Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
With public concerns mounting as cases of COVID-19 are identified in the United States, there have been questions regarding the virus itself and what preventative measures are available.
We went directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help understand the virus, prevention and what individuals who discover they are sick can do. Here are a few things from www.cdc.gov we found especially informative:
What is the source of the virus? COVID-19 is from a family of coronaviruses that cause illness in humans while others affect animals. Genetic analysis of COVID-19 says it originated in bats but they are unsure how it jumped into humans. (For more info about the source and spread of the virus go HERE.)
How can I help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19? Currently there is no vaccine to prevent contracting coronavirus disease 2019, but there are ways to prevent the spread of it such as:
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough, sneeze and throw all tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect areas and objects that are frequently touched with household cleaning spray or wipes
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (About the length of the song “Happy Birthday”)
- After going to the bathroom
- Before eating
- After blowing your nose
- After coughing
- After sneezing
- If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from COVID-19, only when a healthcare professional recommends it. Use of facemasks are crucial for people who have COVID-19 to protect others from becoming infected, for health workers and other people who come into close contact with individuals who are sick.
Though there are no disinfectants that are specific to COVID-19, the CDC recommends labeled hospital-grade disinfectants that are effective against similar viruses. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco regularly uses SERVPROXIDE™, a hospital-grade disinfectant, as it has EPA-approved claims for Feline coronavirus and Canine coronavirus.
For more information about COVID-19 and for current updates, follow the CDC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Winter Storms and Fire Safety
Follow these simple tips from U. S. Fire Administration to put a freeze in winter fires.
Central Texans may not be familiar with severe winter weather as much as our neighbors up North, but it is equally important to remain fire safe during the cold. According to the United States Fire Administration, home fires occur more in winter than any other season. They provide some #safetytips to help stay fire smart through this cold season:
- Working smoke alarms are especially important during a loss of power when people may use alternate forms of heating equipment, portable generators and candles.
- Never use candles for emergency lighting. Many things in your home can catch fire if they are too close to a candle's flame.
- Use flashlights for emergency lighting and stock up on batteries.
- Have a qualified repair company or licensed electrician inspect water-damaged appliances and home wiring after a flood.
- Portable generators are useful during storms, but if not used safely, they can cause injury and death.
- Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away as possible from your home.
- Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
Click THIS LINK for more fire safety tips.
#COthesilentkiller #flashlightsnotcandles #generatorsafety #safetytip #winterfiresafety #floodfiresafety
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In our line of work, SERVPRO® technicians come into contact with hazards that could cause injury and must use special personal protective equipment or PPE. Some examples of these hazards could be environments with dust, fumes, smoke or some that pose a biological or chemical threat if exposed. All technicians are trained in identifying when PPE is necessary on a jobsite, what and how to wear each item. It is also extremely important to understand the limitations of the personal protective equipment, useful life and proper disposal procedures.
On a CAT 3 site, you would see the following PPE on a SERVPRO® of Greater Waco technician:
- Goggles: to protect technician’s eyes from hazardous materials
- Respirator: to protect technician’s lungs from airborne contaminants
- Suit/gloves: one-time use, disposable protective wear used to protect the technician’s skin from coming into contact with hazardous materials
For more info on OSHA approved PPE visit: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/personalprotectiveequipment/
Commercial Facility Types: PART I
Just as SERVPRO® of Greater Waco provides water and fire remediation for residential structures, we also provide the same for commercial properties as well. Our industry categorizes large facilities into four types: industrial, institutional, complex residential and commercial.
Per the IICRC S500, an industrial building is primarily used for manufacturing or distribution. General industrial typically includes facilities that process food, in manufacturing, high tech, metal processing and pulp and paper firms. Some examples of these are breweries, food packaging, electronics, automotive, factories and refineries. Other types of buildings included are warehouse and storage facilities and agricultural facilities.
Institutional facilities are primarily used in forms such as schools, hospitals, government buildings, sport complexes, airports and libraries. These also include structures used for public assembly such as convention centers and theaters as well as religious buildings that are used for worship, study and fellowship.
Continue reading next blog: Commercial Facility Types: PART II
Commercial Facility Types: PART II
These structures include townhouses, condos, apartment complexes, hotels, multi-family homes or large single-family mansions or estates. Also included in complex residential are duplexes and timeshares and buildings with mixed used.
The primary use for commercial buildings is retail, office, mixed-use and warehousing. These buildings include administrative offices, medical offices, research and development, call centers and non-profit or social services. Also included in this category are grocery stores, cafeterias, salons, laundromats and shopping malls.
A special type of structure that could fall into any of the above categories are historical buildings. These are buildings that are at least 50 years old and holds a certain level of historical significance.
Rest assured that before we step foot onto a commercial property that we are already thinking about concerns you might have during the restoration process such as interruptions to business and safety concerns.
Hoarding Cleanup and Restoration
Individuals with hoarding disorder have received more awareness through shows like Hoarders and public access to videos on YouTube that give a glimpse into their lives. According to the American Psychiatric Association, people with hoarding disorder excessively save things that others would view as trash or worthless. They struggle with getting rid of possessions which allows for clutter to develop, disrupting their ability to use their home or work space. Hoarding disorder can cause problems in other important areas of functioning such as personal relationships and work.
Because of the special circumstances involved in hoard cleanup, it is essential for us to maintain the well-being of our clients and of our technicians onsite. Communication is key in this process with the homeowner, insurance and all involved parties to ensure that cleanup is performed correctly, safely and with high regard and respect for the owner’s belongings.
If you or someone you know are seeking help with hoarding cleanup and restoration, give SERVPRO® of Greater Waco a call.
For more information about hoarding disorder see the American Psychiatric Association website.
Yearly Home Maintenance
Invest time to perform regular maintenance on your home.
Your home is an investment so it is essential to maintain it every year by performing regular maintenance on it. Tackling so many tasks at once might feel overwhelming so scheduling them to be completed throughout the year will help ensure that your house is running in tip top shape. An article by The New York Times gives a basic rundown of some of the things you should check on your grounds, outside and inside of the house.
Here are some of those tasks that if not maintained properly, could lead to a water event and damage in your home:
Cleaning gutters: they are usually out of sight, but they must be cleaned at least twice a year (or more, depending on trees around your house); check for damage and always, always, ALWAYS be safe while using the ladder.
HVAC systems: call an HVAC service provider to asses your system and check for damage.
Water heater: check valves, check for leaks, drain and remove buildup and turn down the temperature
Plumbing: give your pipes a visual check-up and ensure that there are no signs of leaks, and check faucet for drips. Fix what you can and call a plumber for their expertise for more serious concerns.
Water supply lines: toilets, dishwasher, washing machine and sinks have supply lines that might need replacing. These can burst causing extensive damage if they are old and damaged
Just as our bodies need regular check-ups and maintenance, houses do too. Schedule maintenance throughout the year and check each off one at a time to keep your home in tip-top shape.
Fire Safety and Kids
Teach your children fire safety messages that will remain with them for years to come.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, half of fire deaths are those of children aged 4 and younger. Their joint efforts with Sesame Workshop created the Sesame Street Fire Safety Program. There are printable coloring pages for children of preschool age, and additional educational materials for parents, families and educators. You can also find songs and stories on the USFA website that can be used to help children further understand the importance of fire safety.
Some of the fire safety messages they discuss in their program are:
Having awareness of what is hot, and what is not. If children know what is hot, they know that it can burn and to stay away from them
Kitchen safety tips for adults. Children also learn by observing what we do and ensuring that we are promoting a safe kitchen environment.
A home fire escape map for ensuring your family is safe in the event of a fire emergency. Creating a plan together and practicing is a great way to help children be aware of what to do and where to go in case there is a fire.
Smoke alarm safety. This is an area that is often overlooked because they are high on a ceiling or wall but an integral part of fire safety in the home.
Exits found in the home. Being able to self-evacuate the home is crucial for children’s safety and understanding where exits are would help in the event of a fire in the home. Practicing a fire escape plan twice a year is encouraged.
Firefighters and First Responders are helpful friends in our community. Letting children know that first responders are not individuals to feel fearful about, and to follow their instructions if there is an emergency.
For more information on fire safety, check out www.usfa.fema.gov .
Keep your loved ones safe during this joyous New Year celebration
It’s New Year’s Eve and that means fireworks galore so we wanted to share some firework safety tips from the folks over at the National Safety Council:
Never allow young children to handle fireworks
Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
Only use fireworks away from people, houses and flammable material
Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
Never use illegal fireworks
We want to thank everyone for a great 2019, and wish you all a safe and Happy New Year!
-SERVPRO® of Greater Waco
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl 2019
We are stoked for the upcoming SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl on Monday, December 30th at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
We will be honoring first responders: police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, and military personnel. They are always the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency and complimentary tickets are available to them and their families via signup on the event website.
Kickoff is at 11:30 a.m. CT (12:30 ET) between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (WKH) and the Western Michigan Broncos, and will be the first time the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl will be held at the SMU Mustangs home field.
Check out the bowl's website for ticket information: