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Types of Fire Detection

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

One of the most important components of fighting a fire is ensuring that the fire is detected early on. Early detection of fire allows building occupants to safely exit the building sooner and allows for a faster response from fire suppression systems. When it comes to fire detection, there are several detection methods that are available to choose from. The main three forms of fire detection include heat detection, smoke detection, and flame detection.

  1. Heat Detection

Heat detectors are activated when a fire occurs and causes the temperature in the area to rise. Once the area reaches a certain temperature, the heat detectors are activated. Heat detectors usually have fewer false alarms, but they can take longer to identify a fire than other forms of detection. Heat detectors are best suited for areas that are not frequently occupied and in areas that are not well suited for smoke detection such as steamy, humid, or dusty environments.

  1. Smoke Detection

Smoke detectors are activated when smoke is created by a fire. There are several types of smoke detectors that use different methods to detect smoke.

    • Ionization

Ionization detectors use radioactive material to create an electric current between two electrodes. When a fire creates smoke, the smoke disrupts the ionization and causes the alarm to go off. This type of smoke detection may result in false alarms as it can be triggered by things like humidity. These types of smoke detectors do a good job of detecting fast-burning fires.

    • Photoelectric

These alarms use a light beam to detect smoke. When smoke particles from fire cross through the beam, the detectors are activated. This type of detector is reliable and has few false alarms. Photoelectric detectors work well on small smoldering fires.

    • Combination

Combination detectors use the technology from both ionization and photoelectric detectors to identify both fast-burning and smoldering fires.

    • Aspirating Smoke Detectors

Aspirating smoke detection is a method of detecting a fire very early on. This type of detector samples and tests the particle levels in the air and is activated when the level of smoke particles rises above normal levels. This type of smoke detection is resistant to false alarms and works well around sensitive equipment as the fire can be detected before it can cause damage.

  1. Flame Detection

Flame detectors are used to detect a fire when flames are present. This type of fire detection includes UV detectors and/or infrared detectors to identify a flame and trigger an alarm.

Have An Emergency Plan Before An Emergency Happens

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily wake to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second-floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first-floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

Information from:

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

Restoring your Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd Commercial Property

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd

commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd


SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

The Best Way To Minimize a Disaster at Your Home or Business is to Plan For it NOW!

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready? Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a startup approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference for important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference for what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls, or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health effects. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living conditions.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Leading cause of houses fires! Electrical Heaters!

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Electrical heating-related fires most often occur in December, January, and February. Purchasing a cozy electrical space heater is a cost-efficient solution when temperatures drop, however, can be a devastating disaster when used improperly. According to the NFPA (National Fire and Protection Agency), electrical space heaters are the leading cause of most house fires. Here are a few tips on how to properly use your electric space heater and avoid fire hazards:

  • Electrical Fires: Electrical fires occur when the heating unit is not properly plugged into the wall outlet, most often plugged into an extension cord or power strip. To avoid fires:
    • Give your space heater space; at least 3 feet away from combustible materials
    • Do not plug other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
    • Plug the heater directly into the outlet
    • Avoid leaving the unit running overnight
  • Fire Starters: Electrical units placed too close to other combustible materials contribute to 79% of fatal home heating fires. Combustible materials include:
    • Household furniture
    • Clothes
    • Bed Mattress
    • Bedding materials

Before running your electrical heater, it’s important to understand the risks of fire and smoke damage. Fire damage can leave a lasting impact on your house and may cause additional smoke damage

Call SERVPRO at 610-546-2484 to schedule a cleanup. Your SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line / Bala Cynwyd  professionals have the training, certifications, and equipment to Make it

"Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips for Hurricane Season

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season has taken a toll on places like North Carolina and Florida. Businesses and homeowners everywhere should consider many things during hurricane season to prevent damage to their property. Many of them seem obvious, but others, not so much. What are some of these preparation tasks you might ask? Let us try to answer this question.

Building and Street Maintenance

Consider the last time you cleaned your storm drains. If they have not been cleared out in recent years, this could cause a blockage of water from draining away from your property. When water gets clogged in drains, this can lead to a back-up. This means water will be coming back into your home or business and can cause very serious damage. If you have a shop vac (dry/wet vacuum), try to get some of the dirt and build up out of the drain. If you can’t clean it properly, call a professional.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are basically pumps used to get rid of water that has entered a building. When turned on, these pumps run water through a hose and outside of the property. If you own these pumps when was the last time they were tested? Do they have a battery backup in case of a power outage? Power outages cause almost 20 percent of water damage due to sump pumps not being able to run during these outages. If you do not own a sump pump, consider buying one especially if you commonly see water damage on site.

Generator Fuel Tanks

Many people like to store back up generators in their basements. This can be dangerous because if water seeps into your basement and gets into the fuel tanks, this will contaminate the gas and lead to failure to start the generator. In turn, this means no power and could lead to more damage.

Runoff

Does grading lead away from your building? Grading helps to move water away from your building instead of moving towards it. Checking your grading system can help keep water from flowing into your building.

Clear the Floor

One of the leading causes of water damage is the items on the floor. You can avoid this by removing porous materials, boxes, and paper from the floor of your basement. Keep all of your electronics off the floor and make sure to turn off your electronics when you are expecting heavy rains.

CE classes

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line / Bala Cynwyd is looking to schedule a free Continuing Education class in the upcoming months. For example, below is a sample of some of the classes that could be taught. There are plenty of other classes that credits could be handed out for but here are a few.

Understanding The Restoration Industry: Property Fire

(4 Credit Hours)

This course has been designed to teach and explain the special procedures used by professionals in mitigating and restoring fire damage claims for the insured. The purpose of the course is to provide attendees with a better understanding of the work performed by the mitigation vendor at fire damage work sites.

Concepts of Legal Liability

(3 Credit Hours)

This concept is the basis of most liability insurance.  This program will present the basics of legal liability by building a foundation of various legal theories.  The theory and elements of negligence are presented.  Various types of law are discussed. Included is a discussion on damages resultant from legal liability. 

Fire Damaged Materials Need Meticulous Clean

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

The dangers of fire damage can last much longer than the initial fire blaze. Two of the most toxic types of damage are the fire itself and the resulting smoke damage. Smoke and soot can damage a home by permeating through the walls, upholstery, ceiling, insulation, air conditioning vents, and other hard to clean places. 

This is why it is important to understand that fire damage in homes can present itself in many ways. Depending on the type of fire that attacks your home, not only are the apparent soot, ash, and fire damage unsightly, but possible structure damage and future contamination are possible. 

Never Have Your Fire Damage Overlooked Again 

For example, depending on where a fire burns in a structure, it can affect support beams, load-bearing walls, and it can wreak havoc on wiring and insulation. Even if your fire emergency seemed localized to a particular area in the house, remember, the attic must be checked for damage as well. 

SERVPRO uses our advanced cleanup methods and detection tools to check from closet to closet, room to room, and floor to ceiling, to detect all fire and post-fire damages. We know where to check to make sure your HVAC system will not spread smoke and toxins after a fire. We will make sure that your insulation is intact and that the structure of your home is safe. If we detect any need for replacement and restoration, we provide a range of services, including building services, that can take care of any fire and water damage and debris. 

Because secondary fire damage, such as water use from firefighting efforts can also be an issue, our specialists pay much attention to a full, detailed analysis of your home’s damage before making a plan of action and beginning cleanup and restoration. 

Contamination is not always seen by the untrained eye. It can be hidden in places such as your HVAC (air conditioning and heating) systems. SERVPRO inspects the home from attic to basement, to ensure that all vents and air circulating systems are completely clean. If you were to neglect this part of fire damage cleanup, there is always the possibility of blowing toxic dust, ash, and soot, even on the microscopic level, into your cleaned home, effectively re-contaminating it and exposing residents to its dangers. 

Our 24/7 Emergency Service line is at your disposal. Contact SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line / Bala Cynwyd anytime at 610-667-9080 for a quick response to your fire emergency, or to ask questions.

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Let’s start by defining commercial property insurance. Often included as part of a packaged business owner's policy, but also as a stand-alone policy, commercial property insurance covers damage to a company’s building and its contents due to covered perils, such as fire, theft, or natural disasters. If your company has a building with land, computers, equipment, or inventory, you probably need property insurance.

The amount of coverage your business needs and the cost of this coverage, however, will vary depending on the nature of your business and the value of its assets. Coverage can either cover all risks except those specifically included or only those risks which are specifically named in the policy. The cost of this coverage will depend on how you value your company’s assets and whether you opt to include coverage for things like a business interruption or risks specific to your business’s location and industry.

While there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right commercial property insurance plan or business owner's policy, it doesn’t need to be complicated!

Source: IRMI Glossary