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IICRC Certified Firm

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Napa County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Napa County

SERVPRO of Napa County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

FIRE SAFETY IN MANUFACTURED HOMES

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

About manufactured homes
Manufactured homes (sometimes called "mobile" homes) are transportable structures that are fixed to a chassis and specifically designed to be towed to a residential site. They are not the same as modular or prefabricated homes, which are factory-built and then towed in sections to be installed at a permanent location.

In order to distinguish between modular, prefabricated and recreational trailer homes, the following definition for a manufactured home from NFPA 501, Standard on Manufactured Housing, applies:

A structure, transportable in one or more sections that in the traveling mode is 8 body-ft (2.4 m) or more in width or 40 body-ft (12.2 m) or more in length or that on site is 320 ft2 (29.7m2) or more, is built on a permanent chassis, is designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation, whether or not connected to the utilities, and includes plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein. Such terms shall include any structure that meets all the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the regulatory agency. Calculations used to determine the number of square feet in a structure are based on the structure’s exterior dimensions, include all expandable rooms, cabinets, and other projections containing interior space, but do not include bay windows.

The federal government regulates the construction of manufactured housing. Since 1976, manufactured homes have been required to comply with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manufactured housing construction and safety standards, which cover a wide range of safety requirements, including fire safety. Post-1976 manufactured homes bear a label certifying compliance with these standards.

The HUD standard has been enhanced over the years and the HUD "Final Rule" for smoke alarms in manufactured homes is largely based upon NFPA 501. Today, new construction of manufactured housing is required to contain, among other provisions:

  • factory installed hard wired or 10 year battery source, interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up (including alarms inside or immediately adjacent to all rooms designated as sleeping areas, top of the stairs and on the basement ceiling near the stairs)
  • provisions for special devices for hearing and visually impaired persons.

NFPA's national fire data indicate that manufactured homes built to HUD standards (post-1976 construction) have a much lower risk of death if fire occurs compared to pre-standard manufactured homes. The latest data (2007-2011) also shows that the overall fire death rate per 100,000 housing units is roughly the same for manufactured homes and for other one- or two-family homes.

Despite the federal requirements for factory-installed smoke alarms and the fact that eight out of ten manufactured homes now are and seven out of ten manufactured home fires now involve post-HUD-Standard units (based on 2007-2011 data), 51 percent of fires in manufactured homes were reported as having no smoke alarms present. This suggests a problem with detection devices being removed by occupants.

Safety tips
To increase fire safety in manufactured homes, NFPA offers the following guidelines:

  • Choose a HUD-certified manufactured home
    If you are in the market to purchase or rent a manufactured home, select a home built after 1976 that bears the HUD label certifying compliance with safety standards.
  • Keep smoke alarms working
    Never remove or disable a smoke alarm. If you experience frequent nuisance alarms, consider relocating the alarm further away from kitchen cooking fumes or bathroom steam. Selecting a photoelectric smoke alarm for the areas nearest kitchens and baths may reduce the number of nuisance alarms experienced. As an alternative, NFPA 501 permits a smoke alarm with a silencing means to be installed if it is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the "test" button. It is not necessary to use smoke or a real flame to test the smoke alarm's operability, and it is risky to do so. Replace batteries at least once a year, and when the alarm "chirps," signaling low battery power. Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum smoke alarms.
  • Make sure you have enough smoke alarms
    If your older manufactured home does not have smoke alarms in or near every sleeping room and in or near the family/living area(s), immediately install new alarms and fresh batteries to protect these rooms.  For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Plan your escape
    Know ahead of time how you will get out if you have a fire. Develop an escape planwhich includes having an alternate exit out of every room. Make sure you can open and get out of windows and doors. All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to provide windows designed for use as secondary escape routes for the bedroom. Familiarize yourself with their operation and don't block access to them.  Immediately fix any windows that have been painted or nailed shut, doors that are stubborn or "stuck," and locks that are difficult to operate. Security bars or grates over windows or doors should have quick-release devices installed inside, which allow you to open them in an emergency. Hold a fire drill twice a year to rehearse how you will react if the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Electrical
    Hire a licensed electrician if you notice flickering lights, frequent blown circuits, or a "hot" smell when using electricity. Use extension cords for temporary convenience, not as a permanent solution. Avoid overloading electrical receptacles (outlets). Electrical cords should not be run under carpets or rugs, as the wires can be damaged by foot traffic, then overheat and ignite the carpet or rug over them. Ground-fault circuit interrupters reduce the risk of electrical shock and should be installed by electricians in kitchens and baths. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters monitor electric circuits for arcing and should be installed by electricians on bedroom circuits.
  • Cooking
    Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires in U.S. homes. Supervise older children who cook and stay in the kitchen when heating anything on the stove. Keep cooking surfaces clean and place anything that can burn well away from the range. Heat oil slowly and know how to slide a lid over a pan if you experience a grease fire. Read more cooking safety tips.
  • Heating
    Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. When purchasing new space heaters, select appliances with automatic shut-off switches. Kerosene heaters are illegal for home use in some jurisdictions. Check with your local fire department before purchasing a kerosene heater. Turn off portable space heaters before falling asleep or when leaving the room. Refill kerosene heaters outdoors, after the heater has cooled down. Supervise children and pets when space heaters are operating. Read more heating safety tips.
  • Walls
    All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to have wall linings that do not promote rapid flame spread, with special protection around primary heating and cooking equipment, such as the furnace and cooking range. Presently, gypsum wallboard has replaced plywood wall paneling and wood based ceiling panels in the fabrication of manufactured housing walls and ceilings. This action has dramatically reduced the impact of fires in manufactured homes. Do not mount anything on the walls – such as paneling, drapery, or wall hangings – that would reduce this protection, especially near major heat sources.
  • Smoking
    If you have smokers in your home, ask them to smoke outside. Wherever people smoke, set out large, non-tip ashtrays on level surfaces and empty them frequently. Thoroughly douse butts with water before discarding. Check around and under cushions for smoldering butts. Read more smoking safety tips.
  • Protect yourself from intruders
    Install outdoor lighting to deter intruders, including would-be arsonists. Keep gasoline, charcoal lighter and other flammable liquids locked in an outdoor shed. Don't store items underneath your home. Store firewood away from your home and keep trash and other flammable debris cleaned up. Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/escape-planning/fire-safety-in-manufactured-homes

Pet Fire Safety Tips

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

  • Pets are curious. They may bump into, turn on, or knock over cooking equipment. Keep pets away from stoves and counter tops
  • Keep pets away from candles, lamps, and space heaters.
  • Always use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen on a fireplace and keep it in place.
  • Keep pets away from a chimney’s outside vents. Have a “pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from the fireplace. Glass doors and screens can stay dangerously hot for several hours after the fire goes out.
  • Consider battery-operated, flameless candles. They can look and smell like real candles.
  • Some pets are chewers. Watch pets to make sure they don’t chew through electrical cords. Have any problems checked by a professional.
  • Have working smoke alarms on every level of the home. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
  • Never go back inside for pets in a fire. Tell firefighters if your pet is trapped.

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/safety-tip-sheets

Family Escape Plan

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

  • Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.  Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code® requires interconnected smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
  • Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
  • Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
  • If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
  • If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
  • Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don't have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes. 
  • Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately. Residents of high-rise and apartment buildingsmay be safer "defending in place."
  • Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/escape-planning/basic-fire-escape-planning

Grill Safety

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

With the weather growing warmer and grilling becoming the cooking method of choice for many people it becomes crucial to remember grilling on Charcoal grills and or gas grills can present a variety of safety hazards. So before you heat up your grill, here's a few tips on grilling safely.

Grill Placement

Never use your grill indoors, in a garage, or under anything that could catch fire.

Place your grill at least ten feet away from your home, or any other structures or buildings.

Keep a spray bottle and fire extinguisher nearby at all times.

Charcoal Grill Safety

Make sure you use your grill in an open space. Charcoal grills burn off dangerous carbon monoxide gas that builds up in closed areas.

Never use any flammable or combustible liquid to start the fire. These starter fluids could cause an uncontrollable flash fire; add more charcoal or use kindling instead.

After grilling, allow charcoals to cool completely, soak them in water, and then store or dispose them in a metal container so they don't reignite.

Gas Grill Safety

DO

  1. Follow the grill manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials handy.
  2. If the igniter no longer works, replace it in accordance with the grill manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Keep the top of the grill open until you are sure the grill is lit, even if you have an electronic ignition. 4. Cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep them clean when the grill is not in use.
  4. Store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
  5. If you smell gas, and it is safe to do so, turn off the cylinder valve, turning it to the right (clockwise). If you are unable to turn off the valve, immediately leave the area and dial 911 or call your local fire department. Before you use the grill again, have a qualified service technician inspect your grill and cylinder.
  6. Consult a qualified service technician if you are having grill or propane cylinder problems.
  7. Keep your grill clean to prevent flare-ups.
  8. Check for knots or kinks in gas hoses.
  9. Make sure the area around the grill is free of leaves or anything else that could ignite.

DON’T

  1. Smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
  2. Use matches or lighters to check for propane leaks.
  3. Pour an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline on the grill.
  4. Allow children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
  5. Use, store, or transport propane cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
  6. Transport propane cylinders in your trunk. Instead, keep in a cool place, such as an air-conditioned car.
  7. Move a lit grill.
  8. Leave a lit grill unattended.
  9. Attempt to adjust any gas containers or hoses while the grill is lit.
  10. Grill in a covered patio or garage, even with the doors open, because gases can build up.

Maintenance and Personal Safety

Check your grill frequently for cleanliness. Make sure no animals or bugs have crawled inside.

Don't allow fat and grease to buildup. A hot grill can ignite fat and grease and start a fire.

These simple steps may be able to prevent you from having to deal with a home fire started by your grill. If disaster were to strike SERVPRO of Napa County stands ready and is Always Here to Help.

Napa County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Napa County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Napa County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 707-226-2181

Does Your Napa Home Have A Mold Problem?

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 707-226-2181 

When Storms or Floods hit Napa County, SERVPRO is ready!

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Napa County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Napa County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams http://www.SERVPROnapacounty.com/disaster-recovery that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 707-226-2181

Storm Damage: Dealing with the Aftermath

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storm damage of any kind whether it is high winds, hail, floods or lightning it all make a mess out of your home and life. It is hard to look at the mess that surrounds what used to be your home and not dive right in to start the clean up. Believe it or not you will not want to do that. Initially you should contact your insurance company. A representative will come out to your home and evaluate the damage that the storm has created. They should also lay out a detailed plan to help get your life restarted. You will have to continue living even though storm damage has turned your life topsy-turvy.

How do you get started? Is it possible to tell who is actually going to help you and not scam you or rip you off? Is it possible to completely trust your insurance agent? Who do you contact for expert advice? These questions are hard to answer when you are sitting there vulnerable after a natural disaster of any magnitude. Here is a list of advice to get you started in the long and overwhelming process of repairing storm damage to your home.

Storm Damage Checklist

Contact your insurance agent. This is of course the first and most important advice anyone can give you. Your insurance agent is your ally. Make sure when you are purchasing insurance in the first place that you research local insurance agents. A good rate is one thing but an insurance company that you can count on in a time of need is something completely different. The cheapest might not always be the best way to go.

Don't start any repairs or cleanup efforts until you have had the damage accessed by the professionals. First you don't want to get hurt, second you don't want to make things worse and third you need to give the adjuster the full scope of damage. It is important that you do document in video and film the damage from your prospective. Just in case later on down the road the adjuster gets shaky with his evaluation.

No repairs should be started before you have agreed upon a settlement with you insurance company. If you do something like boarding up windows and such make sure to save receipts. Materials will often be reimbursed. That is the only type of work that should even be contemplated before a final approval has been gone over.

Your homeowner's insurance policy should cover a temporary home for you. Make sure to check with the agent when they arrive to scope out the damage. They might have special restrictions on where you are allowed to stay and for how long, make sure you are aware of these things in advance if possible.

It is so important that you fully understand and are aware of the limitations that the insurance company has in place regarding the coverage on your home in regards to different events. You want to know how you are covered and the differences in coverage for floods, fires, natural disasters, storms, hail, lightening and all that loveliness that storm damage brings. You should also be aware that if you move to another state or another area in your state you could need special coverage for that area. The best advice any homeowner can receive is to find a trustworthy and reliable insurance agent. They will be your best ally if storm damage ever affects your household

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6497671

Helpful tips to Prepare for a Water Damage

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

  1. Know your insurance coverage. Most renter’s or homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding, or even a sewer backup. Find out what coverage you have.
  2. Keep a record of all of your belongings. Take photos and keep copies of a receipts or other documents for your valuable items. Store a copy of these records online or at another location.
  3. To limit the risk of water damage within your home check your pipes frequently and pay attention to any indicators of water damage, such as dripping sounds in the walls, dark spots on the ceiling, or significant change in your water bill.
  4. Inspect your roof and foundation often. Make sure there are no cracks in the foundation or shingles missing. Check that the landscaping around your home is sloped to direct water away from your foundation, rather than toward it.
  5.  Water damage can be overwhelming. If a water damage should strike find an expert you can count on. SERVPRO of Napa County is Always Here to Help! –Call 707-226-2181