Fires and Food Safety
Contaminated food after a fire.
Residential fires are, unfortunately, a common occurrence. Some 2 million American homes go up in flames yearly. In the aftermath of fire, people are left to salvage their lives and belongings.
Whether it's the whole house involved or just a fire in the kitchen, people try to save what they can — including food. But generally, saving food that's been in a fire is not a good idea.
Food exposed to fire can be compromised by three factors: the heat of the fire, smoke fumes, and chemicals used to fight fire.
Heat from the Fire
Food in cans or jars may appear to be okay, but if they've been close to the HEAT of a fire, they may no longer be safe.
Why? Heat from a fire can activate food spoilage bacteria. If the heat is extreme, the cans or jars themselves can split or rupture, rendering the food unsafe.
Fumes from a Fire
One of the most dangerous elements of a fire is sometimes not the fire itself, but TOXIC FUMES released from burning materials.
Those fumes can contaminate food. Any type of food stored in permeable packaging — cardboard, plastic wrap, etc. — should be thrown away. Toxic fumes can permeate the packaging and contaminate the food.
Discard any raw foods stored outside the refrigerator — such as potatoes or fruit — that could be contaminated by fumes.
Surprisingly, food stored in refrigerators or freezers can also become contaminated by fumes. The refrigerator seal isn't airtight, and fumes can get inside.
Discard food if exposed to smoke fumes from fire.
Chemicals in Fires
Chemicals used to fight fires contain toxic materials and can contaminate food and cookware. The chemicals cannot be washed off the food.
Foods that are exposed to chemicals should be thrown away. This includes food stored at room temperature, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as foods stored in permeable containers like cardboard and screw-topped jars and bottles.
Canned goods and cookware exposed to chemicals can be decontaminated. Wash in a strong detergent solution. Then dip in a bleach solution (1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water) for 15 minutes.
If you or anyone you know has been the unfortunate victim of a fire please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474. We have the training and expertise to inventory your discarded items, clean and prepare your home or building for the re-build process.
No Job is Too Big or Small for SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties
SERVPRO can handle any size disaster. Call 830-379-7474. We are here to help.
SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is a hometown company located in Seguin, Texas that is individually owned and operated. While we provide personalized, friendly and local support to our customers, some people may think we can only handle residential jobs or commercial jobs that are smaller. This is not the case.
SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties has over 250 pieces of drying equipment. We are a licensed Mold Remediation Company with the State of Texas as well as our owner hold a license as a Mold Assessment Consultant (MAC) in the State of Texas.
But what most people do not realize is that we are part of a much larger network of other SERVPRO franchises, and we also have access to the SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division.
The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of prequalified and strategically positioned teams throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.
Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation. At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and management of temporary labor.
Should you or your business be faced with any size water, fire or mold loss, please call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474. We are here to help!
Did you know SERVPRO has its own cleaning chemicals?
Our inventory of SERVPRO professional cleaning chemicals.
Did you know that SERVPRO formulates and manufactures its own proprietary line of cleaning products? SERVPRO Corporate has a team of several people, one being a chemist on staff, that make up the Professional Cleaning Products Team. Listed below are some of the chemical categories:
- Spotting Agents
- Carpet and Upholstery Products
- Wood & Leather Care Products
- Decontamination Products
- Deodorization Products
- Ceiling and Wall Cleaning Products
- Hard Floor Care Products
- Specialty Products
- Coatings & Sealant Products
- Environmentally Friendly Products
We feel this is just one aspect of our company that sets us apart from our competition. SERVPRO knows what works and is always looking to better our products and come up with new ideas. And did we mention they smell great too! Our products are for the exclusive use of SERVPRO franchises and are not for resale, but if we are working for you, we are using these wonderful products.
Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474. We are here to help!
Fire Safety Tips for Christmas Trees
SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Christmas Tree
Did you know that Christmas trees alone result in 13 million dollars, annually, in property damage? More importantly, these fires present a real risk towards family and friends. When showcasing a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.
Follow these safety precautions to keep threats at bay:
- Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don't break easily from branches.
- Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
- Make sure your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out damaged lights.
- Keep all your holiday candles away from Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and decor.
- Bedtime means lights off! Don't forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
If your home has been affected by smoke or fire damage give us a call at 830-379-7474. We are here to help!
Prevent Water Damage from Water Heaters
Electric and Gas Water Heater Diagram
Water heater failure is a common issue. But you can help prevent hot water heater problems, including a leaking water heater, with these 4 steps for water heater maintenance.
- Check your water heater’s age. If your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases. Consequently, your efforts to inspect and maintain the water heater should increase.
- What is an anode rod and why should you care? A “sacrificial” anode rod is installed in water heaters to avoid corrosion of the tank. To determine if your anode rod needs to be replaced, it should be inspected once every two years and at least annually once the warranty has expired.
- Clean out your water heater regularly. Regular water heater maintenance should include removing sediment by flushing the tank every six months. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Note: Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before you try to flush the tank since the heated water may be 130 to 140 degrees or more.
- Get an inspection annually. Don’t forget to have a plumbing professional inspect your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping annually. Signs of broken valves and loose or wet joints and rust are a signal that more severe damage is coming.
If you have had water damage give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474. We are here to help!
Space Heater Safety Tips
Space heaters are responsible for approximately 40 percent of home heating fires.
Winter is here in Texas and it’s getting cold. Space heaters are a practical and affordable solution to adding to your home heat supply during the cold weather months provided all the necessary safety precautions are observed. Space heaters are responsible for approximately 40 percent of home heating fires.
- Look for a space heater with a protective guard around the heating element to help prevent accidental harm to small children and pets.
- Don’t even consider purchasing a space heater unless it bears the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or similar symbol on the package. That’s your assurance that the product conforms to established safety standards.
- Choose a space heater that is right-sized for the room or area where you intend to use it. If the heater is too small for the job, it will work harder than it should have to. That, in turn, can lead to premature failure, overheating, and potentially even a fire.
- Only those who understand all aspects of your space heater functions should be allowed to operate it.
- While we don’t recommend purchasing a fuel-burning space heater, if that’s your model of choice, just be sure the area around it is properly vented to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Since most space heaters heat people and objects, and not space, never leave it on when going to bed or leaving the room for more than a minute or two.
If your home or business has been affected by smoke or fire damage please give us a call, we are here to help. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is trained in smoke and fire remediation. Call 830-379-7474.
SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is an IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is a IICRC Certified Firm.
SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is an IICRC Certified Firm (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) and employs IICRC Certified Technicians. Just as any professional performs at a higher level of competency in their fields, our IICRC Certified Technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination.
When you see an IICRC logo, you can be confident that an IICRC-certified experienced, qualified professional is caring for your valuable property. IICRC Certified Firms employ technicians who, after study, field experience and passing comprehensive exams, have received IICRC Certifications in specific cleaning, restoration and inspection categories such as upholstery, wood flooring, stone and tile flooring, carpet cleaning, odor removal, mold remediation, water damage, fire damage restoration and more.
Certified Firms are the only cleaning, restoration and inspection companies listed in the IICRC locator. They also promise to adhere to the IICRC Code of Ethics, be current in their business insurance and licensee requirements, and can proudly display the IICRC logo on their company website and vehicles.
Has your commercial property been affected by vandalism?
Commercial building in Seguin where vandals broken in and caused damage to walls.
Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.
Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call us today at (830) 379-7474
SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, they can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. Their highly trained technicians can offer the following services as well:
If your property has been vandalized please give us a call at 830-379-7474.
Air scrubbers and their use in mold remediation.
Air scrubber being utilized on a mold job.
In the mold remediation industry a very important step in ensuring that your home or business is free of mold is to use a “air scrubber” during the mold remediation. In some cases the air scrubber will be left on site for a few days after the work has been completed to ensure that all mold spores are removed from the air.
The term “air scrubber” is another term for High Efficiency Particulate “HEPA” filtration system. Think of a machine that scrubs the air. This removes particles, gasses, and/or chemicals from the air within a given area. These machines draw air in from the surrounding environment and pass it through a series of filters to remove contaminants.
Most mold spores range from 3-100 microns in size, but some can be as small as 1 micron that is why we use a HEPA filtration air scrubber.
Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474. We are a mold licensed contractor in the State of Texas.
Contaminated Water Damage - What to do until help arrives.
Business affected by rising flood waters.
When your home or building has been affected by contaminated water we have listed below some Do and Don’t tips until help arrives.
Examples of contaminated water is water that has been affected by toilet overflows, sewage back-ups, rising flood water from rivers, streams, lakes, sea water and storm water.
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
If your home or building has been affected by contaminated water, we can help! Please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.