2012 New Jersey Firemen Convention

National Restoration sponsored the annual New Jersey State Firemen Convention on September 14th & 15th.

The event was held at the Wildwood Convention Center.  The weather was beautiful and the turn out was great.  We raffled off a 32″ flat screen t.v.  We also handed out fire safety coloring books to the kids and, of course, candy.  We have some pictures of the event below.

We would like to thank everyone that came out to see us.  We would, especially, like to thank all of the firemen for being there and for all of their hard work and dedication they provide to us throughout the year.  We look forward to seeing you all next year!

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Parishes Still Suffering from Hurricane Isaac

Although it’s been a month since Louisiana experienced torrential rain and flooding as a result of Hurricane Isaac, some parishes are still suffering.  Isaac broke through levees, trapped some residents in their homes and left up to half a million homes and businesses without power.

National Restoration’s Vice President of Sales, Dorian Evans, visited the state last month.  After surveying areas for loss, Dorian met with Plaquemines Parish Councilman, Burghart Turner.  They discussed ways National Restoration could assist citizens with their property damage.   Dorian also addressed Councilman Turner about environmental concerns.

Dorian is returning to Louisiana to meet with other government officials to discuss how National Restoration can continue to serve the parishes most affected by the hurricane.

Below are some astonishing photos of the wreckage.

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Hurricane Season…It’s Not Over Yet

The Atlantic hurricane season typically extends from the beginning of June until the end of November, with peak activity occurring in mid-September. With about three major hurricanes and almost twenty smaller hurricanes and tropical storms hitting the East Coast in an average year, residents should be aware of the steps to take to protect themselves and their property before and during a hurricane or major tropical storm, and what to do for hurricane damage clean up.

Preparing Ahead of the Storm

Hurricanes are different from other natural disasters since residents know the storm is coming up to a week ahead of landfall. There are two goals in hurricane preparation. The first and most important is to keep you and your family safe, and the second is to minimize the need for property restoration after the storm.

Steps to Protect Your Family:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan to stay in touch.
  • Make sure that you have enough cash for a few days’ needs in case communications are lost, shutting down credit and debit cards.
  • Consider leaving the area ahead of landfall if the storm is expected to be very severe.
  • Remember emergency response services are hindered by hurricanes.

Steps to Protect Your Property:

  • Check downspouts and low-lying areas around your property to make sure water is directed away from your home or building.
  • Secure and reinforce external doors, including the garage, and windows with storm shutters and/or marine plywood.
  • Strap your roof to the frame of your home to reduce damage.

What to Do During the Storm

Lightening, flooding, extremely high winds, and flying debris all pose hazards during a hurricane. Unless there is a fire or other immediate danger, you and your family should stay inside in an interior room until the storm has passed. Be sure the storm has passed by listening or watching weather reports.

What to Do After the Storm

The first thing you should do after a hurricane is check your property for hazards and determine if an emergency response call to your local authorities or utilities is needed:

  • Look for down or unstable power lines. NEVER approach these power lines, even if there are no sparks!
  • Check for downed trees posing a hazard to the property or utility lines.

The next thing to do after ensuring the immediate area is safe is to check your property for damage and evaluate the need for emergency restoration services after a hurricane. Water damage after a hurricane is frequent, as are mold problems and even fire damage. If any water has come into the home, either through the roof or through the basement, you will need water damage restoration by a competent professional. If water damage is not remediated, mold can quickly become a secondary and expensive problem.

Call a property restoration specialist as soon as possible to restore your property, and be careful about accepting the services of any contractors driving around your neighborhood after a disaster. Look instead for certified, established professionals like National Restoration, and for more tips on how to handle hurricanes, check out Ready.gov.

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Safety Tips For Summer Grilling

Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking and recreational fires. Annually, there are almost 3,800 Americans injured by gas or charcoal grill fires. (Source: CPSC)

Summertime should be a time of fun and making happy memories. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following safety instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.

Residential Grill Fire Facts

  • An estimated 5,700 grill fires occur on residential properties each year in the United States.
  • Almost half (49 percent) of grill fires on residential properties occur from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Over half (57 percent) of grill fires on residential properties occur in the 4 months of May, June, July, and August.
  • Thirty-two percent of grill fires on residential properties start on patios, terraces, screened-in porches, or courtyards.

Place your grill a safe distance from play areas and keep children away from the grill area by declaring a three-foot “safe zone.”

Grill Safety

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
  • Keep children and pets from the grill area: declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill.
  • Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when cooking.
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

Charcoal Grills

  • Purchase the proper starter fluid and store out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.

Propane Grills

  • Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.
  • If you determined your grill has a gas leak by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame:
    1. Turn off the propane tank and grill.
    2. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
    3. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • All propane cylinders manufactured after April 2002 must have overfill protection devices (OPD). OPDs shut off the flow of propane before capacity is reached, limiting the potential for release of propane gas if the cylinder heats up. OPDs are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.
  • Use only equipment bearing the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
  • Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.

While taking precautions can help prevent a fire from starting, it is not a 100% guarantee.  It’s important to know that fire spreads quickly. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  • Contact the fire department
  • Contact a Restoration Company to ensure your house is secured once the fire is extinguished.  They will do so by boarding up any windows or doors that have been damaged.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • It’s possible that many of your possessions may be damaged.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.  Your Restoration Company will provide this service.
  • The Restoration Company will act as a reference for your insurance company and assist you in the claims process.
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Is Mold Growth Affecting Your Health?

Statistics show that most people spend an average of 90 percent of their time indoors. We like to think our homes are healthy places to live and raise our families and that our offices safe to work in. But just how safe are they?

Molds and other fungi may adversely affect human health through three processes: 1) allergy; 2) infection; and 3) toxicity. Exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone.  However, the following individuals are at a higher risk than others for adverse health effects; • infants • children • elderly • immune compromised patients • pregnant women • individuals with existing respiratory conditions and allergies.  Airborne toxic mold spores can affect the immune system, nervous system, liver, kidneys, blood and cause brain damage

Everyone is exposed to mold in the outdoor air but exposure to indoor molds can accelerate aggravated conditions for some.  Some molds are more hazardous than others. For some people, a small number of mold spores can cause severe health problems.  For others, it may take many more.  Mold spores often cause adverse reactions, much like pollen from plants.  Some molds (particularly toxic molds) can trigger instant and uncontrollable vomiting in mold sensitive people.

There are many symptoms of mold exposure.  As a rule, the extent of symptoms depends on the sensitivity of the exposed person.  Allergic reactions are the most common and typically include: chronic clogged throat; wheezing and difficulty breathing; nasal and sinus congestion; burning, watery, reddened eyes or blurry vision; sore throat; dry cough; nose and throat irritation; shortness of breath; nausea; and skin irritation.  Other less common effects are: nervous system problems (headaches, memory loss, moodiness); aches and pains; and fever. If you have any of these symptoms, and they are reduced or completely gone when you leave the suspect area, chances are you have been exposed to some sort of allergen, quite possibly mold. (Source:  Center for Advanced Medicine, Encinitas, CA.)

We recommend you contact a professional restoration company immediately, if you suspect mold growth in your home of business.  The restoration company’s trained professionals will determine the source of the mold growth and mitigate the damage through the use of industrial-grade equipment and chemicals.  This will prevent more mold and mildew from growing and spreading.  The professional restoration company will also help you with your insurance claims if needed.

Medical treatment for mold exposure is available; however the problem will not resolve itself. Professional intervention by a restoration company is the only way to ensure the mold is eliminated from the home or business.

 

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What You Should Do If You Have a Flooded Basement

A flooded basement can occur from a broken pipe, backed up sewer drains, heavy rains, or a broken water heater.

We always recommend leaving the clean up of water and drying to the professionals. There are several reasons we make this recommendation; electrical hazards, potential mold growth, biological hazards, chemical hazards, and many more.

As water sits on a carpet or any non-permeable surface, it wicks throughout carpet, up drywall, fabrics, cardboard and wood. When wet carpet, wet padding, wet drywall and wet cardboard are left for several days, mold will start to grow. Wet carpet and wet padding should be removed along with wet drywall. If personal contents have been damaged by water, place the damaged contents in a non-living space such as a garage, shed, or deck.

Until the insurance company has had an opportunity to inspect the water damage, it is your responsibility to mitigate the water damage. We suggest you use a professional restoration company, which has trained technicians qualified in dealing with water and sewage damage losses. Proper drying techniques should be performed using commercial dehumidifiers, air scrubbing machines, and air movers. Professional restoration companies have specific chemicals used to prevent bacteria growth.

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