Recent Posts

Plugging a space heater into a power strip can be disastrous here's why

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Plugging a space heater into a power strip can be disastrous here's why Plugging a space heater into a power strip can be disastrous here's why

As temperatures begin to dip across the country, millions of people are pulling space heaters out of storage to help warm their homes.

You should never plug a heater into a power strip.

These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow. 

Most people do not realize that power strips are not the same thing as surge protectors.

You should definitely not use an extension cord or power strip, which could easily overheat. And you really shouldn't plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater for safety reasons.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns against using extension cords or power strips with space heaters to reduce fire risks. The agency says that portable electric heaters cause 1,100 fires per year, resulting in about 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars in property loss.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 32 percent of home-heating fires involve space heaters, resulting in 79 percent of home-heating fire deaths in the United States.    

Fire And Water Damage Restoration Companies, Have Standards

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Fire And Water Damage Restoration Companies, Have Standards Fire And Water Damage Restoration Companies, Have Standards

Fire and water damage restoration are essential services that protect families and their homes from severe issues. Whether it’s bad wiring, a flood, or a burst pipe, these professionals are capable of making the home safe to live in again. But getting it back to that state takes some real expertise and manpower, and it’s the kind of expertise that a certified firm can provide the best. There are serious health implications involved as well, so a homeowner wouldn’t want anyone else handling the job. 

Why should a homeowner only consider a certified firm for fire and water damage restoration?

Floods and flames produce an immediate threat, and of course families are going to be pressed by the imminent danger, but these disasters can cause long-term problems as well. Pools of contaminated water, like those left behind by a storm or sewage backflow, are infested with a variety of pathogens and are also catalysts for explosive microbial growth. Molds, in particular, are common organisms found in the wake of contaminated moisture, and can take root in the home in as little as 48 hours if the problem is not dealt with by then. Mold is a significant concern, especially for families with young children, as it can cause lingering respiratory and behavioral complications. Mold can also spread quickly if it is given the chance to release airborne spores.

Flames leave behind a different kind of pest. Ash is a copious byproduct of burned out material, and it is both light and acidic. This means it can easily be swept up by air currents in the home and settle on a variety of items it can damage. If it is not cleaned up right away, it will begin etching glass, corroding metal, and discoloring drywall and porcelain. Ash can also irritate the throat, nose and lungs, inflaming conditions like asthma and allergies. This will happen over a matter of days, so a prompt response is required to stop it in its tracks. 

Fire and water damage restoration firms are qualified to halt and reverse the spread of molds, ash, and other hazards. Given the time-sensitive nature of their work, reputable crews are normally available around the clock and can begin work immediately. A certified firm, one that has been trained by an organization like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), will have the tools and methods needed to make the home safe to live in again. With proper training, professionals will be able to quickly establish a workspace inside the home, drain the excess water, and eliminate debris caused by the disaster. Over the next several days, they can set up equipment to expedite the drying process, saving any materials they can that have been exposed to water, or wash away ash residue, which has a tendency to get everywhere. These professionals can also inspect the building thoroughly for common trouble areas and confirm that there is no lingering moisture or ash hiding in wait. 

By the time a certified firm has completed their work, the building will be transformed back to its original state, waiting for the family to settle back in and continue their lives.

Energy Saving Tips for Winter

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Energy Saving Tips for Winter Energy Saving Tips for Winter

The strategies below will help you save energy, save money, and stay comfortable during the cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.

If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

  • Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Cover Drafty Windows

  • Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
  • Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

Adjust the Temperature

 
  • When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. 
  • If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

Find and Seal Leaks

  • Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
  • Find out how to detect air leaks.
  • Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
  • Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk and weatherstripping.

Maintain Your Heating Systems

  • Schedule service for your heating system.
  • Furnaces and heat pumps: Replace your filter once a month or as needed. Find out more about maintaining furnaces or boilers and heat pumps.
  • Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently. Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly--approximately 1 inch--and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  • Add caulking around the fireplace hearth. Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance's efficiency. Learn tips for safe and efficient fireplace installation and wood burning.

Lower Your Water Heating Costs

  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
  • Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.

Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs

  • Use light-emitting diode -- or "LED" -- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.
  • Learn about the advantages and potential cost savings of LED holiday light strings.
  • Find manufacturers and brands of ENERGY STAR® certified decorative light strings.

Tax Credits, Rebates & Savings Website:

https://energy.gov/savings/search

11 Tips to Protect and Prevent Pipes from Freezing

11/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage 11 Tips to Protect and Prevent Pipes from Freezing 11 Tips to Protect and Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.

Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Do You Have an Evacuation Plan and Procedure

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Do You Have an Evacuation Plan and Procedure Do You Have an Evacuation Plan and Procedure

For smaller organizations, the plan does not need to be written and may be communicated orally if there are 10 or fewer employees. [29 CFR 1910.38(b)]

At a minimum, the plan must include but is not limited to the following elements [29 CFR 1910.38(c)]:

  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
  • Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
  • Accounting for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed
  • Rescue and Medical Duties for Employees Performing Them
  • Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted

Although they are not specifically required by OSHA, you may find it helpful to include the following in your plan:

  • A description of the alarm system to be used to notify employees (including disabled employees) to evacuate and/or take other actions. The alarms used for different actions should be distinctive and might include horn blasts, sirens, or even public address systems.
  • The site of an alternative communications center to be used in the event of a fire or explosion.
  • A secure on- or offsite location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees' emergency contact lists, and other essential records.

A floor plan shows the possible evacuation routes in the building. It is color coded and uses arrows to indicate the designated exit. A room containing hazardous materials is indicated in the lower right hand corner of the building by the flame symbol. The assembly area is indicated outside the primary exit at the top of the building.

An evacuation floor plan with three exits, has the primary exit designated in the upper left by red arrows, with two main flows coming toward it indicated by bent arrows, the red rooms, and red elevator. Persons in the upper left half of the building are directed toward this exit.

The secondary exit is located centrally on the adjacent outer wall on the right side of the building. Persons in the top hallway and second hallway are directed with tan arrows from the tan colored rooms toward this exit. A male and female figure (representing restrooms) are indicated in the first tan colored rooms in the upper hallway. The individuals should exit along the hallway toward the secondary exit at the right side of the building. Both the primary and secondary exits are marked with handicapped signs.

There is a third exit in the last hallway, centrally located in the outer wall opposite the outer wall with the primary exit and adjacent to the outer wall with the secondary exit. Persons in the third hallway are directed by blue arrows from the blue colored rooms and blue elevator to exit out this doorway. This exit is not designated for handicapped persons as stairs are indicated.

Colored boxes indicate a row of rooms along the outer walls, with hallways parallel to the rows of outer rooms on three sides of the building. The outer wall on the left side of the building has a hallway along the outer wall. Four sets of six colored rooms are along the internal corridors and there are three large rooms centrally located with internal hallways connecting the top and bottom of the building.

The Primary Exit is marked with an arrow from the text below the map, as is the Secondary Exit. An X inscribed in a circle marks the position of the employee, indicated in the legend, in text "You are here". On the floor plan, the employee is located in the upper left hand corner in the internal set of six red colored rooms, in the central room in the second hallway. The employee may exit the red colored room, either to the left or right (indicated by red arrows), and then proceed toward the outer wall and the upper left primary exit.

For more details visit the OSHA website:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/min_requirements.htm

Crime Scene cleaning, Victim Benefits and Compensation

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard Crime Scene cleaning, Victim Benefits and Compensation Crime Scene cleaning, Victim Benefits and Compensation

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of bloodbodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazardremediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicideshomicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Attached are Compensation and Benefits for Victims in NJ:

Benefits in a Nutshell   Crimes Covered

Assault

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Burglary
  • Sexually Related Crimes
  • Kidnapping
  • Acts Constituting Domestic Violence
  • Drug and Food Tampering
  • DWI
  • Carjacking
  • Hit and Run
  • Eluding a Police Officer
  • Human Trafficking
  • Bias Crimes

What You Need to File

  • Completed VCCO Application
  • Police Report
  • Copies of Bills and Receipts of all Related Losses
  • Documentation

Time Requirements

  • Report Crime to Police within 9 Months
  • File Claim Application with VCCO within 3 Years

Benefits Provided

  • $25,000 Maximum

Mental Health Counseling

  • Homicide Survivor- $12,500
  • Injured Victim- $12,500
  • Secondary Victim(s)- $7,000
  • Group Counseling- $50 a Session Per Victim

Medical Bills

  • Medical Bills not Covered by Other Sources
  • Chiropractic/Physical Therapy
  • Medical Supplies and/or Other Prescription Drugs
  • Medical Related Transportation

Loss of Earnings or Financial Support

  • Maximum Amount-$600/Week
  • Loss of Support- 48 Months
  • Loss of Earnings- Direct Victim-104 Weeks
  • Permanent Disability- Direct Victim-60 Months
  • Loss of Earnings- Secondary Victim-$7,000 to Care for
  • Primary Victim

Others

  • Funeral Cost-$5000
  • Transportation to Funeral-200/Person or $1,000 Total
  • Crime Scene Cleanup- $4,000
  • Relocation Expenses- $2,500
  • Domestic Help- $6,500 Total
  • Child Care/Day Care Services- $6,500
  • Victims’ Rights Attorney Fees (Criminal Matter)- $125/Hr with a $3,000 Maximum
  • Attorney Fees for Representing Victims in VCCO Claim
  • (Up to 15% of the Award)

Catastrophic Injuries

  • Supplemental $35,000 for Rehabilitative Services Only

Here is the web link:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/njvictims/home.html

Here are the 8 most common fire hazards in the home

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Here are the 8 most common fire hazards in the home Here are the 8 most common fire hazards in the home

A recent fire at a 16,000 square foot mansion on the waterfront in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, took the lives of six people including two grandparents and their four grandchildren. The cause of the fire, according to investigators, was a 16-foot tall Christmas tree that the owners left lit most of the time in the great room of the house. An electrical failure ignited the two-month-old tree, which swiftly fueled the fire in the rest of the house.

The lack of a sprinkler system inside the house or fire hydrants and other water sources near the home made it extremely challenging for fire fighters who responded to the call.

1. Candles

Who doesn’t love the romantic glow of candlelight? But, even if you enjoy their fragrance and ambiance, you might want to think twice before lighting a candle and leaving the room. From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

About one-third of these fires started in bedrooms, causing 39% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries. More than half of all candle fires start because of candles that were left too close to flammable items. They should always be kept at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

2. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

3. Electrical & Lighting

Electrical fires can have a number of different origins. They can be caused by an equipment malfunction, from an overloaded circuit or extension cord, or from an overheated light bulb, space heater, washer, dryer or other appliance.

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage. 

4. Dryers and washing machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

5. Lightning

Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, those caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

6. Children playing with fire

The NFPA says that children start an average of 7,100 home fires per year, causing approximately $172 million in property damage. July is the most active month for these fires, and males start the majority (83%) of them. Younger children under the age of six are more likely to start fires inside, using matches or a lighter as the ignition source. The most frequent sites for fires are the bedroom (39%), kitchen (8%) and living room/family room/den (6%). Older children are more likely to start fires outside.

7. Christmas trees

Like candle fires, Christmas tree fires are more common during the holidays, with 43% occurring in December and 39% in January. The NFPA says an average of 230 fires are attributed to Christmas trees each year and they are more likely to be serious because of the factors that can contribute to the fire: a dry tree, electrical lights and a fuel supply (gifts) under the tree. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million in property damage each year.

8. Cooking

The number one source of house fires is cooking – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove while you run away to do something for “just a minute.” The NFPA says that 40% of all house fires, or an average of 156,600 per year, start this way, causing approximately $853 million in property damage. Two-thirds of the fires started because the food or other materials caught fire.

Fires are more likely to start on a range (57%) as compared to the oven (16%), mainly due to frying. Most injuries occur when the cook tried to put out the fire.

Several years ago in Florida, investigators saw a pattern of fraudulent house fires that started in the kitchen when the owners left food cooking on the stove while they ran to the store for a missing ingredient. Grease would catch on fire and the flames spread from there. 

Contact a Fire and Smoke damage Restoration contractor, for any Fire Damage and Smoke damage to your property

Basement Water issues, Sump Pump, Water Damage in Cherry Hill NJ, Detect and Prevent, Water damage in Moorestown NJ,

10/6/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Basement Water issues, Sump Pump, Water Damage in Cherry Hill NJ, Detect and Prevent, Water damage in Moorestown NJ, Basement Water issues, Sump Pump, Water Damage in Cherry Hill NJ, Detect and Prevent, Water damage in Moorestown NJ,

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

Unexpected increases in your water bill

  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

Mold can cause damage and lead to health problems — deal with it quickly. If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up, see A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home on the EPA's web site.

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections. Read Maintain Your Washer and Dryer for instructions on replacing hoses and balancing the washing machine.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement. See Gutter Cleaning and Repair for steps to keep your gutters working correctly.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

 
  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points. See How to Caulk for instructions. Repair cracked mortar joints.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs. Read Replace a Broken Ceramic Tile and Repair Tile Grout for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems. Read Controlling Moisture and Humidity in the Home for more ways to reduce indoor moisture.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency. See Shut Off Your Home Water Supply for instructions on locating the valve.

Protect Your Commercial Buildings from Water Damage, Due to Plumbing Leaks, Water damage in Cherry Hill NJ, Water Damage in Moorestown NJ,

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Protect Your Commercial Buildings from Water Damage, Due to Plumbing Leaks, Water damage in Cherry Hill NJ, Water Damage in Moorestown NJ, Protect Your Commercial Buildings from Water Damage, Due to Plumbing Leaks, Water damage in Cherry Hill NJ, Water Damage in Moorestown NJ,

When plumbing leaks occur in a multi-story building such as office buildings or hotels, turning off the water supply at the main valve is vital to avoid additional damage. Identify where the broken pipe is located to determine if a water valve is near the source rather than on a lower floor or utility closet. Turning off water valves as quickly as possible prevents primary damage to surfaces in addition to secondary damage from mold and mildew. Business owners can prevent slow leaks in buildings by tracking water bills each month and maintaining safety protocols in boiler and water heater rooms.

Avoid Business Interruption to Prevent Financial Losses

Preventing extensive property damage also helps to avoid business interruption loss along with the possibility of creating liability claims from nearby property owners, tenants or guests. Maintenance personnel in businesses are responsible for turning off the main water valve during normal hours of operation before beginning Mitigation services. However, when leaks happen at unusual times such as during the night or on weekends, tenants, employees and managers do not know what to do.

Important Emergency Water Damage Guidelines

Having Emergency Water Damage guidelines in place at businesses can help to reduce losses. Begin by taking the following steps to assess a property to have procedures in place when water leaks occur.

Step One: Inspect Properties

At least once a month, assess various areas of a building to look for signs of moisture from leaking pipes and fixtures. Check water distribution systems, including bathroom fixtures, kitchen plumbing and drinking fountains, especially devices that are old and degraded. Keep a record of plumbing fixtures that are prone to having frequent failures such as galvanized or steel pipes and connectors. Inspect decorative water fountains, swimming pools and hot tubs at the same time. Understand the particular areas of a property that do not have drainage systems such as parking garages. In a water leak emergency, lower levels of a building without drains require portable or fixed sump pumps.

Step Two: Mitigation Plans

Create and implement a loss mitigation plan for employees to follow when finding a leak in a multi-story building. A basic emergency plan should contain written guidelines that include conducting initial and annual training for staff and tenants concerning procedures to follow after finding a water leak. The plan should also include a map or diagram showing the location of water shutoff valves and exactly how to close the devices. If a building has a sprinkler system for fires, then it is often necessary to turn off these devices to avoid damage from water or chemicals. For confidential or sensitive areas of a building, make a list of the designated employees who can enter the space.

Step Three: Emergency Contact List

Maintain an up-to-date 24-hour emergency contact list with names and telephone numbers for:

• The business maintenance staff

• Plumbers

• Electricians

• Tenants

• Local water company after-hours number

• Water mitigation service vendors such as SERVPRO of Cherry Hill NJ

• Building agent or broker

Step Four: Additional Plans

When a major water disaster happens in a multi-story business, owners need to know where all records are kept along with essential services and key operating systems. Business owners should always have duplicate records in a safe place off-site in addition to having online records. Understand the procedures for relocation or movement of goods, records or tenants to a safe area. A written plan for evacuation of employees, guests and tenants along with equipment shutdown and closing a facility is essential to save property and people from danger.

Biohazard cleaning in Cherry Hill NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Moorestown NJ,

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard Biohazard cleaning in Cherry Hill NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Moorestown NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Cherry Hill NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Moorestown NJ,

Biohazard and Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicides, homicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Television productions like CSI: Crime Scene Investigationhave added to the popularity of the term "crime scene cleanup". Australia, Canada and England have added it to their professional cleaning terminology. As a profession, it is growing in popularity because of media exposure and the growth of training programs worldwide.The generic terms for "crime scene cleanup" include trauma cleaning, crime and trauma scene decontamination ("CTS Decon"), biohazard remediation, biohazardremoval, blood cleanup and crime scene cleanup. The state of California refers to individuals who practice this profession as "Valid Trauma Scene Waste Management Practitioners".

Types of cleanups

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault, homicide or suicide. There are many different sub-segments, named primarily after additional collateral, contingency, or preconditions, regarding the presence of non-blood borne organics, toxic irritants

(e.g.,tear gas) or disease vectors.

However, it is the legality of charging a fee for mitigating potentially harmful biohazard situations that differentiates a registered crime or trauma practitioner from any general restoration, carpet cleaning, janitorial or housekeeping service.

Business

Crime scene cleanup began primarily as a local or regional small business activity but maturity and consolidation has created some larger entities in the industry; only a few nationwide companies exist, although some national carpet cleaning and restorationcompanies franchises have added crime scene cleanup and biohazard removal to their services. Due to the legal and ethical complications crime scene cleanup is often its own business entity or a separate division.

Regulatory requirements

While the field of crime scene cleanup is not specifically regulated as a class, most if not all of the activities performed by biohazard cleanup teams in the United States are regulated or fall under best practice guidelines from governing and advisory bodies such as OSHANIOSHDOT, and EPA.

Those who hire a crime scene cleanup company should make sure that they are properly trained in applicable federal and state regulations and can provide documentation of proper biohazardous waste disposal from licensed medical waste transportation and disposal companies. If in California or Florida the client should confirm that the company is registered with the state Department of Health. A few states such as California, New York and Florida are the only states that explicitly require registration or licensing for crime scene cleanup. Other states may require biohazardous waste transport permits from the DOT.

In the US, OSHA requires that exposure to blood-borne pathogens be limited as much as possible due to the assumption that the blood and biological material is infectious. Most actions taken to limit exposure fall under cross-contamination protocols, which provide that certain actions be taken to avoid further spreading the contamination throughout otherwise clean areas. CTS De-con companies should have in place, an exposure control plan before beginning work on any trauma scene. Under employee safety and cross-contamination protocols, the following OSHA regulations may pertain to bioremediation.

  • OSHA29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(ii)- Initial Assessment of Work: Must assess work site for potential hazards to employee safety. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200, et seq.- Hazard Communication Protocol: Required to establish what chemicals are used and that they are properly labeled.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(i);29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(iii); 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1); and 29, CFR 1926.1053 – Work Practice & Engineering Controls and Safety: Having done the initial assessment, must determine damage, potential hazards, equipment needs, egresses, work routes, possible complicating factors, ladder/scaffolding safety protocols, availability for hand-washing/sanitization wipes.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1) – Method of Compliance: Ensure employees are following all OSHA-mandated engineering and work practice controls through proper supervision, written documentation and photographs.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(2) – Exposure Determination: Determine employee safety concerns due to exposure to biological materials.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1) – Hazard Signs and Labels: Hazardous areas must be demarcated; use of biohazard tape and establishment of zones separates and identifies hazardous areas.

In the UK, biohazards are regulated in part by HSE. Canada has published Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines.

Methods

The crime scene cleaners' work begins when the coroner's office or other official, government body releases the "scene" to the owner or other responsible parties. Only when the investigation has completely terminated on the contaminated scene may the cleaning companies begin their task.

Standard operating procedures for the crime scene cleanup field often include military-like methods for the decontamination of internal and external environments. Universal precautions recognized worldwide are the cautionary rule-of-thumb for this field of professional cleaning.

Cleaning methods for removing and sanitizing biohazards vary from practitioner to practitioner. Some organizations are working to create a "Standard of Clean" such as ISSA's K12 Standard, Which includes use of quantifiable testing methods such as ATP testing.

Organizations

The first specialty trade organization for this field of cleaning was the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA). The largest association dedicated to the crime scene cleanup industry is the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association (NCSCA). Among other tasks, they organized cleanup procedures for Ebola decontamination in 2014.

Clean Trust (aka IICRC) is a certifying body for the cleaning trade in general. International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) is a global standards body and trade organization of professional janitorial and cleaning professionals.

In popular culture and the media

Crime scene cleanup as a profession has been featured sporadically in popular culture and the media. It first showed up in films when Quentin Tarantino produced Curdled, then after an eleven-year hiatus in the Samuel L. Jackson film Cleaner, and more recently when Amy Adams and Emily Blunt teamed up for Sunshine Cleaning. On television it has been featured in a smattering of documentaries aired on the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel, as well as reality series such as Grim Sweepers.

In video games and visual media, crime scene cleanup takes center focus as the main objective in the game, Viscera Cleanup Detail. Viscera Cleanup Detail is a PC game distributed through Steam that enables players to clean up blood and body remains after a Sci-Fi battle has occurred on a space station. Another example of crime scene cleanup in video games is Safeguard. Safeguard takes a more realistic and educational approach, enabling users to learn about the hazards of crime scene cleanup, as well as the equipment and tools used. Safeguard also uses virtual reality to immerse users in the crime scene environment.

ANSI/IICRC S540 Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

IICRC announces the publication of a new ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup (1st edition, 2017). 

ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard defines criteria and methodology used by the technician for inspecting and investigating blood and other potentially infectious material (OPIM) contamination and for establishing work plans and procedures. The Standard describes the procedures to be followed and the precautions to be taken when performing trauma and crime scene cleanup regardless of surface, item, or location. This standard assumes that all scenes have been released by law enforcement or regulatory agencies.