What To Do During A Power Outage
So now that you lost power...
Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. For more information about food safety visit our food page.
Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.
What To Do Before A Power Outage
For those who have not yet invested in a generator, here are some helpful tips to prepare for a power outage.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. For more information visit: Get Tech Ready
- Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.
Tips for Winterizing Your Car
Winter driving conditions can be hazardous due to factors such as snow and ice on the road. While it’s important that you are prepared for winter driving, it is also important that your car is up for the challenge. It is recommended that you winterize your car before the winter season to make sure your car can handle the winter road conditions.
Install winter wipers
These come equipped with rubber that keeps ice from collecting on the blades. Just be sure to remove them when spring rolls around. As winter wipers are heavier than regular ones, keeping them on all the time increases the risk of burning the motor out too soon.
Mount winter tires
If you live in a place that experiences extreme cold winter temperatures, it is recommended that you install winter tires when winterizing your car. When the temperature consistently hovers around or below freezing, the rubber compounds in non-winter tires harden, decreasing the tire’s ability to grip the road. Winter tires use special compounds engineered to resist hardening in cold temperatures, providing better traction.
You should definitely have snow tires installed with plenty of time to spare before extreme winter weather arrives. We say, if you can see your breath, it’s time to install winter tires.
Keep washer fluid full
When driving in snow and ice, you may use a lot of washer fluid in an effort to keep your windshield clean. In order to properly winterize your car, maintain a nearly full washer fluid reservoir and consider keeping a spare bottle or two in the trunk.
Tips for Winterizing Your Car | Bridgestone Tires
Here are some things to pack in your winter driving safety kit:
- Ice scraper
- Bag of sand and a shovel
- Cell phone
- First aid kit
- Extra antifreeze
- Flashlight and batteries
- Car tool kit
- Jumper cables
- Warm clothing: Extra jacket, hat, socks, boots
- Non-perishable food and beverage items
- Pack of matches
Keep the gas tank at least half full!
Christmas Trees Must Be Hydrated
The holiday season is upon is which also translates to many candles and treasured decorations.
Always always be mindful of open flames and never leave candles unattended.
For those who celebrate Christmas, is it also important to keep your tree hydrated.
According to the US Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) works to develop better ways to measure things — like, for example, how likely a tree is to burst into flames. The verdict:much more likely if the tree isn’t well hydrated.
Although Christmas tree fires are still considered rare, they do still account for roughly 200 home fires each year, destroying an annual $14 million in the process,the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) says. They’re deadly, too, killing an average of six people yearly.
So how do you prevent your tree from going up in flames? First off, definitely don’t light it up on purpose. Believe it or not, that causes about a quarter of the Christmas tree fires, the NFPA says — usually in January. Since heat plus fuel equals fire, it’s also a good idea keep your tree andnon-tree decorationsaway from hot things like candles and heaters.
Second: water your tree, and get rid of it when the needles start to crunch. Evena flaming book of 20 matches couldn’t spark a blazein a well-hydrated, freshly cut Christmas tree. But just 61 seconds after flames licked the needles of a desiccated conifer, the tree was reduced to smoldering branches.The NIST did the experiment, so you don’t have to.
How to Protect the Outside of Your Home (and Cars!) During the Winter Season
Time to prep your home for "Old Man Winter"
- Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
- Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
- Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
- Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spay to circulate it in lines.
- Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
- Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
- Drain birdbaths and fountains
- Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
- Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
- Don’t overdo it when using a snow shovel.
- Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.
Pink Mold? What is Pink Mold?
In the mold world, pink mold is known as Aureobasidium and can be found indoors and outdoors.
Anyone can be affected by pink mold, but infants, pets and the elderly are more likely to experience more severe symptoms. It is important to locate the problem quickly, and have it taken care of in a timely manner.
Preventing Pink Mold
In order to keep the pink mold from reappearing, there are some helpful tips you can use to prevent its return. You can leave the door or window open for at least 15 minutes to let the moisture out. Also, use your bathroom’s fan or purchase one to help dry out any liquid. This will prevent the moisture from accumulating on other surfaces.
Also, wipe down your shower since pink mold thrives on leftover soap and shampoo. They act as food for the bacteria. One thing you should always do is be diligent about checking for broken leaking pipes or any accumulating water. This goes for any location in your house. Keeping the air moving and getting rid of stagnant water is the best way to prevent pink mold.
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley Promptly Responds to Flooded Neighborhood
Shown in the before picture, you can see the amount of water that flooded these homes with the markings of the water line a 2 feet from the ceiling.
On October 30th a strong autumn storm ripped through New England bringing wind gusts of over 70 mph and torrential rainfall causing downed trees, widespread power outages and localized flooding.
The Newtonville neighborhood near the Cabot School experienced its own perfect storm during this widespread weather event. A dozen homes located on Bridges and Norwood Avenues experienced major flooding with some homes inundated with over 3 feet of water.
It was the unfortunate collision of the current repairs being made to an aging culvert combined with the by- pass pumps too overwhelmed to handle the sudden storm waters. As a result, the heavy rains flooded the streets and subsequently devastated twelve homes located in this quiet residential neighborhood.
The Emergency Storm Response Crews from SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley were called in to assess the damage. The crew immediately began the water cleanup and restoration process. They worked tirelessly coordinating the needs of the affected homeowners while communicating with insurance company representatives. They updated the representatives of the Newton mayor’s office and informed relevant city departments. SERVPRO had multiple crews, specialized equipment and several work trucks ready to go when the call came in for emergency help. In a short time the crew and vehicles were on site to assist these homeowners in need.
Halogen Lamps Can Cause Havoc, When Not Properly Used
Halogen light bulbs may last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they have additional dangers associated with them. Compared to incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs have a longer lifespan and are more energy efficient. Being aware of the dangers associated with halogen lights can help minimize the risks that come with using halogen light bulbs.
Halogen light bulbs can reach temperatures much higher than traditional light bulbs. According to the New York State Fire Administration, a 300 W halogen bulb can reach temperatures as high as 970 degrees F. This high level of heat generation can potentially cause ignition of combustible fluids or fumes nearby.
Because of this, they have been known to cause a fire when they touch the wrong surface for too long. For example, if the lamp falls over and the light is turned on, it could potentially catch the drapes or some paper on fire. Small children have been known to drop a blanket or some other flammable object on the top of a lamp and leave it, promptly starting fire
Various items that were placed over a halogen lamp in a test were used to determine how quickly a fire can happen. Results included a polyester/cotton shirt burning in 24 seconds. Cardboard ignited in 1 minute 17 seconds, and a piece of pine wood caught fire in 1 minute 43 seconds, according to the study results.
As a preventative measure, make sure you place lamps in areas where they won't get knocked over or bumped into. Keep fabric, wood and other flammable items away from the light. Nothing should ever impede air flow around the bulb. Turn off the lamps when not in use, and avoid direct contact with the bulb except when changing the bulb.
Mold in the Environment - Basic Facts from SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley
Contact the experts of SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley for your remediation needs.
Molds are fungi than can be found virtually everywhere whether it be indoors or outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more.
Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.
Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.
Specific recommendations for your home:
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
- Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
- Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
- Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
- Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.
If you have any questions regarding mold or have mold present in your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley for your remediation needs at (617) 332-9000.
For more information on mold visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
Prepping for the Fall!
It is important to clean your gutters after all the leaves have fallen!
Fall foliage is beautiful, but not when it builds up in your gutters! Take these tips into account during the cool autumn months.
- Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified technician.
- Keep flammable materials, including all lawn and power equipment, away from water heaters and wiring in the basement.
- Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to cold temperatures, and turn up the thermostat during extra cold periods.
- Check for damage to your roof, and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. This is especially important during the fall season to keep leaves from building up in gutters.
- Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration.
- Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases; and make repairs as needed.
- Have your chimney cleaned and maintained annually by a professional.
- Clean and/or replace your furnace filter.
- Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material.
- Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
- Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible, filled and ready for operation.
- Inspect your smoke detectors. Make sure there is one on each floor of your home. Test them monthly, and change the battery annually or as needed.
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley is here 24/7 to assist with any emergency needs. Contact our office at 617-332-9000 so we can make it "Like it never even happened".