Growing Your Knowledge of Fire Safety
Did you know that SERVPRO of West Topeka offers Continuing Education Courses in a variety of categories! Recently we held a course on Fire Safety and Best Practices at a local fire station.
Our technicians were allowed to build three test rooms on the fire station's campus and fill them with contents to resemble a living room, dining room, and bedroom.
After the lecture series on Fire Safety and Best Practices the fire fighters lit the rooms on fire one by one and the participants were able to observe what the progression of a fire looks like in real time.
After the fire fighters put out the controlled fire the participants were allowed to look up and close and observe what kind of fire damage SERVPRO of West Topeka technicians see when we first arrive on site for a fire damage cleanup.
All in all the day was very informative. If you have any questions on fires and fire cleanup please contact us at 785-862-0550!
Commercial Buildings need help too!
Did you know that SERVPRO of West Topeka services commercial properties as well as residential!
When heavy rains and inclement weather occur it is not only residential properties that take a hit but commercial buildings as well. That is why SERVPRO of West Topeka is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If your commercial property has been damaged by the recent storms, or there is secondary damage from a previous loss we are here to help! We have handled several large scale water, mold, reconstruction, and fire losses for commercial properties and are happy to answer any questions you might have regarding any work your commercial building needs!
If you are interested in making sure your commercial building is ready in the event of an emergency we have programs set in place to help you with that as well! Please see out blog entitled "What is an ERP?"
If you have any further questions feel free to contact us at 785-862-0550!
Rain, rain, everywhere....Surviving Spring in the Midwest
Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."
Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.
Reduce injury risk and plan ahead
Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.
Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions. You can follow many of the same steps that you would for all extreme weather events. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:
- A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
- An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
- A list of important personal information, including:
- telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
- insurance and property information
- telephone numbers of utility companies
- medical information
- According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
- non-latex gloves
- assortment of adhesive bandages
- antibiotic ointment
- sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
- absorbent compress dressings
- adhesive cloth tape
- aspirin packets (81 mg each)
- first aid instruction booklet
(NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
- A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
- Personal hygiene items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- An emergency kit in your car
Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek appropriate shelter as soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.
Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it. But we do know that when spring arrives, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family, and your home? If thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods do occur, you'll be ready for them.
After the storms if you find you have damage to your home, don't forget SERVPRO of West Topeka is here to help 24/7. We are ready for whatever the weather leaves behind!
Call us today 785-862-0550
What is an ERP?
Are you ready in case of emergency? With SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Program you can be prepared for the unexpected.
Let me ask you something. If you are at lunch and you receive a panic call from the office because there is a gas leak, or maybe water is pouring out of a broken pipe under the sink, would you be able to direct them how to shut off the gas or water from the table?
Whether you are away from lunch, on vacation, or if it's after hours, wouldn't it be nice to have access to your vital building data and emergency contact information directly from your smart phone 24/7?
SERVPRO has developed a really cool app that organizes this information for you all at your fingertips.
Right about now, if you're like most people, you are probably wondering why SERVPRO would be willing to help your business compile this information for your ERP for free.
Well SERVPRO is a national sponsor of the American Red Cross' Ready Rating Program, and as a part of our community service, we are helping local businesses prepare for disasters. Our mobile app is just one part of your overall preparedness plan, but it's our way to help get you started.
For more information call us! 785-862-0550
Where there's smoke...
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Topeka will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – 785-862-0550
Knowing what to do in case of emergency!
This page explains what actions to take when you receive a tornado watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a tornado.
Know your risk
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often—although not always—visible as a funnel cloud. Lightning and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Related thunderstorms can cause heavy rains, flash flooding, and hail
About 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States every year and every state is at risk. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains with concentrations in the central and southern plains, the Gulf Coast and Florida.
Tornadoes can strike in any season, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. They can occur at all hours of the day and night, but are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Before a Tornado
Identify safe rooms built to FEMA criteria or ICC500 storm shelters or other potential protective locations in sturdy buildings near your home, work, and other locations you frequent so you have a plan for where you will go quickly for safety when there is a Warning or an approaching tornado.
For schools, malls, and other buildings with long-span roofs or open space plans, or many occupants, ask the building manager to identify the best available refuge.
Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
Look for the following danger signs:
Dark, often greenish sky
A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
The extent of destruction caused by tornadoes depends on the tornado’s intensity, size, path, time of day, and amount of time it is on the ground. Wind from tornadoes can reach more than 300 miles per hour, and damage paths can be more than 1 mile wide and 50 miles long. Wind from tornadoes can destroy buildings and trees, transform debris into deadly projectiles, and roll vehicles.
They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
Know the Terms
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:
Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. When there is a Watch, move to be near enough to a shelter or sturdy building to be able to get there quickly in a few minutes if there is a Warning or if you see signs of a tornado approaching. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
During a Tornado
If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately! Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.
If you are in school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building pre-identified best available refuge then:
Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room built to FEMA criteria, or a small interior windowless room on the lowest level, below ground in a basement, or storm cellar, is best. (Closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body as best you can e.g., with a heavy coat or blankets, pillows. .
In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Do not open windows.
A sturdy structure (e.g. residence, small building) , school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
A manufactured home or office then:
Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, do not offer protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter then:
If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
In all situations:
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for protection in a sturdy building. .
Outdoor areas are not protected from flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
After a Tornado
If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust. Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
Stay out of damaged buildings and homes until local authorities indicate it is safe.
Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.
Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
If your home is without power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.
Kansas weather can be unpredictable! Be informed & stay safe!
If tragedy strikes remember, SERVPRO of W. Topeka is always here to help!
SERVPRO of Topeka new member of ACT
SERVPRO of Topeka gets involved with March madness theme at the ACT annual meeting.
Recently, SERVPRO of Topeka joined the Apartment Council of Topeka (ACT). We have enjoyed getting to know this group of people and are excited to learn more about how the members work together to provide housing to the community.
SERVPRO of Topeka has fun at Topeka Home Show
Water display gets attention from public. The kids loved playing with the ducks.
SERVPRO of Topeka recently participated in the 57th annual Topeka Home Show. We had a great time sharing information about water damage and our other services. The display was well received by the community who attended the show.
Recognition to local First Responders in Shawnee County
Battalion Chief Chad Lady (STFD), Jay Coverdale (SERVPRO of Topeka), and Communications Director Melanie Mills-Bergers (SNCO 911)
SERVPRO of West Topeka recently recognized The Soldier Township Fire Department and the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Communications Division for their service to the Topeka Community.
We are truly honored to recognize the hard working men and women who are serving and protecting our local communities. We are grateful for the sacrifice and service these brave men and women provide 24/7/365. When our lives are in danger these organizations perform at their best to provide the help needed. In addition, these two organizations have gone above and beyond by providing education to the communities they serve related to public safety and fire prevention.
Both groups were presented gifts reflecting the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. We hope that next year these men and women can take pride in watching the game knowing that they are greatly appreciated nationally and locally for their service.
Water damage at midnight? No worries we are here to help!
Did you know that SERVPRO of West Topeka is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! Top notch customer service and protecting your home from extended damage are our top priorities so we are open all the time. Our dedicated and experienced crew is always ready to answer the call. Whether it is at one o'clock in the morning on a Sunday or Christmas Eve your water damage, fire, or mold loss is not going to wait so neither do we! SERVPRO of West Topeka understands the urgency of home damage and we are here to make it "Like it never even happened." To learn more about our crew of skilled professionals click here and for service or questions give us a call at 785-862-0550.