5 Common Reasons for House Fires in the Boise Area
This fire was caused by a Barbecue on the back porch.
1. Cooking Equipment
When a pot and pan splatter grease, it can take seconds to cause a fire. When cooking stay close by, especially if using oil or high temperatures. Keep combustibles away from the heat source (e.g. oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels).
2. Electrical Equipment
- Make sure your outlets aren't overloaded
- Don't have electrical wires under heavy equipment
- Your Electrical appliances don't have loose or frayed cords/plugs
Keep candles on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of reach of children or pets. Always blow them out before leaving the house.
Use Barbecues away from the house, deck rails, and tree limbs. Maintenance them on a regular basis, clean removable parts (inside and out) with soapy water. Check for potential leaks in the connections by spraying them with soapy water; Watch if bubbles form when you open the gas.
5. Fire Pits
- You may need a permit depending on where you live to have a fire.
- You have to have a permit if your fire is bigger than 2 ft tall and 3 ft diameter.
- Keep at least 25 ft away from structures and tree limbs.
- Use a screen over your fire to keep the sparks from flying
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose close by.
Turn Around, Don't Drown!
Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods may:
- Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.
- Develop slowly or quickly - flash floods can come with no warning.
- Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A FLOOD WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown!
- Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
- Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding.
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
- Stay where you are.
HOW TO SAY SAFE WHEN A FLOOD THREATENS
Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. De-clutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
- Depending on where you are, and the impact and the warning time of flooding, go to the safe location that you previously identified.
- If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
- Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
- If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
- If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.
(Be Safe AFTER)
- Listen to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Avoid driving, except in emergencies.
- Snakes and other animals may be in your house. Wear heavy gloves and boots during clean up.
- Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock.
- Avoid wading in floodwater, which can contain dangerous debris and be contaminated. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
- Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
Does Your Treasure Valley Home Have a Mold Issue?
Make sure to check behind your appliances for mold growth and/or water damage.
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 208-375-0300
Is Mold Covered Under Insurance?
Does your homeowners policy cover mold remediation?
Mold remediation covered under insurance can alleviate much stress associated with the fungus. However, you must understand your insurance policy fully to receive compensation for mold damage. If you have mold growing somewhere in your home, you may not have to pay to remove and repair the damaged areas. However, not all instances of mold come as part of your policy. Learn when mold covered under insurance is partially or fully your responsibility below. Also, find out what to do about it if you do or do not have the proper coverage.
Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
Some homeowner’s insurance does cover mold. However, the mold covered under insurance must fall under covered peril. The language of your policy includes the conditions qualifying for a covered peril. As long as the specific thing causing the mold is a peril on your plan, you have coverage. Examples of peril include water damage resulting from accidents, or other factors. Some claims handle the removal of the mold, as well as reimburse you for any property damage.
Keep in mind, insurance companies limit the amount of coverage they offer so that additional coverage may cost a lot more. Again, it all depends on your insurance policy stipulations. There are also different types of claims to consider depending on your status as an owner with tenants or the owner or renting party.
First Party Coverage Claims
When you have mold in your home and make a claim with your insurance company, it’s known as a first-party property claim. You must be the policyholder to receive insurance coverage for the claim.
Third Party Coverage Claims
If you rent a home or apartment and your tenants file an insurance claim for mold, this falls under the third-party claim.
Tips for Dealing with Mold Damage
Whether insurance covers the mold in your home, you must address it as soon as possible. Allowing it to grow can lead to health problems, such as respiratory issues, throat irritation, and others. Mold thrives in moist areas. If your home has vulnerabilities to water leaks, you must address the incident quickly. Doing so can mitigate some of the health risks and property damage brought on by mold.
How to File a Claim for Mold
Each insurer has its own set of policies, but the general order to file a mold claim is as follows:
- Call your insurance company and set up an appointment with an adjuster.
- Try to dry the impacted area with fans, open windows, and other means of removing excess moisture. Avoid cleaning or removing mold because the adjuster must first assess the damage.
- Take pictures of the damaged areas.
- Talk to your agent about mold coverage limits.
In most cases, the homeowner must prove the mold is a result of a water damage claim resulting from burst pipes or some other event. Even if your policy covers your mold event, it may only cover a certain amount.
Without Proper Coverage
To get mold covered under insurance, you need qualifying circumstances. Your insurance company cannot remove or repair mold damage due to your lack of upkeep. For instance, failing to fix a minor leak that becomes a significant leak does not qualify you for mold coverage.
Other examples include mold resulting from:
- Long-term leaks
- Long-term moisture
- Construction defects
Tips for Handling Your Claim
Because insurance companies can make handling your mold problem a significant process, there are a few things to keep in mind before you make a claim.
- Never offer a guess as to the origins of the mold
- Do not agree with your insurance company if they suggest the mold has been around for a long time
- Allow the company to conduct a full investigation before signing off on any paperwork provided by the insurance company
Other Tips for Handling Mold
The best way to handle mold is to prevent its growth at the onset. You can limit mold growth by doing the following:
- Use air humidifiers and air conditioners to keep air moisture between 30 percent and 60 percent
- Do not place carpets or rugs in damp areas such as basements
- Fix small leaks immediately
- Inspect faucet fixtures and nozzles under sinks and toilets to check for leaks
There are several measures you can take to decrease the chances of mold growth. It is especially important in humid states where moisture collects easily in different parts of the home.
Do you need more information about dealing with mold damage or mold remediation? Our trained mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO offer 24-hour emergency services. Using the most advanced technology, our team keeps the mold from causing any further damage. Failure to act immediately can result in the denial of your claim, call us today at (208) 375-0300!
What is an Emergency Ready Plan
Is your business or commercial building prepared for the unexpected?
According to FEMA, around 40% of business fail to reopen after a disaster. And to make things worse, the United States Small Business Administration found that over 90% of business close within 2 years of a disaster. But despite these alarming statistics, you can mitigate the impact of a disaster if you make preparations in advance. One of the easiest ways you can begin preparations is by creating an Emergency Ready Profile.
All of Our Business' Vital Information
An Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a document comprised of all of your business' vital information. It includes emergency contact information, utility shut-off locations, and other information you or your employees might need in an emergency situation.
Your local SERVPRO franchise will create an ERP for your business, free of charge! A representative will come in and ask a few questions, then get the necessary information regarding shut-offs and emergency exit points. The whole process should take no more than a few minuets of your time!
After your representative compiles the documents, they will present both a physical and digital copy of the ERP.
Recovering Your Business
After a disaster, your priority should be to get your business back to its normal operations. Fortunately, an ERP allows you the opportunity to quickly respond and take crucial actions. If you are interested in an ERP for your business or commercial building, call SERVPRO of Boise today at (208) 375-0300!
Secure Flood Insurance Before the Potential for Spring Flooding Occurs
Flood protection policies typically require a 30-day waiting period to take effect.
BOISE, ID – It takes only a few inches of water to cause thousands of dollars in property damage. As spring temperatures begin to rise, so does the potential for area flooding. The Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) urges consumers to protect their homes and families by securing flood insurance long before area snow-pack begins to melt and seasonal rains occur.
Consumers should be aware that only flood insurance covers flood damage, while most standard homeowner’s policies do not. Also, flood policies typically mandate a 30-day waiting period before coverage becomes effective. DOI Director Dean Cameron says flooding does not have to be a “catastrophic event” to cause severe financial issues.
“Many consumers remain unprotected, but you don’t have to live in a flood zone or high-risk area to suffer major flood damage,” said Cameron. “Don’t get caught off guard. Meet with a licensed agent to discuss and review your coverage now.”
What to know about floods and flood insurance coverage:
- The time to prepare is now; where it can rain, it can flood.
- Flood insurance is affordable and anyone can purchase it.
- FEMA statistics estimate more than 20 percent of flood claims result from properties considered outside high-risk areas.
- Only about 12 percent of U.S. homeowners have flood insurance.
- Flood damage costs exceed $8 billion annually nationwide.
For information on flood insurance policies, visit the federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or call 800-427-4661.
American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign
Don't forget to turn and test!
It’s time to spring forward! As people TURN their clocks forward one hour, the American Red Cross reminds everyone to TEST their smoke alarms.
This weekend is also a good time for everyone to take these lifesaving steps to help prepare households for home fires, the nation’s most frequent disaster:
- Check smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.
- Create and practice your home fire escape plan. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late. This weekend, create a home fire escape plan with your household and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Escape plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room and a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows where to meet.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVING LIVES
Each year, the Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 disasters—the vast majority of which are home fires. Every day, seven people die in home fires, and most tragedies occur in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign with community partners in 2014 to reduce needless deaths and injuries.
So far, the Home Fire Campaign has reached more than 1.7 million people and is credited with saving more than 500 lives across the country. The campaign’s volunteers and partners have also:
- Installed more than 1.5 million free smoke alarms
- Reached more than 1.3 million children through youth preparedness programs
- Made more than 660,000 households safer from the threat of home fires
People can visit redcross.org/homefires for free resources and to learn more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire, or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community.
Get Rid of Unpleasant Odors in Your Home
Our equipment is designed to treat your home of unwanted odors.
Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition or mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn’t necessarily get rid of these smells. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Boise provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by smoke, mold or other sources. Our professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products SERVPRO of Boise uses various techniques and equipment to treat odors. These techniques are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly. Some of the tools we use include: Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke and more without the use of chemicals. Though the room being treated cannot be occupied while in use, the generator works quickly to clean, sanitize and remove offensive odors. Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main benefit is that the room being treated can be occupied during the deodorization process; though it does work slower. The Hydroxyl Generator can be used to treat fire and smoke, as well as biohazard jobs, water damage, and animal odors. Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. This helps clean the air and remove odors. Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or a homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, getting rid of offensive odors is a high priority. Fire, water, mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of Boise is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at (208) 375-0300
10 Things You Should be Doing to Prevent Mold
It is vital to make sure you take the proper precautions to fight off and prevent mold and mildew in your home or office.
Regardless if you’re a new homeowner or if you’ve been in the same home for forty years, it’s absolutely vital to make sure you take the proper precautions to fight off and prevent mold and mildew in your home or office. Mold is basically tiny fungi that grow in branch-like filaments called hyphae. While some mold and mildew can be scrubbed away with the right cleaning products, other types of mold can do severe damage to the structure of your home and it can be very expensive to repair. Not only is mold horrible for your home, but it’s also very dangerous. Mold can cause a number of health problems, especially for those with allergies or immune disorders.
Mold can bring on coughing, nasal congestion, throat irritation, upper respiratory tract infections, and other cold-like symptoms. For those with compromised immune systems, the effects of mold can be much more serious. Unfortunately, certain kinds of toxic mold are undetectable by the naked eye. That’s why it’s so important to follow these guidelines to make sure that you’re protecting yourself and your home from the potential risks of mold and mildew.
1. Be Aware of Air Flow
When trying to prevent mold, take note of the arrangement of furniture and other items in your home. You want to make sure you have a proper air flow throughout the house. When moisture gets trapped, you’re increasing your chances of mold. Always be aware of odd smells or odors in the home that may represent mold or mildew. Any kind of musty smells will most likely be a sign of mold growth.
2. Know Your Moisture Levels
Most people don’t really know how much moisture they have floating around their home, but it’s important to keep an eye on these levels, especially in basements. Basements should always be below 50% humidity to prevent mold. If you’re worried about how much humidity is in your home, you can purchase a hygrometer. A lot of the new thermometers for central air and heat in more modern homes will include a humidity level setting on the monitor.
3. Check All Storage
When moving into a new home, it’s easy to toss unwanted cardboard boxes and bins into the garage and then forget they were ever there. If it’s been a while since you’ve explored through the storage in your garage, basement or attic, you may want to give it a good check. Cardboard boxes in low ventilated areas are a breeding ground for mold. You also want to stay away from keeping your items in cardboard boxes or on wooden shelves.
4. Keep Moisture Rich Areas Clean
To prevent mold it’s important to consistently clean areas of the house that are exposed to moisture often, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Routinely remove all of the items on your counter-tops and use anti-mold or mildew cleaning products. If water gets trapped in areas for longer than 48-hours, then mold can become apparent.
5. Utilize Exhaust Fans
When showering or cooking, remember to always use your exhaust fans. Some people will only turn exhaust fans on after showering, but this is a big mold prevention no-no. Always be sure to have the fan on during a hot shower, as well as for some time after a shower to make sure that all of the humidity has dissipated.
6. Be Aware of Leaks
It’s important to have your house checked randomly throughout the year for leaks. A leaky pipe that goes unnoticed can create havoc in a household. Something that might be simple to fix one day, can turn into a nightmare if it goes undetected. Have a mold remediation company occasionally check your home for potential leaks to save yourself money in the long run.
7. Remove Carpet in Basements
While some carpets may feel cozy and look great in a basement, they can turn into a fuzzy hotel for fungus. Basements are infamous for holding in moisture and carpets can make these matters much worse. If you’re looking to upgrade your home in the near future, tearing out carpets in the basement not only saves you from potential mold, but it can also increase your property value.
8. Keep Roof and Gutters Clean
With heavy rain, moisture can clog up your gutters and cause cracks in your roof. It can build up near corners or crevasses in doorways. Keeping your roof and your gutters clean throughout the year can help you to prevent mold in these areas.
9. Use Mold Prevention Based Paints
If you happen to be renovating or moving into a new home, it’s the perfect time to find quality mold inhibiting paints and primers. Ask any expert at your local home improvement store which kind of paints are best for fighting off mold and mildew.
10. Change Out Air Filters
Everyone should always be aware of the air quality in their home. As mentioned above, many of the air-borne illnesses that come from mold are very difficult to detect. Changing out air filters or purchasing air purifiers can add an extra layer of protection in your home.
Having the above ten steps on your checklist will help you to prevent mold in your home. If you do suspect there is mold in your home, call the experts to inspect and remove it for you.
Commercial Restoration 101
This commercial property was damaged from a burst pipe in the ceiling.
When a business needs commercial fire or water damage restoration they should look for a company that provides 24 hour emergency services. SERVPRO of Boise is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Once on site, SERVPRO of Boise will begin assessing the extent of the damage. This will allow our crews to come up with a plan of action moving forward. Often the extent of the damage might be more severe than it appears on the surface – for instance if mold is accruing in another room as a result of water damage, or if smoke got into an adjoining part of the building. SERVPRO of Boise will use top of the line equipment to accurately assess the damage.
If your company is in the position of needing commercial restoration, give us a call. We can board up your building to secure the premise, tarp the roof if there is damage, seal any leaks and prevent any further damage from occurring while we take care of the major issue.
Contents may need to be removed from the building and stored at our warehouse/ cleaned depending on the size of the loss. Once the items are removed we will be able to begin removing any standing water, etc.. and cleaning/drying the affected area.
Once everything is cleaned, dried out and/or removed, we will then involve our reconstruction department. They will be able to discuss repairs with the property owner and select items to replace what was removed and could not be salvaged. This could mean replacing individual items such as cabinets or flooring.
Ultimately, commercial restoration done by SERVPRO of Boise can provide a wide variety of different services which together can help to clean and restore a property after it has been affected by a storm, flood, fire or any other type of damage. This will then allow you to return to business as quickly as possible.
When it comes to your commercial property, we mean business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results. Whether you need emergency water or fire restoration services, or mold remediation, SERVPRO of Boise has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
•Small Office Buildings
•Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
•Small Retail Stores
•Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
•Manufacturing & Industrial