A tornado may have toppled this NJ tree.
I don’t remember hearing tornado warnings when I was younger. Tornadoes were a phenomenon found in far-off places like Kansas. However, over the past couple of years, tornado warnings have become common and some devastating tornadoes have hit NJ in the past year. Is this the result of global warming? Like everything these days that seems to be a political question, but the fact remains that it is a new threat that NJ residents and business owners now need to consider.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY AND REMEMBER THESE TIPS:
- Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar. If there is no basement, get to a small, interior room on the lowest level.
- Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
- If you can safely get to a sturdy building, do so immediately.
- Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
- Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
After the storm has passed:
- If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
- Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
- Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
- Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.
Of course, the SERVPRO Ready Plan APP will also prove invaluable if a disaster does occur. Download it from the App Store today.
How to use a Fire Extinguisher
A close-up photo of a fire extinguisher handle.
In a prior blog, we discussed the acronym R.A.C.E. which represents the steps to take in care of a fire. Those steps are Rescue, Alarm, Contain, and Extinguish. Another acronym used in training for a fire response is P.A.S.S. which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. These are the steps for using a fire extinguisher.
First, you want to make sure you have the correct fire extinguisher. In most settings, an ABC class extinguisher is most common. An ABC extinguisher puts out most fires including:
Class A fires – common materials including wood which typically produce Ashes.
Class B fires – flammable liquids that are typically stored in a Barrel, such as gasoline.
Class C fires – electrical fires that have an electrical Current
Fires that require a more specialized type of extinguisher include class D fires which are flammable metal or class K fires which are high temperature cooking oil fires.
The steps for using a fire extinguisher are:
P: Pull the pin that prevents the extinguisher from discharging accidentally.
A: Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
S: Squeeze the handle/trigger to discharge the extinguishing agent
S: Sweep the nozzle back and forth to cover the burning material
Dry ice blasting in NJ.
Why SERVPRO of Jersey City North/ The Heights?
SERVPRO of Jersey City North/The Heights is the newest SERVPRO franchise of owner John Majeski. John currently owns 3 SERVPRO franchises across NJ serving clients from New York to South Jersey. The expanding team allows us to have both redundancy and specialized resources.
Redundancy is important because disasters often happen all at once, such as a cold spell or severe storm. Our ability to move resources and personnel around the state allows us to respond quickly even when there is a large demand for services.
Specialization is also important because many pieces of equipment are extremely expensive. A single franchise would have a hard time justifying a major purchase, such as a dry ice blaster. The ability to share resources amongst the Team Majeski franchises allows us greater capability.
Finally, being part of the national SERVPRO brand allows us to call on the resources of our corporate disaster response teams in the case of a major disaster. Our teams also respond to these calls as we did last year when we sent multiple teams to Texas.
Large or small, when a disaster strikes, count on the SERVPRO franchises of Team Majeski to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Mold Prevention
SERVPRO vans outside a commercial facility in NJ on a Saturday morning.
Mold growth is NOT a new subject. In fact, many commercial structures end up closing their doors to business for months due to mold contamination. That is why in any large facility the importance of maintaining that facility to deter water leaks, moisture problems, and poor air quality should be the main focus.
Most mold growth is discovered after we get called to remediate a water issue, and we discover it growing behind removed material such as sheet rock, sink vanities, cabinetry, etc. In many instances, the mold growth has gone undetected for months, if not years.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the key to mold control is moisture control. Solve moisture problems before they become mold problems.
Mold Prevention Tips
- Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots.
- Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed.
- Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
- Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Don't let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
Potential health concerns are also an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.
Obviously staying on top of moisture issues is the key to keeping mold under control.
Should your commercial building need mold remediation, remember that SERVPRO has specially trained technicians that can handle the job. No job is too large or small, and we are available 24/7.
What to do in case of a fire
Jersey City, NJ firefighters and equipment in action.
What should you do if you encounter a fire in your home or business? The common acronym R.A.C.E. provides some helpful guidelines. This stands for Rescue, Alarm, Contain, and Extinguish. These are the priority actions that should be taken. Unfortunately, they are often not followed in a panic as people typically try to fight the fire themselves, which costs precious time.
Rescue – The priority is life safety. Smoke and other deadly products of combustion can incapacitate an individual with just a few breaths. The top priority is rescuing anyone who is in personal danger.
Alarm – Sound the alarm by hitting the fire button on your alarm system or calling 911. A fire doubles in size every 45 seconds so alerting the fire department to begin their response is your second priority.
Contain – Stopping the spread of the fire is even more important than trying to extinguish the fire. Closing doors is a simple and effective way of stabilizing the scene and limiting fire spread. Moving a car away from a burning shed or using a garden hose to spray the vinyl siding next to a grill fire can likewise stop the fire from spreading and causing significantly more damage. All of these actions should only be attempted if they can be done safely.
Extinguish – Only after the first three actions have been completed should you attempt to extinguish the fire. Again, only if it can be done safely. Keep in mind that different types of fires (electrical, grease, gas-fed) may require special techniques to extinguish. At a minimum, every home and business should have an ABC class fire extinguisher handy as this is the most versatile type of extinguisher.
Of course, once the fire is extinguished, call SERVPRO because a quick response and immediate action can reduce the extent of smoke, water, and other damage.
Retail Floor Remediation
This recent job was caused by a sewage backup.
If your retail store suffers a water leak or flood, you must call SERVPRO as soon as possible. The faster we arrive, the more quickly we can take action to get your shop back to preloss condition so you can resume operating.
One of the essential steps in fixing water damage in your NJ business is removing water from the carpets. Some of the issues with wet carpets include:
- Causing delamination and requiring replacing.
- Preventing you from re-opening your store.
- Providing a potential breeding ground for mold
Our teams have a range of tools to help with water extraction. We have truck-mounted and freestanding pumps to deal with large puddles of water, even if your business has multiple stories. We have small, light carpet wands for vacuuming water from the carpets’ surface and getting into remote areas. We also have extraction tools that rely on the weight of our technician standing on them to press the water out of the carpet.
It is often possible to save carpets from water damage with thorough drying.
Certified SERVPRO Cleaned
A team of SERVPRO technicians cleans an NJ school after a COVID-19 outbreak.
Let us help you get back to business
As our communities reopen, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral, pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Extensive training and specialized products
As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.
From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.
3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry-leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded in our uniqueness. 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
Every New Jersey business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high-frequency touchpoints, foot traffic, and congestion points.
Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for the cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
Once your New Jersey business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.
Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Consultation
We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.
Preventing Workplace Fires
Firefighters battle a heavy fire in a commercial building.
Fire Safety in the workplace is important all year round and our team here at SERVPRO of Jersey City North/The Heights would like to review workplace fire prevention & safety.
Here is a top-10 of tips to ensure a fire-safe workplace:
Step 1. Get Organized– Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.
Step 2. Designated Smoking Areas – Smoke only in designated areas and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.
Step 3. Fire Extinguishers – Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learning how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
Step 4. Electrical Hazards – Report all electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.
Step 5. Access to Control Panels – Electrical control panels need to have free access maintained so that the electricity could be shut off easily.
Step 6. Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors – Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment, or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials. Test sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.
Step 7. Chemical Safety – Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.
Step 8. Waste Control & Storage – Control the accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do not contribute to a fire emergency.
Step 9. Exits – Emergency exit diagrams should be posted and emergency exits should be well lit with neon-regulation signs.
Step 10. Contact Info – Employees should have a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that people will often panic in an intense situation; therefore basics such as the company address, phone number, and floor plan should be posted. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan app is a great tool for collecting, storing, and sharing this information.
For additional information or a free consultation, please call us today.
Tools for extracting storm water
Boards severely damaged by water.
How Multiple Extractors Can Help Flooded NJ Properties
Effective water removal after a flood requires multiple extraction devices. These disasters can occur in both natural rising water levels and through the structural breaches that can plague homes and businesses after severe weather events. Considering the harsh Nor’easters we get in NJ, restoration teams should stay prepared to respond quickly with the equipment to help.
The need for flood removal in NJ residences is an immediate concern that follows these disasters and does not readily subside on its own. Many factors come into play when standing water exists. Choosing extraction equipment relates to the depth of the standing water, the materials exposed, the location of this damage, and the availability of power for the chosen equipment. Each of these factors can point our SERVPRO technicians to the appropriate extraction tools for the job.
In many cases, successfully removing all standing water from your property involves the use of more than one extracting tool or pump. Even in situations where we use powerful machines like the truck-mount or self-priming pumps to remove standing water, the intake hoses for these machines are not rated to work well when the depth of pooling water drops under two inches. Once this occurs and there is a noteworthy decrease in constant water draw, other units must pick up the remaining water.
Smaller and more portable units such as our wet-vacs with extraction wands can help to remove water once the overall depth drops below this critical two-inch margin. Eliminating as much of the standing water as feasible helps later drying with air movers and dehumidifiers to become more effective and efficient, so we remove as much pooling water and excessive moisture as possible with our light wands.
Flooding can be a devastating situation for many area homes after a severe weather event, but our SERVPRO of Jersey City North/The Heights team can help. We have multiple extraction units to help rapidly dry your property and make it “Like it Never Even Happened.”
Preparing your business for a disaster
SERVPRO of Jersey City North/The Heights assisting a commercial customer on a Saturday.
Disasters like water damage, fire damage or flood, no matter how big or small, can never be predicted. But you CAN prepare for them!
The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it NOW. Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, no matter how big or small.
According to the latest industry research, 50% of all businesses never recover after a disaster. Of the businesses that do open, approximately 75% of those businesses had a plan in place.
One of our most effective tools in helping customers in the event of an emergency is the ERP or Emergency Ready Profile. This profile provides all the critical information needed in emergency situations and minimizes business interruption.
The main reason to have an ERP done for your facility or home is:
- It provides a concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- It is a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- It is an identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
This invaluable service is offered at no cost to our customers and leaves them with peace of mind that their home, office, or school will be ready for whatever happens.
This service can also be done for residential properties, so homeowners can rest assured they have the information at hand when a disaster strikes.
Be prepared! Call SERVPRO to schedule your Emergency Ready Profile and rest easy knowing that we will be faster to your disaster!