- 80% of fire and smoke fatalities occur in homes without working smoke detectors. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that smoke detectors are placed near bedrooms on every level and at the top of every stairway. This alone will reduce the chance of you becoming a fire victim by 50%.
- Test your smoke detectors’ batteries regularly and never, ever borrow one of their batteries.
- Have both a primary and a secondary escape plan predetermined from each room. Have a predetermined place outside for all family members to meet if there is a fire. People have died trying to rescue someone who had already safely escaped.
- Rehearse both escape plans regularly, especially with smaller children. Why not rehearse your plans in the presence of your children’s friends and cousins? Encourage their friends and cousins to initiate fire safety techniques in their homes too. Fire safety is a great topic for a child’s school report.
- Escape doors, hallways, and windows must be clear of obstructions and easy to open.
- If fire or smoke is noticed, all members must vacate the house immediately. Call for help from a neighbor’s house or use a portable or cellular phone outside. Many fatalities have occurred because of the delay to immediately evacuate in order to call 911. Fire produces poisonous gases which can make you quickly impaired. ONCE YOU ARE OUT, STAY OUT!
- Obviously, upstairs bedrooms should have rope ladders, and the windows must be easy to open (including the storm window).
- If a basement is used for sleeping or recreation, an over-sized knock-out window should be installed.
- It is wise not to use extension cords, but if absolutely necessary, make sure they are UL approved and heavy duty.
- Never used frayed or cracked electrical cords.
- Never put a cord under rugs, over nails, or in high-traffic areas.
- Never overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
- Make sure all fuses in the fuse box are the correct size. Please don’t use jumpers.
- Make sure all electrical outlets and switches have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
- If a space heater is ever used, make sure the cord does not get hot (a sign of a possible overload).
- If a space heater must be used, make sure it is in a location where it cannot be knocked over and is a safe distance away from curtains, bedding, furniture, and anything else which it can easily ignite. Some fires even occur when someone dries wet towels or socks by hanging them over the space heater. It is dangerous to use an extension cord for a space heater.
- Many fires occur in the kitchen around the stove. Do not put small pans on large burners or large pans on small burners. Do not use dish towels as pot holders, and always turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. People that cook with baggy clothes often find them ignited by brushing against the hot burner.
- Try not to store anything over the stove. Many people get burned reaching, and again, loose fitting garments can catch fire.
- Flammable materials should not be stored inside your home, but if they are, they should be stored in a cool, isolated place, preferably in a heavy-duty metal cabinet. Fumes from flammable materials are often ignited by pilot lights or the lighting of a cigarette.
- If smoking is allowed in the house, use large ash trays. If guests are over, make sure they have large ash trays available. Always soak cigarette butts before discarding them.
- Consider designating a specific area in a house where smoking can take place. It is very easy for the smoker who is a little careless to cause a fire. Sometimes they need to be watched. Animals can also knock over ash trays onto sofas and other ignitable items.
- Allow plenty of air space around the TV and stereo to prevent overheating.
- Keep lighters and matches away from small children. Children are naturally curious of fire, and in many cities, over 50% of all fires are caused by young children. They are easily tempted to play with matches and lighters. Even worse is when they start a fire and often get scared. Then instead of yelling for help, they run and hide underneath a bed or in a closet.
- If you have a fire place, be sure to use a metal screen.
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned regularly. Look for birds’ nests also.
- Never smoke in bed. Hundreds of people die every year because they fall asleep with a cigarette in bed, on the sofa, or in a chair.
- If a fuse blows, find the cause.
- Don’t store things close to your furnace or hot water heater.
- Because it is so important, we repeat it again. If a fire occurs, GET OUT IMMEDIATELY! Don’t try to grab your possessions. Don’t call 911 from your house unless everyone is out and you can call from an exterior doorway. It is best to go to the nearest neighbor’s house to call.
- If your clothes catch fire, don’t run! Stop where you are, cover your face with your hands, drop to the ground, and roll over to smother the flames. This is called “stop, drop, and roll.”
- Do not use butter or margarine on a minor burn. Cool water is better. Obviously though, any large or deep burn must have medical attention immediately.
- Smoke inhalation claims more lives than the fire or heat. When evacuating a burning building, try to avoid smoky ways out. If you have no choice, get down and crawl as low as you can to find the best remaining air as you escape. The smoke and toxic gases will rise leaving any good air low to the floor.
- If the fire occurs in the same room you are in, try to close the door behind you on your way out. Also close all other doors behind you. This will give it less oxygen and delay the fire’s spreading.
- If you believe there’s a fire but don’t know where it is, before opening a closed door, use the back of your hand to touch it. Don’t open it if it feels warm. Not only will smoke instantly fill the room you are in, but by supplying the fire with a whole room of oxygen, the sudden back draft of flames may consume you almost instantly. Even if it doesn’t feel warm, open it very slowly with your shoulder against it. If any smoke or heat comes in, slam it shut and use your alternate escape route.
- If you find that your exit is cut off by the fire, it won’t be easy, but try to remain calm. Try to conserve your energy to help yourself survive. Close the door nearest to the fire, and if available, use towels or sheets to block any smoke and toxic gases. This will help keep smoke from spreading into the room. If the room becomes smoky, get down to the floor level. It’s easier to breathe because the smoke will rise upward. Go to the window if you are on an upper floor, open the window, and if you do not have your rope ladder, try to attract the attention of others who can alert the fire department. If you are in immediate danger, you will have no choice but to jump. If available, drop cushions or bedding or any other soft items to the ground to break your fall. Then, crawl out of the window feet first and lower yourself to the full length of your arms before dropping.
- Print a copy of this list and refer to it regularly. Why not print a couple for your friends and relatives?
- Candles are very, very dangerous. They are often forgotten and can easily be tipped over by children or pets.
- Curling irons cause many fires. They are placed on surfaces that are easily ignited and/or are not turned off before leaving the room. Many models have an automatic turn off feature which is highly recommended for your safety’s sake.
- Never leave oily rags lying around. Those with linseed oil are the most dangerous. Store them in sealed cans only.
- Consider a sprinkler system, especially if a family member would not be able to escape unassisted.
- Make sure everyone can clearly hear the sound of your smoke detectors from their bedrooms.
- Once again…test and maintain your smoke detectors as if your life depends on them. IT DOES!
- Remember, 4000 people die every year from fire or smoke inhalation, and 20,000 are injured. Fires can start so easily, and it only takes an unguarded or careless moment to start one. A fire loss is a devastating experience, even when all family members and occupants escape without injury. Should you, a friend, or relative sustain a fire loss, do not hesitate to contact us our office at 770-591-7083, or if it’s an emergency call 911 first, then call our emergency construction services hotline at 1-888-YOUR-911 (888-968-7911).
The official yearly Atlantic hurricane season has begun. While there are currently no expected storms on the horizon, and this is generally expected to be a “quiet season,” this does not eliminate the need to be ready for anything. Always think of your personal safety first, then your family, then your property.
We at Chateau Restoration, LLC and Disaster Response Team, LLC are prepared to handle our share of any potential challenges. We have many years experience working in catastrophe zones (YES we were in New Orleans in the Katrina aftermath, for example), and no job is too big for us to handle or too small to take seriously.
We are fully armed with high-tech gear, certified trained technicians, quality subcontractors, experienced estimators, polished salesmen, and a General Contractor with over 40 years experience. If you experience any type of insured property loss, call us immediately at 770-591-7083 (office), or if it’s an emergency, call 1-888-YOUR-911 for 24/7 response.
I cannot stress this enough: There are few things as important as communicating clearly that which is most important to you. If you do not, others will make assumptions on your behalf that make sense on one end, but may not be what you had in mind. I have learned through much experience that it is vitally important to WRITE out your agreements, so there is no confusion as to what is expected by all involved parties. For example, if a Contractor does what he thinks is a favor for you but it isn’t something you place value on, this is a problem, and can lead to difficulties. Conversely, if something is vitally important to you but you don’t put it in writing, then don’t expect others to read your mind. This is fair and reasonable.
As a Senior Sales Associate for Chateau Restoration, LLC and Disaster Response Team, LLC, I will always treat you politely, with decency and forthrightness. And yes, as a customer, you do personally matter to me a great deal. And while it is not possible to please everyone all the time, you have my personal commitment that I will always do what I think is best to make you as happy as possible. But as always, you can make my job of pleasing you a LOT easier if you remember to stick with some basic rules and remember the parameters in which I must operate.
For example, since I am a salesman for a General Contractor, I have to be cost-conscious and quantify all our construction activities through Xactimate (this is the computerized construction estimating software we use). All of our estimates are derived from this highly advanced software because it provides fair market prices AND all insurance companies use it as well. In keeping with this, we can all stay on the same page with construction prices and avoid unwelcome surprises. Also, pay your invoice in a timely manner. Withholding money from a Contractor, for whatever reason, very quickly leads to difficulties which are out of my control (as a Salesperson for the General Contractor).
Lastly, please know that if you have special requests that go beyond our normal “call of duty,” I will do my best to accommodate your wishes, but please you must be reasonable. Remember that I am on your side, I want you to be happy, and I am always here to serve you, so call me anytime at 770-591-7083, ext. 250.
This article was written by Eric, Senior Sales Associate
So you have a wet basement, a flooded basement, or even a flooded crawl space – who do you call to get a water damage estimate? How do you know what kind of Contractor you need, or who will do the best work? How do you prevent the need for mold removal? Why is flood damage so costly to repair? How do you even know if your loss is covered by your Insurance Company? These are all important questions that need to be addressed openly and honestly. And they rarely are.
You can quickly learn there are many restoration services in the Atlanta area, most of whom have really mixed reviews of the quality of work they perform. They promise one thing, and do another. Or so it seems. How can you be sure you’re not making a mistake? How do you prevent mistakes from happening? How important is it so sign a contract that enables the work to start right away?
While there are countless questions and never-ending answers, if you go out searching for information, in the end that’s all you’ll ever find. But what do you do with it all? Who do you have to guide you through all the marketplace clutter? Here is a solution. How about keeping it simple? Would you like to deal with a Senior Sales Associate of a Fire and Water Damage Restoration Construction Company that is totally committed to your well-being?
If so, then look no further, I’m here. Call Eric of Chateau Restoration, LLC (office in Woodstock, GA – serving ALL the Greater Metro Atlanta area ) at 770-591-7083, ext. 250. You have my personal commitment to the pursuit of intentional excellence. I will always give you a free inspection, and estimates upon request. I accept phone calls 24/7, and happy to speak with you. You can also send me a personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I try very hard to deal with your Insurance Company in a way that maximizes your benefit. So, let’s talk.
If you have a fire at your house, the main problem areas will be smoke damage, odor, damaged contents (some of which can be restored, some of which cannot), contamination, and charred structural members. These types of problems exist after ANY size fire, from a little kitchen fire on up to half the house burning down, and the sooner the emergency cleanup starts, the better off you are. It all starts with the cleanup of soot residue, which must begin as quickly as possible. We prefer to start emergency mitigation work as soon the fire-trucks drive off.
Soot residue and vapors that are environmentally unstable get carried throughout the structure by rising and expanding air. This process occurs over and over until the fire is completely put out, with soot residue building up in layers on everything. After you call us, when our restoration technicians arrive (usually within 1 hour), there may be a lacquer-like soot residue built up, which is quite difficult to dissolve and remove. But we can handle it.
After we remove the smoke residue, we have to start clearing out from your house all the things that have a smoky odor, because this is very harmful to breathe and further damages the structure if it’s left unattended. Your insurance policy requires you to “mitigate” the damage – which means to “lessen” the ongoing damage, to prevent it from getting worse than it already is. We are mindful of this fact, as we work with insurance companies all the time, and as such we must comply with their guidelines.
- We first take out the source of the odor, as much as possible, including unsalvageable debris that is causing the stench, along with other things that could cause a recontamination.
- Then we clean things that are reasonably salvageable. This, of course, requires us to physically remove items that have odor-causing residue on them. The area MUST be cleared out before any mitigation work can begin. This action also serves to protect the structural members of the property from further damage. Don’t worry about damaged contents, we take care of it.
- We then start cleaning the air inside the home, using various chemicals and equipment. We use special techniques to treat the air by using deodorizing fogs and other counteractants.
- At times, we will seal surfaces that are salvageable, not just for aesthetic reasons, but primarily to encapsulate the odor and prevent progressive recontamination.
Understanding the effects of a fire can help all homeowners evaluate what needs to be done. The Fire and Smoke Restoration Experts at Chateau Restoration, LLC can help you return your home and furnishings to a “pre-loss” condition. Call us today, let’s talk. 770-591-7083.
If you’d like to learn more about indoor air quality, visit http://www.iaqa.org/.
If you’d like to learn more about nationally accepted standards and accredited certifications for the cleaning and restoration industry, visit http://www.iicrc.org/.
If you’d like to learn preparedness tips and how to protect yourself and loved ones during the upcoming hurricane season, visit http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
If you discover water damage…
CALL US FIRST AT 770-591-7083 or after-hours call our
emergency hot-line at: 1-888-YOUR-911.
• Time is of the essence. Call us, then your Insurance Company. The reason it is essential to call us first is that you are required to mitigate (lessen) the damage to protect your property from further loss. We work 24/7 and are always happy to take the call.
• Do not attempt cleanup yourself, as you may unknowingly expose yourself to harmful pathogens. This is especially true with Category 3 water damage (water that comes in from overhead that has traveled horizontally over a roof surface, for example).
• A failure to act can cause the quality of the water causing the damage to deteriorate quickly, thereby making cleanup more costly and expensive. Keep in mind; YOU may be responsible for damages due to neglect if water damage is not properly mitigated or if you disregard the seriousness of inattention.
And with all water damage, there does exist a potential for mold and mildew. In order for mold and/or other fungi to grow, three conditions must be present: 1. Moisture (from water or high humidity) 2. A Food Source (anything that is organic… drywall, paint, cabinets, carpet, etc…) 3. The Right Temperature.
No project is too big for us to handle. We are a licensed General Contractor and can handle anything – big, small, clean, dirty – no matter. Call us… Let’s talk.
Disaster Response Team, LLC (a division of Chateau Restoration, LLC) is on-site to help with the tornado victims. We are among a select group of Licensed General Contractors with a Permit issued by Gordon County to perform emergency construction services.