When Should You Change Smoke Alarm Batteries?
Test your smoke alarm on a monthly basis regardless of the power source
Some smoke alarms contain batteries that should be changed every year. Others have long-life 10-year batteries or are hardwired to the electricity in your home. The following methods can help you determine the frequency with which you need to replace smoke alarm batteries.
Check the Power Source
There are three common fire alarm power sources:
- Replaceable nine-volt batteries
- Non-replaceable 10-year lithium long-life batteries
- Hardwired alarms with back-up batteries
Check the configuration of an alarm to identify the battery type. It is important to know which power source all of the alarms in your home use. Maintain fire alarms in every bedroom and outside of each sleeping area in addition to one alarm on each floor of your home, including the basement.
Regularly Test the Alarms
Test each smoke alarm on a monthly basis regardless of the power source. Most alarm units have a test button that you can press to ensure that the alarm is drawing power. If the test function does not work, try replacing the battery or alarm or scheduling repairs for a hardwired system. Do not wait to repair a malfunctioning smoke detector, as this device can save lives in the event of a fire.
Replace the Batteries
You should replace
- Nine-volt batteries every year, and smoke detectors every 10 years
- 10-year long-life lithium detectors every 10 years
- Back-up batteries in hardwired alarms once a year
Maintaining a smoke alarm can help to insure the safety of the residents of your home in the event of a fire. Do not wait for a smoke detector to alert you that it has low power or needs to be replaced. Know the battery type and regularly test alarms to ensure that these devices are in working order. If a fire damages building materials or contents in your home, contact fire damage mitigation and restoration experts located in Poulsbo,WA.
Preparing Your Home for The Cold Weather Storms
Cold temperatures can create a negative impact on your home and property; it’s key that you take the necessary precautions for your home not only for cold weather, but for storm season as well in order to limit potential risks and damages. When doing routine maintenance, it’s always better to be prepared and go the extra step to insure that you are limiting risks of damage. It’s important to be thorough while inspecting your building.
- Basements and crawlspaces in your home can be areas where heat escapes. Be sure to seal and insulate around any HVAC ducts, basement windows, and any exposed pipes.
- Try installing foam-rubber gaskets behind electrical outlets & switch covers on exterior walls.
- If you don’t use your fireplace, plug the flue with an inflatable plug, or another item, that is safe and limits possible water to entry into your home.
- Make sure you replace any broken windows, re-putty any loose window panes, seal around windows and door trims, or use weather stripping for windows that are opened. This minor step can make a world of a difference in heat efficiency and preventing water intrusion.
- For attic spaces it’s best to weather strip & insulate the access door properly, seal around your chimney with metal flashing or a high temperature sealant, seal around plumbing vents, seal any holes between the heated space of your home and the attic, and don’t forget to insulate any exposed water pipes!
If water damage occurs in your home due to extreme weather or any other means, make sure to call the team with over 50 years of experience. SERVPRO of Kitsap County has the crew that is trained and experienced in dealing with not only average water damage but storm water damages to buildings as well. Give SERVPRO of Kitsap County a call today for your building damages in Poulsbo, WA.
2 Steps for Protecting Your Roof
Crack roof in a Silverdale,WA building
The roof on your commercial property may not get much attention, especially when the weather is great. However, when storm season hits Silverdale,WA, you may wish you'd pay a little more attention to the protective structure at the top of your buildings. Regular wind and rain throughout the year could lead to minor damages to the roof and if those issues aren't addressed, they could lead to much more expensive and harmful problems when a storm hits. How can you maintain a healthy roof and avoid roof damage when storms come?
1. Schedule Routine Roof Inspections
Did you know that you should have your business roof inspected twice a year, at least? Appropriate officials should thoroughly inspect the area. These experts could be your building engineer or a trained member of the maintenance team, or you may hire an expert from a commercial remediation company. The expert will probably look for cracks, broken areas, peeling edges, or damaged flashing. Any blockages in drain pipes or drainage systems will be flagged and trees that overhang the roof will prompt a recommendation for repairs. Remember that minor roof damage is easier to resolve than major damages.
2. Complete Repairs and Maintenance as Suggested
These expert inspections won't do you any good unless you put the advice to good use. Clean out the gutters along the eaves of your building and cut back the trees. Although they are a good source of cooling shade, they could also provide a way for moisture and pests to get into the tiny openings on your building. Some professionals may recommend that you take steps to waterproof the roof of your building. Storm, rain, sun, and wind damage could lead to major repairs, but a bit of preventative waterproofing could resolve many of those issues.
If it's been a while since you've seen your roof, it may be time to climb up. It's best to tackle inspections, repairs, and a complete roof rebuild before storms hit or damage becomes extensive.
Think Twice Before Using Commercial Drain Cleaners
Clogged drain in a Silverdale, WA home
Everyone knows how disgusting a clogged drain can be. If you have ever fished a ball of hair out of your shower or other drains, you probably never want to do it again. Even worse, if you have ever discovered a toilet backup or other flood, you are likely committed to keeping your drains flowing freely. You should, however, think twice before pouring a commercial drain cleaner into your pipes in Silverdale, WA.
What Causes Clogged Drains?
For most homeowners, clogged drains are a common nuisance. While most clogs are small and easy to remove, others wreak havoc on your entire plumbing system. To keep water flowing through your pipes, you must know what causes clogged drains. Here are some common culprits:
- Foreign objects, such as jewelry, wash cloths or loofa sponges
- Hair and human waste
- Soap scum or grease
- Tree roots
- Damaged pipes
Do Drain Cleaners Damage Pipes?
Commercial drain cleaners work by dissolving whatever is causing the clogged drain. As you may suspect, these products use toxic chemicals to get the job done. If you worry about commercial cleaners dissolving more than just clogs, you aren’t alone. For good reason, many homeowners are concerned about damage to pipes. Drain cleaners often harm old and corroded pipes. They may also destroy PVC pipe. A licensed plumber can likely tell you whether your home has a plumbing system that is susceptible to damage. If it does, you may want to use a natural or enzymatic cleaner instead. You can also schedule professional sewage cleaning.
How Do You Recover From Pipe Damage?
If commercial cleaners damage your pipes, you may need to have your home re-plumbed. If damaged pipes cause flooding, you likely need to work with a restoration specialist to ensure you properly address the situation. Either way, as a diligent homeowner, you should probably think twice before you use a commercial drain-cleaning product to take care of a clogged drain.
Weather Safety Locations for Kitsap County
Thanks to the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, there are multiple places to seek refuge in the Kitsap county area when severe weather alerts have been made when the County's Severe Weather Shelter Plan is activated. For information about opening status please call 2-1-1. After hours your call will be directed to the Crisis Clinic. When there are dangerous weather situations, we advise that those that are out in the elements for a duration of the day and night, [not at work or a social call] to go to one of these locations to have shelter from the weather. We hope that in these events, that everyone is able to get out of the elements to be safe, warm and dry. The severe weather shelter program will be operating Nov 1st – Mar 31st in Kitsap County. This shelter is available for single adults, parents with children, families, and teens.
Kingston: Village Green Community Center, 26159 Dulay Rd NE, Kingston, WA
Poulsbo: Gateway Fellowship, 18901 8th Ave NE, Poulsbo, WA
Silverdale: Silverdale United Methodist Church, 9982 Silverdale Way, Silverdale WA
Port Orchard: Port Orchard United Methodist Church, 725 Kitsap St, Port Orchard, WA
- All persons entering the shelter will be asked to sign in between 6pm-9pm. The shelter will close the following day at 7am. There will not be a background check performed.
- All belongings will be checked in. You may keep things needed for the night like a teddy bear, book, or medications.
- There will be no use of drugs or alcohol and smoking will only be allowed outside in designated areas before 9pm.
- Follow the basic rules of conduct, no fighting or disturbing others while you are in the shelter and will be asked to leave if you do not follow shelter rules.
- Currently no arrangements have been made for pets and they will not be allowed in the shelter. Service and support animals will be allowed in with documentation.
- No food will be served at the shelter.
These alerts are made and are broadcasted for severe weather situations such as if it is expected to be 32 degrees or lower for four or more hours; if one inch of snow is expected; or if one inch of rain is expected between noon and 6 a.m. the next day.
For more information you can visit https://crisisclinicofthepeninsulas.org/hsc/single-woman/kitsap-severe-weather-shelter/
Natural disasters are devastating and unexpected.
Natural disasters are inevitable. The following are suggestions of actions you can take should one occur. First be prepared, make an emergency kit with nonperishable food, bottled water, first aid kit, and a blanket. You can find a more comprehensive list at www.redcross.org Second have a plan or an ERP available at no cost at SERVPRO Kitsap County. An ERP is an emergency reediness profile. Third in the event of an earthquake get low and get under something sturdy until the earthquake stops and /or help arrives. In the event of a fire exit the building via fire plan route. If your clothes catch on fie get on the ground and roll back and forth to put out the flames. Do not go into the building until first responders give clearance.
Commercial Fires in Your Building
If you own a business or manage a building, fire protection should be a primary concern. The best defense against commercial fires is to understand how a fire can occur and having a prevention plan.
Everything has a cause, so let's take a look at what can cause a commercial fire? The following are a few causes of commercial fires.
- Cooking equipment can build up oils and grease on them, when exposed to a certain level of heat, a fire can be sparked and ignited.
- Keep equipment clean and in working order. Heating equipment such as heaters, boilers, and furnaces can cause a fire when overheated or malfunction.
- Keep articles of clothing away from heat sources.
- Last in our list electrical fires can occur if your electrical wiring isn’t up to code or if you have too many items plugged in to an outlet be aware of all of these can be commercial fire hazards.
If your business location suffered from a fire loss or damage in Silverdale, WA, don't think that your only option is to clean it up yourself. Call our team at SERVPRO of Kitsap County today to help get your damage back to normal "Like it never even happened."
Preparing for Flood Damage
Homeowners in Poulsbo, WA, are like many homeowners all over the country: cognizant that flooding in any season is a potential threat and that working to minimize its destruction makes good sense. Investing time and effort ahead of a deluge is well worth the favorable outcome that can result from a proactive stance.
Proactive Flood Tips
There are many steps that homeowners can take to minimize flood damage in the event that waters rise. Some are straightforward inspection and maintenance issues that can be accomplished relatively quickly and easily.
• Clear debris from gutters and downspouts. If water can move freely through them, it has a better chance of being carried away from basements and foundations.
• Check that outflows from the home are fully operational.
• Install a sump pump or purchase an on-demand submersible pump and drainage hose, and regularly test them.
• Carry adequate flood insurance, especially if the home occupies an area prone to floods. Acquire sand bags and a source for filling them.
• Ensure that storm drains are clear and notify municipal authorities of any blockages that occur.
• Consider elevating appliances such as washers, dryers, and dehumidifiers in basements or other low-lying areas.
• Store irreplaceable documents and valuables off site, such as in a safe-deposit box.
Plan a Calm Response
In the event that flooding occurs that surpasses efforts to prevent its incursion, it is important to also have a response plan. Monitor local weather alerts and evacuate promptly if directed to do so. Assemble your family and pets. If staying at home is an option, move belongings to higher ground and place electrical appliances at the top. Cut power to avoid the risk of electrocution. Gather needed medications, food, drinking water, phones and their chargers.
It is important to remember that remediation services are only a phone call or email away. Storm damage and flooding remediation can begin as soon as travel becomes safe again.
For more on Poulsbo click here.
Don’t Let Mold Call Your Washer Home
Cleaning your washer could prevent mold and mildew from growing
To thrive, mold needs someplace dark, damp, and at room temperature. It also needs a food source. In your home, a washing machine provides the darkness and dampness and the soap residue provides the food source. This is true for all washers, even in Silverdale, WA, but front-loaders are particularly susceptible.
Cleaning Your Washer to Remove or Prevent Mold
There are several steps you can take to remove or prevent mold and mildew. This should be repeated occasionally. Don’t wait for the mold smell to return or the residue to build back up. You can get special products to clean the washer, but the following home remedy should work just fine.
1. Clean the gasket with a solution of equal parts of water and white vinegar.
2. Make a solution of 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup water and put it in the machine’s detergent dispenser.
3. Add 2 cups of white vinegar into the drum and run a full cycle with hot water.
When this process is complete, any residue and odors that were present in the washer should be gone. Repeat if necessary.
Keep Mold Out of Your Laundry Area
When you are finished washing your dirty laundry, there are a few simple precautions that can keep mold away.
1. The presence of soap residue means that you’re are using too much or the wrong type. When it comes to soap, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
2. Leave the door open to let the inside of the washing machine dry. You can also wipe down the drum with a dry cloth.
3. If you have a dehumidifier, turn it on or at least make sure it is set to keep your laundry area humidity at an acceptable level.
Don’t Let a Mold Problem Get Away From You
Serious mold problems often get their start with moisture from the laundry area. If you discover that mold has spread beyond your washing machine, consider contacting local mold removal specialists to address the problem before it gets worse.
For more on Silverdale click here.
3 Ways To Deal With Commercial Rentals and Dated Piping
Check pipes frequently to prevent future flooding
An older commercial rental can require special considerations regarding maintenance. The pipes could consist of outdated materials such as polybutylene that are no longer used because of longevity concerns. Even worse, you may not receive your landlord’s permission to do any systematic overhaul to prevent future problems. Here are three ways you can maintain the property during your tenancy.
1. Maintain a Dialogue With Your Landlord
Depending on the lease agreement, some responsibilities may lie with the landlord. You should immediately inform your landlord of noticeable problems, such as leaky pipes, so the issue can be remedied or documented. By practicing diligence, you can stop the blame from being misattributed to gross negligence.
In addition, you should take photographs of the damage when it’s first noticed. You can then forward these on to the landlord to show the situation and potentially urge her to act.
2. Evaluate Risks and Watch Weak Areas
Even if you don’t own the building, you should still familiarize yourself with its structural risks and flaws. For example, your utilities could be connected with polybutylene pipes that deteriorate from the inside when exposed to tap water.
You should recommend replacing the system to the landlord if you notice multiple rusted, flimsy, old, weak or damaged pipes. By keeping on top of your rental’s wellbeing, you can prevent costly repairs and shutdowns.
3. Know Your Insurance and Responsibilities
In case your landlord is cleared of responsibility due to your lease or your own provable negligence, you should familiarize yourself with your renter’s insurance policy. By knowing your entire policy, you can utilize it effectively in dire situations. It is beneficial to evaluate and adjust your policy’s coverage to compensate for your lease’s exceptions.
Scheduled, regular maintenance of old pipes, regardless if they are polybutylene, ensures your Poulsbo, WA, business remains operational. In the event that water does seep in, a damage restoration service can remove the flood and restore damaged assets. With your best efforts to maintain the rental’s condition, however, you can mitigate the risks of water damage.
For more on Poulsbo click here.