6 Ways to Save on Electric Bills
When you’re looking for ways to save money, lowering your bills should be a top priority.
When you’re looking for ways to save money, lowering your bills should be a top priority. Some bills are easy to lower, such as that premium cable subscription you never use. Others might seem impossible to cut down.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’d love to lower your electric bill, but you’re not sure where to start. The good news is there are a lot of little changes you can make to help cut energy costs. Start by trying these six simple tips to lower your electric bill.
- Program Your Heating and Cooling
There are a lot of fancy smart-home devices available today, and they can get pretty expensive. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune to add a few smart elements that can help cut your power bills.
Start with a programmable thermostat. You can opt for a top-of-the-line smart thermostat or a simple programmable one. Some smart thermostats allow you to change your home’s temperature from your smartphone remotely. Even a simple programmable thermostat lets you set the temperature in your home for specific times of the day.
Programming your heating and cooling saves you money on electricity by maximizing efficiency when you need it most. In the summer, you could set the thermostat to start running the air conditioning about an hour before you get home from work in the evening. You’ll come home to a cool house while not wasting money cooling the house when no one’s home.
- Unplug Appliances When Not in Use
It’s not always easy to tell if an appliance or gadget is using electricity when it’s turned off, but a lot of them do. Even if you hit the “off” button, leaving an appliance plugged in could be costing you money.
You can cut this unnecessary expense by unplugging appliances when you’re done with them. After making breakfast, unplug the toaster so it doesn’t sap energy till the next morning. You can do the same with almost any appliance or tool in your home — from gaming consoles and televisions to coffee makers and microwaves.
Unplugging all of your appliances after each use might seem inconvenient. Once you’re in the habit, however, you’ll enjoy a lower electric bill while also reducing your chance of overloading an outlet and causing a home fire.
- Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Traditional clothes-washing wisdom might tell you to use hot water to get your clothes clean. That’s because laundry detergents of the past needed the heat from hot water to activate. Most modern detergents, however, can work just as well in cold water as hot.
This is good news for your wallet since heating the water for a load of laundry uses a lot of energy. By washing clothes in cold water, you’re reducing the amount of electricity you need.
As a bonus, you’ll also get more use out of your clothes. Cold water is generally less harsh on your clothing than hot water. Hot water can cause fibers to break down and lead to shrinking, running dyes, or faded colors.
Make your laundry even more energy-efficient by skipping a cycle in the hot dryer. You can line-dry your clothes for similar benefits — you’ll save money on energy costs and your clothes won’t be exposed to extreme heat.
- Wear the Right Clothing
It may sound silly but wearing the right clothes indoors can help reduce your heating and cooling costs, ultimately lowering your electric bill.
In the winter, you might be tempted to crank the heater and start a cozy fire in the fireplace. After a while, you realize you’re warm. Instead of turning down the heat or putting out the fire, you change into shorts and a tank top to beat the heat.
In the summer, you could end up doing the opposite. You run the air conditioner so the house is cold, then pull on a sweatshirt or long pants because you’re chilly.
Most of the time, you probably don’t realize you’re changing to match your current comfort level. The next time you reach for an extra layer or change into summer clothes in the winter, try adjusting your home’s thermostat instead.
- Maintain Your HVAC System
Your heating and cooling system has to work hard to give you an ideal indoor temperature, especially if the outdoor temperature is extreme. The best way to keep your HVAC system from running up your electric bill is to practice proper maintenance.
The easiest step is to replace your air filter regularly. The air filter works to keep debris, dust, and allergens out of the air in your home. As the particles collect in the filter, the system has to work harder to move air through. Check your air filter regularly. If it’s dirty and dusty, it’s time to replace it.
You should also consider hiring a professional HVAC technician to service your system each year. A professional will have the tools and knowledge to alert you if there are any issues and clean your system so it’s running properly.
- Keep Your Appliances in Good Condition
A dirty appliance in need of repairs often costs a lot more to run than a clean one. Reduce your energy costs by keeping your appliances in good repair. If you notice an appliance isn’t running as efficiently, such as a dryer not drying clothes, clean out dust, dirt, and buildup or contact a repair company.
When your appliance gets beyond repair, you might want to think about replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Many modern appliances are designed to reduce energy costs and may even come with a rebate from your local power company.
Reducing your energy expenses can be easy is you follow these six steps. Remember to monitor your monthly bill to see the impact these costing-saving ideas can have on your electric bill.
HOW MOLD CAN DAMAGE YOUR HOUSE
Water damage is the leading cause of mold growth in many homes.
While mold is not harmful at all as it participates in the decomposition of dead organisms and other aspects of the environment, the problem happens when it enters your house and damages it.
Water damage is the leading cause of mold growth in many homes. According to insurance industry research, 98% of US basements will experience some type of water damage, while about 14,000 Americans suffer water damage emergencies at home or work each day.
Once molds enter and penetrate your home, its population can start growing in just 24 hours. It’s only then a matter of time before they cause permanent damage to your house.
Where do molds usually grow?
Molds only two things to thrive and multiply —- damp and humid environment and permeable objects. With this, the following areas in your home make it the perfect breeding ground for molds.
-Ventilation and air-conditioning system
-Areas around washing machines and dryers
-Fireplaces and chimneys
How molds damage your home?
Once molds are attached to a specific area or part of your house, it starts to eat away the material of its host; causing it to weaken. A weakened foundation of the house should be dealt with right away, or else it may collapse or result in a more costly repair.
Early detection is the best solution to deal with molds in your house. Here are the sneaky signs that molds may be growing inside your home.
-The nasty smell coming from your heating and cooling systems
-Discoloration or dark spots forming on the wall and ceiling
-Musty odors that seem to linger in the air
How to deal with molds in your home?
Molds may be microscopic, but they are also tough to deal with. They can’t be removed with simple cleaning using soap and water. It is important to note that where there are molds, there is also a source of moisture. Deal with water leaks right away, no matter how minor the problem is. For significant water damage, calling water damage professionals is the best option.
It is also crucial to call a professional mold remediation company when you spot molds in your house. The good thing about hiring professional services is that they have the proper equipment in dealing with molds. They can altogether remove mold out of your home and even get to its source.
Understanding Commercial Floor Cleaning and its Benefits
It can be easy to take floors for granted when it comes to a comprehensive cleaning and maintenance plan for your facility
It can be easy to take floors for granted when it comes to a comprehensive cleaning and maintenance plan for your facility. However, floors are just as important as any other part of a building, if not even more so.
Clean and shiny floors are a key aspect of any well-maintained building and successful business. However, over time, floors can easily become scuffed, worn, and permanently dirty. This can happen sooner if routine floor care and maintenance is neglected.
What is Floor Stripping and Waxing?
Many hard floors, such as linoleum, acrylic, hardwood, and vinyl have a special wax coating to keep them shiny and make them easier to clean. The wax protects the flooring from dirt, debris, scratches, and cracking.
Stripping is the process of completely removing the preexisting wax coating, while waxing refers to re-applying a fresh coat of wax finisher. Stripping and waxing can be a difficult undertaking without the correct training, tools, and materials, so hiring a commercial floor cleaning company is strongly advised.
Benefits of Hiring a Commercial Floor Cleaning Service
Not only is the process itself rather involved, but proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is also required, which may not be readily available given our current public health crisis.
To properly strip and wax a floor, expensive appliances and tools are needed, including a floor scrubber, a wet-dry vacuum, and a floor buffer. Unless you are a commercial cleaner, you likely do not have these items at your facility.
Furthermore, it is important to consider the potential cost if the process is performed incorrectly. If a floor cleaning project goes awry, there could be potentially irreparable damage to already expensive floors, massive inconveniences to everyone involved, and an even bigger financial burden by having to replace sections of the floor, or even the entire floor.
Stripping and waxing a floor is something that can be done by someone on your team, but hiring an industrial floor cleaning service would be a safer and more cost-effective solution.
8 Spring Home Maintenance Projects You Should Do This Season
Spring brings longer days and warmer weather, both of which make it easier for us to plan and take on important spring home maintenance tasks.
Spring brings longer days and warmer weather, both of which make it easier for us to plan and take on important spring home maintenance tasks. From repairing property damage to preparing for summer, there are a number of things that we should do to “tune up” a home’s major systems and features. Doing so doesn’t just maintain your home’s property value – it also helps to prevent bigger breakdowns and repairs down the line.
Not sure where to start? These 8 basic maintenance needs are each worth your attention this month:
Get Your HVAC Inspected
If there is one system you always want to be functional, it’s your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. All too often, people skip spring maintenance only to find their system breaking down during the hot summer. Rather than losing the comforts of home during a heat wave, you should hire a licensed professional to service the equipment before the start of summer. Just be sure to discuss any health and safety measures needed during your appointment this spring.
Clean Your Dryer Vent
One of the biggest fire hazards in your home is a clogged dryer vent. Fortunately, you can prevent this hazard by cleaning out your dryer vents each spring.
Check Your Windows’ Caulking
Caulk, the material used to seal the seams around your windows both inside and outside your home, doesn’t last forever, and its breakdown leads to air drafts and water leaks. It’s important to check the caulking in your home every spring for tears, cracks, or gaps. Should you find damaged caulking, it will need to be replaced, either by you or a professional.
Inspect Your Home’s Woodwork
Because it’s exposed to the elements, exterior woodwork requires lots of maintenance. Each spring, you should inspect the state of your wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, pergolas, and other outdoor structures.
In addition to planning necessary repairs and addressing wood rot, you should also plan on staining or resealing these structures every year or two. During your inspection, you should also check for signs of termites, as these insects need to be addressed by pest control sooner rather than later.
Examine Your Roof
Roof maintenance is one of the most important parts of home ownership. Are the shingles in place? Are the vent pipes, flashing, or anything else damaged? Answering these questions annually can help you spot small issues before they become big ones. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection or repair, the next step is to call a roofer, who can work with you to safely determine your next steps.
Clean Your Gutters
While not exactly a favorite chore around the house, cleaning your home’s gutters is extremely important. Blocked or damaged gutters can’t do their job during those numerous spring rain showers. Clogged gutters can also lead to wood rot, pest infestations, and other problems. So debris needs to be removed from gutters each spring, and you should also check that downspouts are still turned away from your home. Additionally, make sure water isn’t collecting at the foundation of your home.
Pressure Wash Your House
Rain, leaves, dust, and other outdoor elements tend to create a buildup of residue on your home’s exterior. In the worst cases, this buildup can lead to green mold! So it’s best to pressure wash the outside of your house each spring to prevent this. At the very least, the annual wash will add shine to your property!
Check Your Basement
In addition to examining exterior elements and essential household systems, you should also examine the state of your basement each spring. Because moisture is a common problem in basements, these are easy places for mold and other types of fungus to grow. To prevent a serious problem from developing, you should examine your basement each spring for signs of moisture or water damage.
These home maintenance projects each play an important part in keeping your home in good condition. Not only will they help you live comfortably and safely – but they’ll also be important should you look to sell your house at some point. So be sure to schedule time to complete each maintenance item this spring.
Disaster Shut Down
There’s never a convenient time for a disaster to strike.
When you own a business, there’s never a convenient time for a disaster to strike. Fire, flooding, or destruction from a natural disaster can take time to mitigate and should be dealt with immediately before the damage spreads. Once the immediate danger is handled, cleanup and restoration of the damage can begin. In a world where time means money, any amount of downtime can put your business at risk of lost revenue and productivity. Remember, every hour spent cleaning up and repairing damage is an hour of opportunity lost for your business.
If you are a small business and have limited resources, it can be difficult to recover from a disaster, especially when it interrupts your daily operations. However, with the support of the right disaster commercial recovery team and a comprehensive recovery strategy, you can get back to business faster.
Be Prepared Before an Emergency Hits
According to FEMA, almost half of all small businesses affected by a disaster will never re-open their doors. For those that do, 90 percent will fail within a year if they don’t resume their operations within five days of the damage occurring. Why is that? Depending on the type and extent of damage, general operations may have to stop within the affected area. Meanwhile, life as usual goes on for customers and clients who are not directly impacted by the disaster. While some may be willing to wait for the business to reopen its doors, any long-term business disruption can send customers and clients looking elsewhere to get their needs met.
Businesses, large and small have a better chance of recovering from a disaster and successfully returning to business as usual if they have a plan before disaster strikes. Even when a disaster plan does exist, only 80 percent of companies spend time re-evaluating their plan each year. If you do not have one, it’s time to create one, so your business can go on as usual in the event of an emergency.
Creating a Emergency Response Plan (ERP)
If a fire, flood, or natural disaster were to occur, would you know who to contact to save your business? Regardless of the size of your business, having a ERP for your business will give you a roadmap to recovery if an emergency occurs. This plan will help you save time and limit your property losses by saving as many assets as possible. It includes:
commercial services - commercial space with painters plastic hanging in windows
Compiling a list of emergency contacts, including phone numbers and addresses.
What is Involved in Commercial Restoration?
SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley offers multiple restoration services to our commercial clients, including:
Emergency mitigation services to protect remaining business assets and building from secondary damage
Stabilization of building
Boarding-up your facility
Drying and dehumidifying your building
Restoring electronics and wiring
Restoring your location to preloss condition
Reconstructing your building
10 Tips to Keep Your Office Space Clean
Maintaining a clean work space means a healthy environment for your employees and a presentable establishment for clients.
Maintaining a clean work space means a healthy environment for your employees and a presentable establishment for clients. Avoid germ buildup and dirty spaces with these simple tips to keep your office space clean.
All the hustle and bustle of a busy workday usually leads to a cluttered desk. Take some time at the end of your day to clean your desk area. Straighten out office documents and throw excess papers, food wrappers and other trash away.
Avoid Food Messes
When work gets busy, it’s easier to stay at your desk and have lunch while typing away on your computer. Eating at your desk, however, guarantees a messy workspace as crumbs and even liquids fall into the crevices of your keyboard or stick to the desktop. Over time, stains become harder to remove and bacteria begins to accumulate.
Kill the Germs
If eating at your desk is your thing, then make sure to maintain a healthy work environment. Dust and other particles accumulate overtime. Wipe those germs away at least once a week with a quick wipe down of your desktop with a multi-purpose cleaner.
Antibacterial is Your Best Friend
Germs spread fast in any environment. You’ll want to keep hand sanitizers in stock and easily available to avoid the spread of germs. The last thing you want is for the entire office to come down with a stomach bug, flu or cold.
Group Effort at Play
Break rooms or common areas should be cleaned regularly to avoid germ buildup. As a place where all workers spend time, don’t shy away from maintaining this area. Avoid leaving dishes in the sink, throw out old takeout from the refrigerator and sanitize the countertops.
If your office doesn’t have a daily janitorial service, make sure to empty your trash every night or every other night so bacteria and odor don’t become a problem. Make this a group effort. Designate a different work associate to take care of the trash on certain days.
Get Those Hard to Reach Places
When it comes to a full office cleaning, make sure all spaces are accessible. You may consider rearranging office furniture to avoid hard-to-reach places, like large gaps behind filing cabinets or sofas.
Carpet and Tile Cleaning
With paperclips, staples and papers, office floors can get pretty dirty. Whether you need to vacuum or mop, keeping the office floors clean makes your workspace safe and presentable for clients and visitors.
Do Your Part
Your area is your responsibility. Take the time to ensure it is maintained on a day-to-day basis. Office cleanliness is a group effort that can be made easy when everyone participates.
Commercial Water Damage Restoration Explained
Water damage can strike your commercial building at any given time.
Commercial Water Damage Restoration Explained
Water damage can strike your commercial building at any given time. Depending on the severity, it can leave devastating effects and financial burdens. Despite the unpredictability of disaster, understanding the basics of commercial water damage restoration can help you prepare your business and minimize damage. Find out what to do when you discover water damage, the risks associated, and how to find the right service provider for you.
Contacting Commercial Restoration Services for Water Damage
Disaster is inherently hard to plan for, but when it strikes, time is of the essence. You must act fast when dealing with water damage. Whether it’s from a sewer backup, burst pipes, flooding, or a natural disaster, it can leave your facility unfit for business. Water may seep into your ceiling, walls, and underneath carpet or floors. If left untreated, more damage accrues and continues getting worse over time.
If your business has water damage, it’s crucial to act quickly. Contact a local commercial restoration service provider. A reputable provider can provide timely emergency service assistance. Usually, they’ll arrive within hours. Until then, carefully assess any building damage and potential hazards. If possible, try to identify the type of water loss. Doing so helps your contractor prepare by knowing which water removal equipment to bring ahead of time.
Potential Risks of Commercial Water Damage
Taking the above measures and quickly getting in touch with a specialist is crucial to minimizing damage to your facility and keeping the area as safe as possible. Standing or rising water can quickly spread from room to room and destroy everything in its path. In a matter of minutes, your flooring and upholstery may all suffer permanent damage. Soaked wooden structures can also warp or split, leading to broken door frames and windows.
Mold growth is another common offender in water-damaged buildings. Mold can cause health effects.
Choosing the Right Commercial Water Damage Restoration Specialist
Every day spent restoring your commercial property is another day of lost earnings. Therefore, we recommend working with an experienced restoration company. Treating water damage promptly and thoroughly is the best way to prevent lasting damage. No matter if it’s from a plumbing leak or storm damage, a trusted commercial restoration service will quickly stabilize your property.
Flooded facility in need of commercial water damage restoration
After getting things under control, most water damage restoration specialists dry and clean your damaged building structures. Using dehumidifiers and heavy-duty drying equipment is essential for stopping mold growth. As they assess your building, any leftover items will be removed or salvaged.
Your insurance company may also contact you to fill out insurance paperwork. Fortunately, you don’t have to manage your claims alone. The J.C. Restoration team can assist you with this step to make the process as stress-free as possible.
THE CAUSES OF COMMERCIAL WATER DAMAGE AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM
Water damage in the workplace may not only prevent you from doing business.
Water damage in the workplace may not only prevent you from doing business. It can also put the health and safety of your employees at risk. The moment you spot signs of commercial water damage, it’s important to take action immediately.
Commercial water damage restoration is often more complex than residential water damage restoration and usually requires an intensive approach. The size and structure of commercial buildings, the extent of damage, the varying uses of space, and the number of occupants all affect the restoration process. Aside from these, there’s usually always a time constraint for the job because business has to continue as soon as possible.
While some water damage issues are inevitable, most problems can be prevented when the cause of water damage is found earlier.
In this post, we’ll talk about the most common causes of water damage in commercial properties and how to deal with them.
CAUSES OF COMMERCIAL WATER DAMAGE
Here are the common causes of commercial water damage:
In commercial buildings, water damage is often caused by windows that are not properly sealed. Damaged windows can cause moisture to seep in, which triggers a lot of problems including mold build-up and warped wood and drywall. Resealing windows regularly is important as caulk can break down over time.
Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Broken pipes can stem from many reasons, such as changes in pressure, deteriorated water supply lines and sewer drains, and cold weather (freezing temperature can cause pipes to burst). Bulging walls, water stains on walls or floors, cracked or loose tiles, and musty smell – these are all signs of damaged pipes. Detecting leaky pipes is challenging and it usually requires some specialized water leak detection equipment.
If gutters are not cleaned regularly, they can get clogged, causing water to leak into the property through the roof or the foundation. One of the most common signs of leaks in building foundations are puddles nearby or framing that has become wet. Poor drainage systems can also lead to water damage in your foundation.
A leaky roof can cause ceiling damage, mold or mildew issues, fire hazards from shortened wires, and compromised structural integrity. Exposure to heavy rains and snow make roofs vulnerable to damage. Moreover, incorrect snow/ice removal can also trigger water damage in roofs.
HVAC systems work by heating or cooling the air through a series of ducts. Over time, these ducts wear out and get damaged, resulting in leaks. The HVAC system needs to be cleaned regularly and the excess water from the condensation reservoirs has to be removed to prevent water damage.
Sewer water contains bacteria and other pathogens that cause illnesses and infections. If you see signs of sewage damage, such as gurgling sounds or water backing up out of the drain or toilet, you should call water damage and restoration professional immediately.
SPRINKLER SYSTEM LEAKS
Other causes of water damage in commercial buildings are leaks in sprinkler systems. Signs of sprinkler leaks include wet surfaces like drywall and carpets, presence of mold and mildew, and standing water. Regularly inspect your sprinkler systems for leaks and moisture.
COMMERCIAL WATER DAMAGE PREVENTION
Commercial water damage restoration
Taking the necessary measures to prevent water damage can save you from costly repairs and business interruption in the future. Since water damage can come from a variety of sources, it’s essential to have the building inspected regularly to prevent leaks and related issues.
CREATE A FLOOD MONITORING SYSTEM
Regardless of whether your business is located in a flood-prone area, make sure you have an efficient flood warning system in place. Flooding can result from other causes, including plumbing failures, overflowing rivers, and melting snow.
GET ENOUGH COVERAGE FOR YOUR PROPERTY
Flooding is not usually included in property insurance policies. Water damage restoration can be very expensive. Water damage insurance can you deal with the costs if ever your property gets damaged by a flood in the future.
CONDUCT A WATER DAMAGE INSPECTION REGULARLY
Water damage prevention is a lot cheaper than restoration. To prevent water damage from getting worse, have professionals inspect your property at least once a year. Leak detection is performed in several ways, such as humidity monitoring and the use of spot sensors.
INVEST IN FACILITY MAINTENANCE
A preventative maintenance plan should keep your commercial building safe and secure and contribute to your water leak prevention efforts. Different parts of a commercial building should be inspected at different intervals. For example, doors, windows, and gates should be checked each year for weariness while the roof can be coated every five years or so to prevent damage.
COMMERCIAL WATER DAMAGE AND MOLD
Commercial Water Damage and Mold
Water damage and mold go hand in hand.
One of the most common effects of water damage in commercial buildings is mold and mildew build-up. It only takes 24-48 hours of exposure to water damage before these dangerous microorganisms start growing.
To stop mold growth, the source of water damage should be fixed right away. It’s to hire emergency water damage restoration professionals to conduct commercial mold cleanup and mold mitigation to ensure that no trace is left.
COMMERCIAL WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION
Commercial water damage restoration is a job that is handled by professionals. Make sure to hire restoration contractors who have water damage restoration certification, like SERVPRO.
Fire Safety Equipment: Five Pieces You Need for Your Home
Our homes may be our sanctuaries, but they also present multiple opportunities for fire danger.
Our homes may be our sanctuaries, but they also present multiple opportunities for fire danger. An unattended stovetop can result in a kitchen fire, while electrical systems and appliances can overheat. Fireplaces, candles, flammable liquids, and outdoor grills — to name just a few — all add to the risk.
Having the correct fire safety equipment in your house is essential to keep your family safe and your home protected. This article highlights the five most important pieces of equipment needed to safeguard your home and loved ones. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re prepared is worth the time, effort, and expense involved.
- Smoke Alarms
This is your first line of defense. According to the Red Cross, the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires all new homes to have inter-connected hard-wired smoke alarms with battery backup. If you don’t have an interconnected system, battery-powered alarms are easily installed. Both types of alarms need to be located on every level of the home with one inside each bedroom.
4 important rules for smoke alarms:
- Never disable them – even if they go off when they shouldn’t.
- Check them once a month using the test feature.
- Replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Replace the alarm every 10 years as older alarms may not perform properly
- Fire Extinguishers
Since most home fires start in the kitchen, you’ll want to put a fire extinguisher in there, at a minimum. But it’s recommended to place them in multiple locations around the house. Since extinguishers from various makers all work differently, it’s a good idea for the adults in the household to get training from the local fire department. Extinguishers should be installed near exits, away from heat sources, and up high enough that kids can’t reach them.
- Sprinkler Systems
While a smoke alarm will detect smoke, an automatic sprinkler system gives you a way of dealing with flames immediately. While you’re waiting on the fire department to arrive, sprinklers can help slow a fire’s progress or can even douse it completely. Moreover, a sprinkler system can prevent deadly gases and smoke from affecting your family and could also extinguish a fire that breaks out while you’re away from home.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarms
There’s a good reason carbon monoxide (CO) is called the “silent killer.” This deadly gas is invisible, odorless, and colorless and even a small amount can be fatal if inhaled for long enough. Install carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your home and outside bedrooms. If the alarm emits its high-pitched warning, get outside as quickly as possible or open windows and doors and take deep breaths of fresh air. CO poisoning can cause headaches, nausea, and tiredness and can be mistaken for flu.
- Fire Escape Ladders
If your home has more than one floor, collapsible fire ladders should be a part of your fire-safety arsenal. Place a ladder where it’s easy to access in every upper-level room in case your evacuation route gets cut off by smoke or fire. Then, have the entire family rehearse the steps they would take to get the ladders out and attached to open windows.
No one wants to dwell on the possibility of their family being in danger or their home being consumed by flames, but this is one situation where being properly prepared could save lives and property. If you haven’t already done so, make an escape plan and go over it with your family. And check your homeowner’s insurance to make sure your policy is up to date with adequate coverage.
Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter
Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous.
Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and vehicles. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.
Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us may not be ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you are more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.
Prepare Your Home
Staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
- Winterize your home.
- Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
- Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
- Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
- Check your heating systems.
- Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
- Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
- If you do not have a working smoke detector, install one. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
- Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning emergencies.
- Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check or change the battery when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
- Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Get your vehicle ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Get your vehicle ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.
- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level.
- Check your tires’ tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
- Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
- Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
- Items to stay warm, such as extra hats, coats, mittens, blankets, or sleeping bags;
- Food and water;
- Booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
- Compass and maps;
- Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
- First-aid kit; and
- Plastic bags (for sanitation).
Prepare for Emergencies
Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.
- Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
- Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
- When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
- Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
- Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
- Extra batteries;
- First-aid kit and extra medicine;
- Baby items; and
- Cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
- Protect your family from carbon monoxide (CO).
- Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
- Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
- Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.
Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; windproof coat, mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
Take Precautions Outdoors
Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:
- Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
- Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
- Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
- Work slowly when doing outside chores.
- Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
- Carry a cell phone.
Do This When You Plan to Travel
When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
- Avoid traveling when the National Weather Service has issued advisories.
- If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
- Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your vehicle.
- Make your vehicle visible to rescuers. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna, raise the hood (if it is not snowing), and turn on the inside overhead lights (when your engine is running).
- Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area. Stay with your vehicle unless safety is no more than 100 yards away.
- Keep your body warm. Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers. Huddle with other people if you can.
- Stay awake and stay moving. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve circulation and stay warmer.
- Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Be ready to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill.
If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.
No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.
Please follow our page, as we continue to explore the benefits of mitigation, and how this approach helps both your clients and your business. Please call us with any questions you have, 715-381-2266. Visit our site: SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley