Recent Posts

Preventing Commercial Pipes From Freezing

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

With colder temperatures approaching, these lower temps can cause your commercial business some challenges. Frozen pipes in your business can be a big mess. When pipes freeze, they expand and may burst, leading to major water repairs.

Some helpful tips to prevent frozen pipes:

Water conservationists’ frown on allowing faucets to drip, but letting even a small amount of water to flow through pipes at all times can do a lot to prevent pipes from freezing. A steady drip is all that is needed to keep the pipes free from ice accumulation.

Many pipes do not have proper insulation to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Pipe sleeves and heating tape can be applied to insulate the pipes. It is also a good precautionary measure to caulk around gaps where cold drafts can affect pipe temperatures.

Shut off any outside water sources that you don't need, especially if you are expecting particularly low temperatures. When a building is left unattended, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open cabinet doors under sinks and in storage areas to allow heat from the room to circulate around not insulated pipes.

Dealing with frozen pipes

Hairdryer – This is one of the safest and most effective ways to thaw a pipe. Open the faucet and then heat the pipe by working back toward the area where the blockage has occurred.

Space heater – A small heater can work much faster than a hairdryer. Simply direct the heater toward the frozen area of the pipe.

Make sure you and your employees know where the shut off valve is located. If you are dealing with frozen pipes or water damage from frozen pipes in your commercial building call SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah as soon as possible... 918-913-4490

Automatic Fire Sprinkler Discharge and How to Handle It

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Silver Fire Sprinkler Fire Sprinkler System

Automatic fire sprinkler systems are widely considered the single most effective tool for protecting your structure, property, and lives from a fire.  Having an automatic fire sprinkler system in place is basically the same as having firefighter protection 24/7.  Fire sprinkler heads respond individually to a number of things including: Heat from a fire, Corrosion, Mechanical Damage, and Sabotage/Vandalism.  If you do have a fire in your building you are going to be very grateful for the fire sprinkler system, if it is an accidental discharge it will become somewhat of a burden. To Make things easier in the case of an accidental discharge follow these tips below.

  1. Shut Off Water Immediately

Shut off the water supply to the fire sprinkler system as soon as you can.  The faster you can turn the water off the less potential for major water damage you have.  Be aware that it will take a couple moments to stop, the water has to clear the lines first.

  1. Mitigate Future Damage

You will want to clear as much as possible from the affected area so mitigate further damage.  Move furniture, valuables, and equipment to a safe dry area to limit exposure and further damage.

  1. Call Your Insurance Company

You will want to call your insurance agent as soon as you can to find out what steps to take next and the claims process.  Also, so they can send someone to assess the situation and damage.  Their assessment will determine who is responsible for the damage.

  1. Call SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah

Call a restoration company that specializes in water damage like SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah to help mitigate and restore the area.  SERVPRO Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah is a much better choice than DIY because we are trained in disaster cleanup and ready to help when you need us.  918-913-4490

Workplace First Aid Everyone Should Know

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Workplace First Aid Basics Everyone Should Know

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are very common in both children and adults and can be caused by trauma to the nose or simple irritation of the mucus membranes. Do not make a nosebleed victim raise their head or lie down, as this can actually make the bleeding worse. Instead, pinch the nostrils closed for as many as ten minutes, allowing the broken vein in the nose to close.

Cardiac Compressions

Nowadays, the American Heart Association doesn’t mandate that everyone learn rescue breathing—all you have to do is put your hands over the victim’s heart and push, to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. It’s a simple technique that could mean the difference between life and death, and the American Heart Association’s statistics demonstrate this in stark terms. Consider these fact

  • Approximately 88% of all cardiac arrests do not happen in a hospital or healthcare facility, and nowhere near a healthcare professional.
  • A large percentage of cardiac arrest victims appear perfectly healthy just before their attack.
  • It takes approximately 8-12 minutes on average for an ambulance to arrive on the scene of an emergency.
  • Bystander CPR could increase the victim’s chance of survival by as much as 300. 

The Heimlich Maneuver

Not to be confused with CPR, the Heimlich maneuver is supposed to help someone who is choking on a foreign object. First, ask the victim if they are choking; in an emergency situation, the person will usually not be able to talk.

How to Treat Shock

Shock occurs when too little blood circulates to the brain. This means that the brain is not receiving enough oxygen, which leads to a feeling of faintness, disorientation and dizziness. Shock may occur:

  • after an accident involving loss of blood
  • after a serious infection, with loss of fluids
  • after a serious burn
  • after other accidents that cause loss of fluids or blood
  • as part of an allergic reaction

Stop Heavy Bleeding

If someone is bleeding heavily, they will not be able to form a clot—and they could bleed out. You can stop the bleeding by putting pressure on the wound—ideally with a sterile cloth, although you can also use ripped pieces of T-shirt or anything else you have on hand. Raising the wounded limb over the heart will also help to slow down heavy bleeding.

12 Things to do During a Power Outage

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Surprisingly, power outages are even getting worse in the USA.  According to Inside Energy, the annual average of power outages doubles every five years! The reason for this has to do with aging infrastructure, more frequent storms, and problems sustaining the electric grid as populations grow.

Despite how common power outages are, few people are prepared for them and even fewer people know what to do if the power goes out.

Steps to Take Immediately After the Power Goes Out

Step 1: Turn On Your Emergency Lights

Make sure your emergency lights are somewhere accessible in case you have to find them in the dark.  Ideally, keep a flashlight in each room of your home.

In general, it is better to use battery-operated lights instead of candles because of the fire risk.

Step 2: See If Your Neighbors Have Power

If your neighbors still have electricity, then the problem is likely inside your home.  Start by checking the main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown.

Step 3: Check the Extent of the Problem

If your neighbors also don’t have electricity, you’ll want to see how wide-spread the problem is.  You can do this by calling your power supplier.  It might take a while to get through to them if a lot of people are trying to call.

You can also try calling friends who live nearby to see if they have power or not.

Step 4: Contact Family Members

During large power outages, stoplights and streetlights can go out too – making it unsafe to drive.

If your family members aren’t at home, get in contact with them.  It might be best for them to remain at their current location until it is safer for them to come home.

Note that your family should have a contact plan in place.

Step 5: Unplug Appliances

When the power comes back on, it can cause a huge power spike which may damage electronics.

Hopefully all of your sensitive electronics are on surge protectors.

Even if they are, it is still smart to unplug all of your sensitive (expensive) electronics from the wall so they don’t get damaged when the power comes back on.

Step 6: See if Water is Safe to Drink

When the power goes out, water treatment centers might not work.  You could still have clean-looking water coming from the tap, but it might not be safe to drink!

Call your local authorities to see if the water is safe to drink.  Or, you can listen to your emergency radio to see if there is a “boil alert” in place.

**If you are unsure whether the water is safe to drink, always play it safe!  Treat water before drinking it or use bottled water.

Step 7: Keep Fridge and Freezer Closed

According to Ready.gov, food kept in an unopened refrigerator will stay cold for about 4 hours.

A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours. You can learn more about this on their food safety page.

Step 8:  Save Your Phone’s Battery

Turn off any power-consuming apps on your phone to save its battery.  Do this even if you have a solar charger because you might not always be able to charge it.

Step 9: Stay Cool (Summer Power Outages)

If the power outage occurs during a heat wave and you have health conditions, then you might need to evacuate your home to a cooler location, such as a shopping mall or church.

Step 10: Stay Warm (Winter Power Outages)

If the power outage occurs during winter, now is the time to start using your emergency heating method.  A wood stove is my personal favorite off-grid heating method.

Be cautious about using generators, camp stoves, or grills for heating as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can get some passive solar heating during the daytime by keeping all curtains closed except those on south-facing windows.  Close all drapes at night to trap some heat, and line windows and doorways with towels to prevent heat from escaping.

Step 11: Prevent Pipes from Freezing (Winter Power Outages)

Hopefully your pipes are well insulated so they don’t freeze.  The easiest way to prevent pipes from freezing during power outages is to let a small stream of water flow through the faucets.

For long-term power outages during extreme weather, you’ll want to drain your hot water heater.  You will also need to winterize the drainage system by putting antifreeze into the drain traps below toilets, sinks, washing machines, etc.

12.  Stay Sane!

Play games, make shadow puppets, hang out with the neighbors in the dark…  You might even enjoy the power outage and the digital detox it gives you!

https://www.primalsurvivor.net/steps-after-power-outage/

Stop, Drop & Clean the Lent Out From Inside Your Dryer Vent!

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

We all know to clean out the lint screen of our dryers, right? Did you know if you aren’t cleaning the lint out of the INSIDE and VENT of your dryer you are putting your family in danger of a house fire?  Over time lint will build up and settle in the bottom of your dryer and in your dryer vent.  If you don’t clean this out the heat from the dryer can ignite a fire inside your dryer.  You know what the boy scouts say, “lint is the great to start a fire”. 

Here is an experience from someone who recently had a fire in her dryer and was lucky enough it didn’t start her house on fire.

Counting our blessings today… Last night we smelled something "burning" right as we were going to bed. We thought it was our renters burning food or something in their oven.  We had windows open and fans going but didn't really think much of it. Well this afternoon I went to get clothes out of the dryer, they smelled horrible!!! Like a cross between camp fire smoke and cigarette smoke. So, I threw them back in the washer and told my husband. When he got home, we pulled the bottom portion of the dryer off just to check things out. To our amazement (we haven't had this dryer THAT long - but bought it from someone else) there was burnt/singed lint everywhere. There had been a lint fire inside the bottom of our dryer last night. Our house seriously could have caught on fire. I'm so glad it didn't. Hence - we are counting our blessings today and I am spreading the word to all that you should go clean out under your lint catcher thing so your house doesn't start on fire!

Here are a few tips from The Family Handy Man on how to clean the lint out of your dryer. 

https://www.familyhandyman.com/appliance-repair/washer-and-dryer-repair/dryer-lint-cleaning-tips/view-all 

If you so experience and fire caused by your dyer or any other appliances in your home call SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah today!  SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah will come and mitigate the damage, clean up & restore the affected area, and make it “Like it never even happened."  

918-913-4490

How to Make a Fire Safety Escape Plan for Your Family

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

In 2016 there were an estimated 364,300 reported residential fire and 2,000 fire related fatalities. In the event of fire, TIME is the BIGGEST ENEMY and EVERY SECOND COUNTS! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire.  The most important thing you can do to prepare is have a Safety Escape Plan.

At Home Fire Safety Plan Tips

First and foremost, make sure you have one working smoke alarm on every level of the home, as well as inside and outside each sleeping area.

Have two ways out of each room, and the proper equipment to get out any upper story windows. Walk through each room in your home with your family and point out possible exits. Also, provide alternatives for anyone with a disability.

Once you have established the exits, practice and show children how to get out of the house and check the door for heat before opening it.

Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke. Practice dropping to your stomach and shimmying out under the smoke with your children.

Make a plan to help pets evacuate safely as well if possible.

Once you are out of the house, STAY OUT. DO NOT go back in the house. There could be unseen damage and danger. Call 911 immediately.

Know where to meet after the escape. Your meeting place should be near the front of your home so firefighters know you are out.

Practice, Practice, Practice your escape plan. It is recommended you practice at least twice a year.  If you have young children it may require more than twice.  Practicing can save the lives of you and your family.

If you do have a fire in your home call SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah today... 918-913-4490!

Have You Considered Upgrading Your Commercial HVAC System?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

If you are a business owner you know how important it is to have a fully functioning HVAC system.  If you don’t your employees and customers will let you know.  It will be hot or cold and you really are trying to keep it going and keep people comfortable.  Maybe your HVAC system is older and not functioning properly?  You may be thinking to yourself that is too expensive… but in the long run it may be worth it.  

Here are five reasons to consider upgrading your HVAC System from

Increase The Energy Efficiency

Lower operating costs should be one of your biggest goals. Even if it isn’t as much of a priority now, there’s still time to resolve to change now that the New Year has begun. One fantastic way to increase energy efficiency is to upgrade your current commercial HVAC system. Did you know that a newer system can allow for smaller energy consumption – by about 30%, in fact.

Maintain Your Good Reputation

Many businesses depend on a stellar reputation to ensure that they thrive. Reputation is important for your public image, especially in the customer-service sector. Aside from downtime that could rob you of future profits, an uncomfortable building environment due to aging HVAC system can also harm customer and client perception of how you run your organization. 

Make and Keep Employees Comfortable

When the interior of your building is kept at reasonable temperatures, your employees will be comfortable. When employees are comfortable, they will be happier and more motivated. When they aren’t distracted by the office being too hot or too cold, they can focus on getting more work done, improving their overall productivity. Don’t overlook the importance of indoor air quality, either. How often are your employees missing time from work due to being sick? A little-known condition called sick building syndrome exists, and if this syndrome goes unaddressed, it could affect how your business is perceived throughout your industry and cause highly-qualified candidates to find employment elsewhere when you are actively recruiting.

Reduce Repair Costs

Newer commercial HVAC systems will have better warranties attached to them. Whether you choose to overhaul your existing system with brand new components or only add the latest technological advancements to the framework that is already in place, these warranties can help you avoid paying significant repair costs when such repairs are needed.

Begin Switching Refrigerant Now

The refrigerant that is most commonly used in many older models of commercial HVAC systems is being eliminated. R-22 refrigerant will be fully prohibited in January of 2020.

What is Air Duct Cleaning and Why Should We Have it Done?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.

If not properly installed, maintained and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the air of your commercial business. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them.

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your business.

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Other contaminants

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on air duct cleaning, call us at SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah today, 918-913-4490

Prepare Your Home for Winter Storms Before It's Too Late

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

It's that time of the year again, time to prepare ourselves and homes for the brutal cold of winter storms. It is not something anyone looks forward to but it is best to be prepared.  

Follow these tips recommended by  www.ready.gov/winter-weather to prepare yourself and your home for winter.

Before Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Make a family communication plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
  • Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.

Prepare You Home

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
    • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
    • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
    • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
    • Plan to bring pets inside.
    • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.

Follow these recommended tips and you will be prepared for those cold winters days.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter and Snow Storms

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

We have all been there, its's cold and snowing and you are having car problems.  Follow these tips to help prepare yourself and your car for a winter storm.

  1. Start to prepare your car before Thanksgiving.  It's easy to do it before it gets cold and snowy. Better too soon than too late.
  2. Check the tire pressure at least once a month through the winter.  As it gets colder outside the air molecules get smaller and tire pressure goes down. Low tire pressure will make your car under preform. You can find the suggested PSI (pounds per square inch) on your tires or on inside the drivers side door jam.
  3. Have your battery tested.  Nothing is worse than a dead battery when your freezing, not home or late for work.  Also make sure you have jumper cables in case you or someone you come across need them.
  4. Check your windshield for cracks and make sure you have good windshield wipers.  The cold can make your windshield crack and obstruct your vision.  Bad wipers can cause all sorts of problems and are an easy fix.
  5. Inspect your headlights and brake lights.  If its storming or dark your car can become very hard to see and cause an accident.
  6. Make sure you have warm clothes, proper winter shoes, and a blanket in your car in case you get stuck in traffic or your car breaks down.  This could save your life
  7. Lastly ALWAYS make sure you have a couple water bottles in your car somewhere.  No matter the time of year this could save your life or someone else's.

Follow these tips and you will be prepared for those winter storms that are bound to hit.