repair process to ensure that things return to normal as soon as possible. Our office staff tries to remain empathetic and reassuring while still collecting all of the pertinent information needed to schedule services to begin. We are happy to help in any way possible and our main objective is to service your damage as soon as we possibly can.
If you find yourself in a storm situation call your local SERVPRO® franchise. The friendly staff will get you on your way to normalcy as soon as possible.
Tips for Evacuation Plan
Keep panic away with an evacuation plan. When you are faced with an emergency situation, the last thing that you want to do is panic. Having an evacuation plan in place helps you to keep some control during an unexpected and difficult situation. Planning ahead gives you a plan and a course of action.
Understanding Your Insurance Coverage
Many business owners are unaware of the coverage's that are laid out in their insurance policy. Unfortunately, there are certain naturally caused disasters that would not fall under their coverage. Make sure that you review your policy and are aware of the coverage's within. During an emergency situation the last thing that you want to be worried with is money. Having an insurance policy that you understand and fits your needs gives you peace of mind.
Include All Employees
Make sure that all of your employees are aware of the evacuation procedures that are put in place and review it regularly. Include in your plan, whom within the company will be assigned with certain tasks.
Keep It Flexible
Having a plan in place in case of an emergency is the first step, but always be open to change within the plan when complications arise. Always try to stick to the plan, but know that if something were to go wrong the plan can be changed to accommodate the situation at hand.
Set Up a Practice Schedule
Practice makes perfect! Once you have discussed a plan and have it put in place for your company make sure that you practice the plan with your employees often. This will ensure that everyone is aware of the plan and any necessary changes can be made according to trial and error. Practicing the plan without an actual emergency looming will help to ensure its unflawed execution during an emergency.
Talking about creating an evacuation plan and implementing an evacuation plan are two totally different things. It’s easy to talk about creating a plan and continuing to put it off. Make sure that you take the time needed to create a plan for your company and employees.
Set Up Emergency Alerts
Be sure to set up alerts on your phone to let you know of an impending emergency situation. You can also get weather alert radios for different areas of the building. Knowing about what is happening around you is the only way to keep your employees and business as safe as possible.
Attention to Detail
No detail is too small. Don’t overlook tiny details because you believe that they might not make a difference in the plan that you would like to put in place. Sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest difference.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment for one of our representatives to create and Emergency Response Plan (ERP).
Does Your Business Have a Plan In Case of a Tornado?
Does Your Business Have a Plan In Case of a Tornado?
Tornadoes are destructive and can leave cities and towns with unimaginable damage. Tornadoes develop with little to no warning, leaving families, homes and businesses vulnerable with very little time to react. Because of the vast destruction that a tornado is capable of causing it is important that your business is prepared and has a plan in place.
We have compiled a checklist for your business in the event of a tornado.
Before the Tornado
-Keep weather alert radios in all buildings
-Have a plan for providing emergency notification to all employees, clients, vendors and visitors.
-Put your plan in writing and distribute to all employees and departments.
-Conduct drills with employees to prepare.
-When establishing a timeline for preparation and closure for the workplace after an emergency, consider that employees will need to prepare and care for their families and any personal matters that might arise after as well. Always allow ample time for them to execute their personal plans.
-Always identify and speak with critical employees and department heads regarding expectations and duties. For example, many times there are IT functions that need to be established to protect and restore technology systems. If they are needed to work remotely be sure to establish travel, hotel and meal arrangements in advance and know what equipment that will be needed as well.
-Develop a contingency plan for any HR related functions. ie. Payroll, Benefits
-Update your employee contact information often.
During a Tornado
-Move employees to interior room or hallway.
-Stay away from windows
-Go to a pre-designated area. Get underneath tables and use arms to shield your head from debris.
After a Tornado
-Ensure that you are able to locate all employees
-Following the tornado, be sure to implement the plan that you put in place and notify all critical people of the next steps, based on the damage that has occurred.
Water Damage Responsibility, Landlord or Tenant?
Who is responsible for a water damage in an apartment complex? If you are renting you might ask yourself this question if you have a water damage. Water damage is a common occurrence not only for homeowners but for renters as well.
It is important to understand your rights when renting. In general, a landlord is responsible for maintaining the structure and ensuring that it is still livable and up to codes. Keep records when communicating with your landlord and asking for repairs to be completed. Further damage can be caused if repairs are not made in a timely fashion. Depending on the state in which you live rent details can vary, so be sure to check with your local housing authority.
It is important to know what your lease agreement states. Many lease agreements will include the insurance coverage's within that state the parameters. Know your rights and educate yourself. If you are aware of the verbiage and contents of the lease agreement you can discuss damages with your landlord and make informed decisions.
As a renter you should have at minimum a content policy to cover any contents in the event of a damage. In addition to being informed on your lease agreement, make sure that you are informed regarding your content policy parameters. If a claim needs to be filed due to damage for structure you will need to understand your policy for claim purposes.
Water damage requires immediate attention and rapid response. If you find yourself with damage call our office to schedule and inspection. We will put together a plan of action with estimate and ensure that the property and contents are restored to the best of our ability.
Not Every Hero Wears a Cape! Plan and Practice your Escape.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) set this years campaign for fire prevention month as “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape! Plan and Practice Your Escape.”
Fire Prevention Month raises awareness about fire safety and home safety to help ensure your home and family are prepared in the case of an emergency. This is a perfect time to discuss fire safety with your family. It is important to discuss what to do in case of a fire with your family, including those who live outside of your household such as elderly family members. Here are some key points to discuss with your loved ones.
-In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Planning and practicing an escape plan is crucial in preparing in case of an emergency.
-Check your smoke alarms monthly to ensure that they are in proper working order and change the batteries out twice a year. Many find changing the batteries during daylight savings time to be easiest to remember.
-Practice makes perfect! Run through your families fire drill together. Have everyone go to a different room in the house and wait to set the alarm off. Practice the drill until all family members have executed the drill as planned and are safely in your meeting area outside of the home.
By preparing for a fire ahead of time, you can have peace of mind knowing family and your home will remain safe year round.
Call our office or your local fire department if you need assistance in checking the fire alarms in your home.
Emergency Supplies Your Cheatham County Business Should Have on Hand
Be sure that you have SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties phone number programmed in case of emergency.
7 Emergency Supplies Your Cheatham County Business Should Have on Hand
Is your Cheatham County business prepared for an emergency situation? Inclement weather situations and power outages can give little to no warning, which is why it is important for your business to have basic emergency supplies on hand in the event they are needed. These 7 necessities are important to ensure your employees safety in case of emergency.
Having a 3-4 day supply of non-perishable food items for each employee is important. Stocking up on items such as salt-free crackers, canned foods with high liquid content, protein bars, peanut butter and dried fruit is a great way to ensure that your employees will be taken care of.
In addition to non-perishable food items, it is important to have a minimum 3 day supply of emergency water per person. You can go about purchasing the water in different ways depending on the amount of usable space you have for storage. The most common methods are cases, gallon jugs or 55-gallon storage barrels. All of these can be used for drinking and sanitation purposes when necessary.
Radios are useful to keep you updated on current weather patterns, evacuation notices and much more. Keeping a few AM/FM radios on hand will keep you abreast to any important information during an emergency. We recommend solar powered radios or battery powered radios for this purpose. If you choose to stock your supplies with battery powered radios, try and save battery power whenever possible.
Protection From Elements-
During inclement weather if your building sustains damage that deems it unsafe to occupy, all employees may need to evacuate the premises. Having weather appropriate gear such as, ponchos, gloves, thermal blankets and a canopy shelter is key in making sure that all employees are safe.
The Electricity can go out for any amount of time during inclement weather or emergency situation. Emergency lighting is essential for your employees to navigate the facility in a safe manner. Battery powered flashlights are great short term lighting, but it is best to also have solar powered or hand cranked flashlights for long term use. We also recommend keeping candles and waterproof matches.
First Aid Kit-
A basic first aid kit with bandages, gauze, adhesive tape and other useful items will be a tremendous help in the event one of your employees is injured. Keeping 2-3 of these stocked and in easily accessible locations is best practice.
During a disaster or emergency situation, a sanitary water source and plumbing will more than likely be unavailable. To ensure the well being of employees and to keep things sanitary, you should have emergency sanitation supplies available. Common sanitation items are, hand sanitizers, individual packs of tissue and quality cleaning chemicals.
Having an emergency kit during times of crisis will hopefully keep you and your staff safe. Be sure to print this when putting together your Emergency Kit. In the meantime, be sure that you have a vetted vendor for times of emergencies. Call SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties at (615) 672-1905. We are always here to help.